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Raising a Stubborn Teen Daughter

by Kay Ireland, studioD

It was William Congreve who wrote the words "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Obviously, Congreve never faced the heat of an obstinate teenage girl. Your stubborn daughter can make every day a battle, and there's a good chance she'll win. Instead of going head-to-head with your teen, see if a new approach can help soften her hardened exterior -- or at least get her to give in just a little.

Back Up Your Rules

When you tell your stubborn daughter that she needs to be in before 11 p.m., no questions asked, you're bound to be met with some opposition. Stubborn or willful teens need to hear the reasoning and facts behind your opinions and rules, and it's unlikely she'll meekly agree without hearing your supporting argument. Instead of simply setting a curfew, talking about the best time to be home and what could happen safety-wise if she were to stay out too late can help her understand why you want her in at a certain time.

Pick Your Battles

Your daughter is ready for action -- anytime you want to go to war, she's ready with all of the ammo she needs to change your mind or wear you down. Learn to pick your battles and not argue over things that aren't directly related to her safety and success. Sure, she might want a haircut you don't love, but if you give her a pass on her appearance, she might be more open when you take a hard line on her grades.


While you should always keep consistent rules, your stubborn teen is more likely to bend when you're willing to make a compromise. Stubborn teens are usually just exercising their autonomy and willpower. If neither of you are budging on the subject of a cell phone, for instance, take some time to talk it out and choose a solution that you both can live with. Maybe instead of buying your daughter a cell phone to use all the time, you allow her to have one on nights and weekends only.

Respect the Stubborness

While your teen's stubbornness probably drives you insane, it's important to give credit where credit is due. If she's stubborn with you at home, chances are her will is strong in other areas of her life, like picking friends or working toward success as an adult. Don't forget to praise your daughter when her stubbornness pays off, like when she stays in over the weekend to study even when her friends are going to a party instead.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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