What to Do About Incorrigible Teenagers

By Candice Coleman
Arguments can arise because of a teen's desire for independence.
Arguments can arise because of a teen's desire for independence.

As teenagers age, new problems will surface between parents and their children, including broken curfews, trouble at work or school, or arguments because of a power struggle. Though the road to recovery is long, parents and teenagers can find ways to work together and co-exist peacefully.

Adjusting Your Approach to Difficult Teenagers

Do most conversations with your incorrigible teenager begin and end with you raising your voice? Tensions between parents and teens can surface because of communication problems, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Speak calmly and walk away if you or your child become aggressive. Parents can also make the mistake of cornering teenagers for an answer, when giving a teen distance for a while might be best. Whenever you approach your teenager, make a conscious effort to focus on solving the problem instead of assigning blame.

Discipline for Teens

Setting rules with your teenager's input might seem counter-intuitive, but it makes teens more likely to follow them, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Show teens that you are willing to listen to their comments and compromise in some cases. Find a punishment that relates to the teenager's behavior such as withdrawing car privileges for staying out past curfew.

Solving Underlying Problems

A teenager's incorrigible behavior could be caused by other problems in his life. Depression occurs in as many as one in 13 adolescents, and it can contribute to aggressive or irritable behavior, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. External influences such as problems at school, work, with friends or a girlfriend could also be a source of frustration. Find a calm time to ask your son about his life, and show an interest in his hobbies and activities. Listening to his difficulties, and asking him whether he would like advice from you, might be able to help teens and parents mend the rift between them.

Picking your Battles

Teenagers crave independence as they get older, and parents would be wise to figure out which arguments are worth pursuing and which are best left alone, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Allowing your teenager the freedom to pick her school accessories, hairstyles and bedroom decorations can ease tensions. Parents should offer guidance on more serious matters such as which classes teens should take or how late friends can visit the house. Complimenting your daughter's positive choices might not only boost her self-esteem, but make her view you more positively too, according to Kids Health.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.