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How to Motivate a Teen Who Is Rebellious

by Kathryn Hatter, studioD

Teen rebellion often starts out as a normal and innocent quest for independence, according to the University of Alabama Parenting Assistance Line. Unfortunately, it’s common for this necessary process to take a detour into the frightful realm of risk-taking and aggressive outbursts. If your teen is showing rebellious behavior and is unwilling to exist within the confines of your boundaries, you may need to motivate your teen to grow past the unhealthy rebellion.

Step back and give your teen some room to exist without constant strife and pressure from parents. Part of the reason for the rebellion may be too much pressure and involvement from parents, preventing a teenager from feeling like he’s growing and maturing toward impending adulthood. Your teen may not feel the overpowering need to rebel if you aren’t exerting too-high parental demands and pressure.

Interact respectfully with your teenager, whether you’re discussing the weather, homework or missed curfews. Teenagers -- even difficult and rebellious ones -- deserve respect. You may find that treating your teenager as a responsible and reasonable young person encourages him to adjust his behavior accordingly.

Set firm expectations for your teenager’s behavior and conduct. When you enact family rules with connected consequences, you place a code of conduct in force that your teen has to accept. If your teen does not abide by the stated rules, execute the consequences in a firm and respectful manner.

Use natural consequences if your teenager is withholding actions instead of exhibiting actions of misbehavior. Apathy can be an effective means of rebellion for teenagers, according to the MindCompass website. Withholding actions often bothers parents profusely, resulting in unpleasant power struggles. If your teenager refuses to perform household chores, stop doing things for him, such as paying for his cell phone or giving him rides.

Communicate interest in your child’s activities, feelings and thoughts to show your support in the things your teenager thinks are important. Even though a rebellious teenager may give you the outward message that he doesn’t need or want your involvement, he is likely aching for a connection with parents.

Praise positively whenever you see efforts from your teenager to follow rules, act respectfully, try at school and stay within boundaries. Make your praise specific according to the behavior or actions of your teenager. Recognizing and calling out the behaviors you want can be a powerful motivator for your teenager, according to a newsletter published by the Fayetteville State University.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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