Rebellious children

Exceptional ways to deal with rebellious teenagers


Parenting a rebellious child can be highly stressful. Rebellion in children is typical in teens, with the peak at 13-17 years of age. The indicators of rebellion in teenagers include; 

  • Extreme disobedience 
  • Unstable emotions – intense anger and short temper
  • Drug abuse 
  • Trouble-making
  • Neglecting assignments 
  • Lying and dishonesty
  • Engagement in dangerous activities and behaviours

In dealing with such teenagers, it is essential to identify the root causes of the rebellion and forge a way forward. The environment where the children operate and live plays a vital role in the uprising behaviours. Sexual assault and marital problems are causes of rebellion in children. Any normal human being who has been a victim of physical/emotional abuse and peer pressure can quickly become rebellious. Teenagers are not an exception.


  • Accept the situation.

The best way to handle the situation is by owning the problem. Accept that your child has changed, and the core business is to improve things. Avoid comparing him/her to other children because till just hurts more. Stop being judgmental before hearing the child’s side of it’s okay.

  • Engage the teens in finding possible solutions.

This gives you the opportunity to determine the nature of the problem, clarify the problem and decide on the solution together. Everyone has had his/her share of problems. It gets worse when nobody seems to care. It hurts. Some rebellious teenagers just need a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on and someone to count on without being judged. Simple. As you engage them, always remember to have your emotions under check. Talk less, listen more. However, don’t forget to share your feelings. Whenever he/she gets angry, postpone the discussion. Give them space.

  • Be appreciative.

Appreciate the little efforts made contrary to the bad behaviours. Applaud them for any job well done, no matter how small. Focus on the good behaviours while constantly reminding them of how precious and valuable they are. This cultivates a sense of self-worth, which is essential in behaviour change. Additionally, identify their talents and/or hobbies and support them. Sponsor them to attend those sports competitions, gift them with skateboards etc. This would help distract them from the bad groups or activities.

  • Set rules and make boundaries clear.

Always engage them during this process and agree together. Outline the consequences in case of any disobedience. Although this ought to be done before teen age, regular reminders are necessary as the children grow.

In conclusion, it is possible to eliminate the rebellion in teenagers. It all depends on how you handle the situation and what stage. Therefore, accept the situation first and early enough and  have your emotions under control. Engage them to find solutions and learn to appreciate them in any possible way.


Judith Akinyi


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *