Is My Teen’s Behavior Normal?


The culture has changed, but teenagers haven’t.  They are still focused on trying to fit in with their peers and to make sense out of life.  But parents can get confused by their changes in attitude and the independence they seek, assuming their teenager is becoming rebellious.

It’s normal for teenagers to fail to do their chores without ten reminders, to put off their homework, to be emotional, to lose important things, to like music that is too loud, and to sometimes counter or question authority.  That’s all pretty typical, though it can be aggravating to parents.

To compare, let’s look at what’s abnormal . . . sudden profound changes in personality, angry outbursts of profanity, extreme disrespect for people and things, addictions, sudden failing grades, not sleeping or sleeping too much, extreme weight loss, eating disorders, self-harm, running away, or self-imposed isolation. Continue reading “Is My Teen’s Behavior Normal?”

Handling an Angry Teen

When your thought patterns rub up against those of your teenager, you can either take it personally and get upset yourself, or you can use it as an opportunity to help bring healing and a new perspective to your child.

Teens get angry for a number of reasons; from fear, feelings of injustice, insecurity, loneliness, overactive hormones, lack of sleep, peer bullying, a growing need for independence and just trying to make sense out of life.  Parents get angry when their teens behave in ways that aren’t appropriate or if they feel their children aren’t showing them proper respect.  If parents don’t understand that their teenager’s anger may be about something totally separate from them, they might go about lighting the fuse in the dynamite by reacting too harshly.  So, guess which party needs to “man up” and defuse the situation? Continue reading “Handling an Angry Teen”

Don’t Run from Conflict

When parents avoid conflict, they are avoiding some of the greatest teaching opportunities they will ever have.

Does anyone like conflict?  No. It’s not a fun or enjoyable experience; however it is necessary, and if used properly, conflict can be a precursor to change. It’s very unlikely that a lasting change will come without at least some measure of conflict and struggle. As Ben Franklin put it, “The door to success swings on the hinges of opposition.”

Conflict usually turns ugly when it is met with reluctance, insensitivity or immaturity by either party. It’s a given that our kids will act immature, so it is up to us parents to be mature and take the higher road. Continue reading “Don’t Run from Conflict”