What Do You Do With A Defiant Teenager?
Adolescence is one of the most important stages in human development. Young adulthood is often referred to as one’s best years. However, your teen may be exhibiting behaviors that have become worrisome. These behaviors and acts of defiance are significantly affecting the quality of the important developmental and experiential milestones they should reach. This can create severe tension in your family dynamic, causing anger, frustration, and guilt. However, there are options and solutions to help your teen and heal the family dynamic.
Your teen may be exhibiting signs of defiance, but often that is only a surface level reaction to a deeper issue at play. Defiant teenager programs, such as the one at Pacific Life Teen Program, provide options for teens and their families by providing teens with a therapeutic space. This would help in determining the root cause of the defiant behavior.
Defiance can surface as many different behaviors. If you recognize these behaviors as coinciding with your teen’s, you may want to consider a therapeutic approach.
Rebellious teens are known for:
- Refusing to do any school work (either in class or at home)
- Using drugs
- Abandoning hobbies or sports that were once loved
- Cutting off important relationships
- Causing themselves (or others) physical harm
Anger and defiance will linger as long as the negative root stimulus is present. When the painful stimulus is left without treatment, the condition is known to worsen. Emotional reactions will increase and distress will heighten. A therapist will be able to help a teen remove that toxic stimulus, and work on maintaining and developing a healthy means of managing emotions.
What happens when treatment is not sought? Sometimes parents or guardians will think that teenagers will grow out of their defiant stage, even though it is significantly impacting the quality of their life. If there is no treatment option, the negative stimulus will never be eliminated. This will cause tension and anger to remain. Even if the negativity goes away for a while, it is likely to resurface later on, since no healing has taken place.
Consequences for teenage rebellion if left untreated:
- Drug and alcohol dependence
- Severed familial ties
- Low confidence of feelings of inadequacy
- Severe bouts of depression and/or anxiety
- Self-harm or suicide
One of the most common defiance disorders among children and young adults is Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ODD. This disorder can often be noticed when a child is quite young, but severe symptoms may not arise until the teenage years. The main symptoms of ODD include a pattern that frequently consists of being:
- Extremely irritable
- Unreasonably angry
How To Deal With A Oppositional Defiant Teenager
Oppositional defiance usually surfaces at a young age. The behaviors associated with ODD significantly affect work, school, and normal day-to-day life. One of the key factors of ODD is the consistent pattern. This is not just a random here and there tantrum. This is a calculated routine of defiance. Most times, defiant teenagers will be completely blind to their behavior. They will see nothing wrong with how they are acting. This is the first red flag that should be noticed by parents: a lack of remorse and insight.
In order for teenagers to successfully overcome Oppositional Defiant Disorder, they first need to be able to recognize that their behavior is wrong. Professional therapists will provide optimal guidance in this area, without damaging the relationship you share with your teen.
The Pacific Life Teenage Program gives defiant teenagers the opportunity to reach their full potential as students, while also mending the family dynamic. The positive and engaging atmosphere provides a safe place where teenagers will know they are cared for. Each student is assigned a therapist who creates an individualized plan to guide him/her on the road to recovery and diminishes the destructive behaviors.
Pacific Life Program is a therapeutic boarding school that gives defiant teenagers the opportunity to reach their full potential as students.