Stop Teenage Rebellion Before It Begins

Image of a teen daughter ignoring her father.

We’ve all seen or been on the receiving end of teenage rebellion. If you are a teacher, parent, or guardian of a teen, then you know these teenage years can be stressful. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be!

Most theories dealing with teens and teenage rebellion have focused on factors such as physical changes, emerging sexuality, new social pressures, and struggles between being a child and becoming an adult. As young people grow, conflicts arise. A prime reason is that the teen wants to become independent, but adults continue to exert authority with coercion and expect obedience.

Attempts to control often lead to counterwill—the natural human tendency to resist being controlled. This leads to a power struggle, which then leads to more resistance, reluctance, resentment, and even rebellion. Rebellion is NOT inevitability a function of development.

I believe the real reason for teenage rebellion is that young people become more confident to resist authority. They have acquired enough strength and resources to no longer fear power or threats from adults. So in fact, teens do not rebel against adults; they rebel against the power adults attempt to use on them.

If adults were to use noncoercive types of influence from the beginning, there would be nothing to rebel against. When you use authority without coercion, power struggles do not arise. The use of power and coercion to change another person has severe limitations and often come before people realize the power struggles they have created.

Tip: Maintain a mindset of sharing and asking questions to influence teens rather than to control.


Live Without Stress

Teaching, parenting, and simply living can be stressful at times. That’s why I wrote my newest book Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. If you’re looking for stress management advice, check it out. The book is available as a print book (Buy one and get a second copy free to give as a gift), as an eBook, and as an audio book at