When troublesome teens have issues with authority figures, it can make parents feel frustrated and wondering what to do. While its not uncommon for teens to rebel against parents and other authority figures, there are often times when teens burst past those boundaries and have real defiance problems with their behavior. When troublesome teens have issues with authority figures, it may be time to get professional help.
Signs to Watch For
Rather than dismiss disrespect for authority figures as typical teen behavior, take the time to evaluate your teen’s behavior and watch for red flags in how they deal with authority figures. Here are 7 signs to watch for:
- Name calling
When your teen’s behavior is over the top, it can lead to more behavior problems and issues like substance abuse or self-harm. If that happens, make sure your teen gets professional help.
How to Help Your Teen at Home
If your teenager is consistently defiant to authority figures, there may be some things you can do to reduce or stop their behavior and keep your sanity at the same time.
- Don’t turn every encounter into a power struggle. If you react calmly and without emotion, your teen will not get the satisfaction of seeing you overreact and get emotional. You’ll also be in a better position to interact with your teen.
- Understand that some rude behavior is inevitable and determine the limit that you will tolerate. For example, an eye roll and stomping off may be OK, but using harsh language and threats is not.
- Create consistent consequences for certain behaviors and talk with your teen about them in a calm moment, not in the heat of an argument. Let your teen know that the consequences will be enforced, and then make sure you do that if and when the rules are broken.
- Be a positive role model by modeling positive behaviors and help them figure out how to act and react when they deal with authority figures.
Remember that your teenager will not change overnight, so be patient and consistent and you will have the best chance of best chance of success.
Despite your best efforts, there may be a time when your teen ‘s behavior has gone from disrespect and typical teen rebellion to dangerous and harmful behavior. If you are afraid for yourself, other children or other authority figures, it’s definitely time to enroll your teen into a program or facility run by professionals.
Some of the professional organizations that help defiant and troubled teens are:
- Behavior boot camps
- Wilderness programs
- Group homes
- Residential treatment centers
- Therapeutic boarding schools
Before you enroll your child in one of these programs, make sure to consult with your teen’s therapist or other health care expert for the best program. If your teen has underlying issues that prevent him or her from effectively dealing with authority figures, it’s time to find a teen help facility that can get your troubled teen back on track.