It seemingly happens overnight. One day, your perfect child is just as charming and enjoyable as they ever were; the next, they question everything and push every envelope. Where once they looked to please you and fill you with pride; now it seems that they test your patience and your parenting at every turn. But be patient; unless your teen steps over the line and begins to engage in dangerous activities, a moderate amount of teen rebellion is actually a good thing. Those frustrating matches where you verbally go toe-to-toe actually produce some lessons for living and help your teen discover who they want to be.
Because your teenager is moving towards a time when they most naturally need to separate from you, it is important to recognize this need and not chalk it all up to bad behavior. Questioning whether Dad does know best or if Mom is as wise as she appears is completely normal, and should be not only expected but perhaps, just a bit encouraged.
As a family therapist in Westlake Village, I often am asked about teenagers, their attitudes and how much rebellion is to be expected. The answer, of course, depends on the individual. Most families however, go through a difficult patch when their teenager begins to question what they’ve been taught. And it is perfectly acceptable. It is important to keep in mind that, though it can seem overwhelming at times, this period is rarely permanent. In fact, your response to their attitude and new-found voice can either instigate further conflict or bring about a more timely, and peaceful, conclusion.
Remember that your teen’s discovering their own paths through questioning what they know is normal and not a rejection of you as their parent. Though what your teen is now pursuing may be an antithesis to your beliefs and values, it is important to let them figure that out on their guidance. Of course, they will need your guidance during this time, but forcing them to continue to believe as you do is a mistake that pushes many teens away. And though they may conclude differently than you, that in and of itself is not necessarily wrong.
Combining empathy and intuition in order to truly be understanding and supportive, I work with couples, teenagers, and families in order to boost confidence, improve communication skills, and help every person grow to be their very best. Call now for compassionate family therapy sessions that are intended to bring families back together, stronger than ever.