Why Teenagers Misbehave With Their Caregivers?

a girl misbehaving with her mother

The teenage stage is a complex and transitional stage that lies as a path between childhood and adulthood. It is a pivotal stage of development as it marks as well as shapes an individual’s personality. Adolescence is quite transformative as physical development, cognitive development, and emotional and social development take place. Together, they combine to form a sense of identity in teenagers.

Adolescence is known as the time for growth, learning, and self-discovery. It lays down the foundation of adulthood by presenting several opportunities and experiences. However, it has its own set of challenges. Academic pressures, presence and identity development on social media, relationships, intimacy, identity crisis, fear of missing out and societal expectations are all such examples.

Moreover, also comes the phase of THE TEENAGE REBELLION. Known for its association with the desire to challenge authority, question societal norms, and assert autonomy as much as possible. Although this transitory phase is quite difficult for the parental figures and guardians of the teenager, it is still crucial for the discovery of autonomy and self – if the teenage rebellion is exercised in a controlled and healthy way. If not, then it leads to destructive behaviors that have unfavorable consequences.

The main aspects of teenage rebellion are showcased by the way teenagers exhibit defiance, non-conformity, experimentation and trying out the variety of things at their disposal, and engaging in risky behaviors. Although these behaviors are chaos personified, they are there because of the following reasons:

1. Crucial Formation Of Identity And Autonomy

The teenagers embark on a journey of self-discovery and like an Arthurian legendary knight, on a quest for identity that is different from their caregivers. The unruly, rebellious behavior along with sulking and arguing is a way to establish control over the territory of self and gain independence and freedom.

2. Navigating New Emotions

The incoming teenage year comes with a wide variety of experiences and changes in everyday life and this results in the feeling of new emotions altogether. The teenage experience is where comes an ebb and flow of emotions because of school life, social dynamics, and internal struggles. These new emotions sometimes create internal chaos that the teenager is unable to control. And this results in them lashing out to showcase their inner turmoil, frustration, and anxiety.

3. Peer Pressure

The peer group acts like a security blanket around a teenager. As adolescents have this incessant need to gain acceptance and approval from their peers. This sometimes results in risky experimentation.

4. Exerting Independence To Make Decisions

The teenage years teach that actions have consequences. But when the destructive behaviors set in the consequences can be grave in nature. However, the naïve youth may not plan for the extent of these behaviors.

5. Communication Gap

The approach to communication between the caregiver and the teenager may be quite different. An existing reason for this is the generational gap. When conflicts arise both parties are unable to come to a peaceful conclusion as the negotiating approach being taken by both are incompatible with each other.

6. Hormonal Changes

The fluxes of changing hormones and other physiological changes create body image issues that result in irritability and frustrating bouts of behavior on the teenager’s part as self-image perception, social perceptions, and esteem issues are in question.

7. Recognition

Adolescence is the stage where teenagers crave love and recognition from their parental figures. However, when the expectations from them do not align with those of their own. This rift creates a blow to self-esteem and sometimes creates bouts of unruly behavior. These behaviors and experiences of teenage rebellion are quite necessary for the overall development of the teen. However, an unruly teen is quite chaotic and stressful to be around. Hence, there exists a need for positive, nurturing development from the caregivers of the teen.

The challenging parts are almost scattered over the teen experience. To deal with them some strategies need to be used for positive development, such as:

1. The Primary Understanding

The crucial foundation of understanding needs to be laid by the parent and educators for them to comprehend the complexities of modern teenage life. The unruly actions are a manifestation of the chaos of adolescence and are both universal in nature and also specific to an individual.

2. Effective Communication

Non- judgmental communication is vital as it creates a safe environment for the teenager and parent for the exchange of ideas and opinions. The fear of punishment or disappointment leads to avoidance as well as hiding and lying about certain aspects that are crucial in the exchange.

3. Establishing Boundaries

Clear and reasonable restrictions that are non-negotiable must be laid out in a way that they are beneficial for the teenager. Like emphasizing upon ethical and moral reasons along with their philosophical significance and then conveying them to the teenager creates a positive establishment of boundaries rather than a totalitarian rulebook.

4. Positive Encouragement

Recognizing healthy behavior and good choices needs to be rewarded. This results in positive reinforcement of the same behavior and the teenager is more likely to make constructive choices.

5. Healthy Outlets

Promotion of hobbies and activities like sports, art, and other bonding activities like video games and movie watching results in the release of happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin resulting in reduced stress levels. Also, a productive way to increase confidence and expression of emotions.

6. Professional Help

Counseling and therapy present themselves as reliable sources to seek help from when in doubt. They equip the teenager with a better understanding of their psyche as well as productive ways to channel and understand their emotions. Also focuses extensively on problem-solving skills.

7. Empathy

Although teenagers realize that adults are humans and not perfect beings, both caregivers and teenagers lose empathy for each other because of the existence of relatability between them. Patience and diplomatic negotiations between the parties result in content and civil exchange at promotes emotional security.

8. Secure Network Building

Encouragement towards healthy and positive relationships that have mutual, respect and provide security rather than indulging in spirit-sucking ones that leave the emotional desires like hollow as an empty nut.

Teenage Rebellion is universal yet specific. It is chaotic for both the caregivers and the teenagers. However, establishing understanding and patience between the parties leads to a smooth journey of the teenage experience.

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