Teenage rebellion is considered to be a hallmark of growing up. Countless parents have heard the words, “Every teenager goes through this” or “It’s just a phase!” The good news is that there is no guaranteed model of behavior for teens, and there are effective techniques parents can utilize to calm the stormy waters of adolescence and bring peace and tranquility to the home. The rebellion that parents fear actually takes place on a continuum with well-behaved adolescents on one end and delinquent teens on the other. Most teens will fall somewhere in the middle. Within this continuum, parents will see different types of behavior depending on the unique temperament, personality, and developmental level of their child.
Adolescence often brings various emotional changes in the teenager along with effects on family interactions and relationships with parents or caretakers. Parents can sometimes resort to harsh methods of punishment and consequences. Such methods are not only ineffective, they may also reinforce problematic and unhealthy behaviors and create a stressful home and/or educational environment. When behavioral problems are left unaddressed or are treated using ineffective and unhealthy means, the adolescent can develop a negative self-image and a poor concept of adults and authority figures, causing lasting effects on the teenager’s social and family relationships.
Harsh Parenting versus Tough Love
Many parents who feel overwhelmed with the daily demands of managing work, home, and family resort to harsh parenting in an effort to maintain control over their children’s behavior. Harsh parenting involves yelling, hitting, and using threats of verbal aggression, and often results from adults who are unable to manage their own emotions and become reactive to the adolescent rather than responding with reason and wisdom. Harsh parenting has been found to have negative consequences on adolescent behavior and to contribute to teens not following parents’ rules. Harsh parenting has been found to produce boys who are delinquent, and girls who engage in sexual behavior at an earlier age.
Tough love is different from harsh parenting, and involves loving your child enough to give firm and consistent consequences for their behavior and allowing them to feel the negative impact of their behavior as a way of helping them learn. Tough love is a form of discipline that is geared toward instilling values in our children and helping them learn right from wrong. This is different from punishment which is punitive. The tough love approach requires that the teenager make amends and repair any damage that resulted from their actions and behaviors. In this process, the teenager is taught, through the guidance of the parent, to apply decision-making skills to better handle circumstances in the future. The combination of learning to make better decisions in order to avoid consequences, along with the process of making amends for wrongdoing, allows the teenager to grow and mature from the experience.
Loving Each Child Uniquely
Successful parenting involves understanding that each child is unique and has specific needs. Even within the same family we see children who have very different personalities and temperaments which require different parenting strategies. The age, temperament, emotional maturity, and developmental level of children within the family may vary widely and are all important factors. Parents need to understand that each child is unique and adapt their problem solving strategies and parenting techniques according to the specific needs of the child.
Acting out or rebellious behavior in teens is typically exhibited to mask deeper feelings or issues including fear, pain, or loneliness. It is common for teens to demonstrate how they feel through misbehavior rather than articulating their thoughts and emotions in a mature and straightforward manner. Most teens to not understand the source of their actions. Instead of allowing parents to see them vulnerable or emotional regarding their fears, troubled teens choose isolation and acting out. Parents can be most helpful by allowing teens to fully express themselves, and to listen to them in a nonjudgmental fashion.
It is important for parents to deeply know their changing teenagers, as they grow and develop, and as their unique personalities evolve and take shape. They are no longer the little boys and girls that you once knew, as they near their young adult years. Your teenager wants acceptance at this stage, which is why it is critical for parents to genuinely embrace and understand their teen’s individuality and personality, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Loving each child uniquely is critical for the healthy development of your teenager.
How Brainwave Therapy Can Help
Brainwave music can serve as a powerful and effective tool in providing the adolescent with numerous benefits, such as improved relaxation, increased attention and focus, and overall improved physical and emotional wellbeing. It is commonly overlooked that defiant teenagers suffer from emotional conditions, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, which can be triggered by experiencing consequences of behavioral problems and become precursors to acting out. Brainwave therapy can assist the adolescent in seeking the tranquility and balance needed to engage in positive decision-making, cope with academic or family-related stress, and to succeed in social relationships, which play a central role in this stage of development. Adolescents frequently lack effective verbal abilities to adequately communicate their feelings and inner struggles. Utilizing brainwave music can contribute to emotional well-being and provide a sense of peace and tranquility as they learn, grow, and navigate life’s challenges during this important period of development.