The teenage years are challenging for teens and their families. Teens are growing physically, mentally, and emotionally. This transition is a period when a child is learning how to grow into being an adult.

The state of rebellion may vary from teen to teen. Some rebellions are subtle and not as blatantly defiant. Other rebellions are much more extreme and involve risky behavior that does blatantly exemplify defiance. For teens, rebellious behavior is often viewed as a positive thing – despite what adults may view as negative. Either way, a teen’s disobedient behavior makes parenting harder, and it is important to identify the early signs of your teen’s rebellion to prevent any serious issues from occurring. If bad behavior isn’t addressed, a teen could potentially experiment in high-risk situations, disregard rules, and general regulations, or jeopardize important relationships.

The signs that signal that your teen is rebelling are:

Your teen is experiencing mood swings.

As you may have presumed, hormonal changes make adolescents have more emotionally sensitive reactions – making mood swings the most common sign of teenage rebellion. Your teen may respond differently to various situations than they have in the past, and it is important to handle the situation in a productive way, so you can educate your child’s about emotional maturity and attitude.

Don’t try to be your teen’s friend and maintain your authoritative role. Even though you want to avoid controversy, when you’re handling mood swings, parents need to teach their teen how to emotionally and mentally grow. However, try to be compassionate and patient because your teen will most likely not be receptive to an aggressive attitude.

 A general loss of communication.

When adolescence hits, teenagers begin separating from their parents. At first, the disconnect may be small and subtle, children may stop sharing their school day with their parents, or when they develop new friendships, they may not talk about them. The reality is the withdrawal from the interest in talking on a day-to-day basis is common. Parents will likely feel a bit of abandonment or sadness when this occurs.

This rebellious nature is your child attempting to develop emotionally, define independence, and create his/her own identity. Don’t give up on your kid and allow the loss of communication to become a long-lasting thing. Strive to create intentional conversations with your teen. Even though they may be disengaged to some degree, it is important that you do not give up. Try to find common ground to build upon your shared communications. Your teen needs to understand that you will always be available – no matter how much they try to push you away.

Your teen wants to be left alone.

Again, teens mistaken isolation with independence, and the desire to be left alone is a common way teens will rebel. While everybody needs privacy, it is not a good idea to totally abide by your child’s request for isolation. Being alone can be a red flag signaling depression and other issues you cannot see on the surface.

Pay attention to your child’s socialization, eating habits, and grades. In many cases, a request to be alone is actually a cry for help – meaning your child needs more of your involvement. If your child is experiencing depression or other issues, consider seeking out a counselor for them to speak with. Even though it may hurt your feelings that your teen won’t talk to you, they may be comfortable talking to an unbiased third party who specializes in this form of rebellion.

Frequently saying the word “no.”

No is not necessarily a bad response, although, if your teen is constantly and potentially aggressively saying no, then this may be concerning. Even though your child is most likely trying to become more independent, the reality is you are the parent, and you need to intervene. If the issue is not addressed, the response of “no” can manifest to a non-negotiable “no” to practical requests.

While you don’t want to force your teenager into a situation, if you create a real sense of respect and boundaries, your child will learn the reasoning behind your structured limits.

Parental embarrassment.

If your teenager expresses rejection towards you when their friends are around, you’re not alone. The odds are that you did the same thing to your parents. Parental embarrassment is a form of rebellious behavior, and it is another attempt for independence. Your child still loves you, even though it feels like they are blatantly mean and rude. They don’t hate you – even though it feels that way.

The key is to walk a fine line between disrespectful behavior and space. As a parent, you need to be involved in your teen’s life; however, they are an individual, and that means they need to discover how to come into their own personality and identity. Assess the level of rebellion that your teen is displaying and determine whether or not they need more space than you are giving.

Every teenager goes through a phase of rebellion – some are more extreme than others. Pushing one’s boundaries is a way children try to grow. While you don’t want to allow your child to walk all over you, you want to make sure that you’re giving them room to be independent and develop into their own. The five signs we discussed are points you should be aware of. Use these signs to facilitate growth within your teen and your relationship with them.

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