How to Improve the Defiant Behavior of Teenagers

Defiance is one of the least favorable aspects of parenting 1. Most parents find that their teen’s defiant behavior is enough to anger and infuriate them. It would be great if your teen did exactly what you wanted her to do at all times, but the fact of the matter is that teens are downright defiant on occasion. You're not the only parent dealing with a sometimes defiant adolescent, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Find a way to improve your teen’s defiant behavior and life should become easier on you and the whole family.

Explain the consequences of exhibiting defiant behavior to your teenager, advises the American Academy of Pediatrics. When your teen knows exactly what discipline he will face for behaving defiantly, he is more likely to behave accordingly. Tell your teen that any time he defies your wishes about something, he will suffer a specific type of consequence, such as the loss of a privilege or grounding.

Take away a privilege, such as watching television, talking on the phone, using the Internet or going out with friends. According to the Children’s Trust Fund of Massachusetts, a program designed to offer support and help for families, your teen is not going to like having things she loves taken from her, which is incentive for her to improve her defiant behavior in the future.

Keep his punishments short-term. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your teen will not learn to improve his defiant behavior if you ground him for a month. In fact, this type of punishment will do just the opposite; it will teach him that he has nothing left to lose, and defying your wishes, rules or punishment is no longer important to him.

Open the lines of communication between you and your teen, advises the Children’s Trust Fund of Massachusetts. When you do this, you encourage your teen to openly discuss with you in a mature manner why she views your rules or anything else as unfair. When she’s comfortable enough to discuss these things with you, she’s less likely to defy you or your rules. If she thinks her 9 p.m. weekend curfew is a joke and she feels comfortable coming to you about this, you can compromise on something that satisfies you both rather than her staying out late and breaking curfew.

article divider