Teenage Rebellion Against Parents


Teen life is fraught with passionate development and significant changes. The child undergoes numerous psychological, cognitive, and physical transformations. The transformations have significant impacts on the teen and may result in commotion and bewilderment for the teen and parent. The child may become rebellious and quarrelsome. During teenage, the children develop the desire to be independent (Feinberg, Kan and Hetherington 691).

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They regard themselves as mature. Hence, they are against the parents making decisions on their behalf. Numerous reasons lead to teenagers rebelling against their parents. Feinberg, Kan, and Hetherington hold, “Teenagers rebel against the parents due to the need or search for love, identity, and attention that they feel are lacking, misinterpreted or just not recognized” (694). As the kids turn to teenagers, they develop a different perception of their parents.

Some youths start comparing their parents with those they see on media or with those of their colleagues. Eventually, they conclude that their parents lack some features, therefore getting withdrawn from them. In most cases, the teens assume that the parents do not pay attention to their needs. Nevertheless, the parents are conscious of the teens’ needs, though they might take the time to address them. As a way to draw attention, the youths form an alliance with individuals that they trust are conscious of their needs. Sometimes, the parents do not approve of the company the kids maintain, resulting in conflicts.

Reasons for Rebellion

Teens and relatives have conflicting definitions of love. The teenagers understand love as being accorded the liberty to do things. On the other hand, the parents consider love as ensuring that youths are on the right at all times. Therefore, parents reprimand youths whenever they go wrong. The kids do not take the retribution positively. Instead, they regard it as an infringement on their freedom. Eventually, the teens begin to associate with individuals who do not care about what they do.

For them, they consider such individuals as loving since they give them freedom. That is not the case. Such people lack authentic love and cannot assist teenagers, even when they are in trouble. The conflicting definition of love amid adolescents and parents leads to the youths looking for love in the wrong places, thus turning rebellious (Kakihara et al. 1448). It becomes hard for the parents to convince the teens that they have their interests at heart. The pursuit of love leads to the youths engaging in criminal activities due to bad company. For them, they value any form of attention without considering if it might have adverse repercussions.

Teenagers do not realize that they are the source of their happiness (Kakihara et al. 1451). Instead, they believe that they can draw happiness from parents, society, or friends. As a result, they expect the parents to consider their happiness at all times. They do not care if their happiness may have adverse impacts on the parents or siblings. For the case of grownups, they understand that happiness emanates from one’s attitude about him/herself and life.

Therefore, they are unlikely to look for happiness from other people. It underlines the reason the adults are not rebellious. Failure to realize that happiness comes from oneself leads to the teens rebelling against the parents and society. The youths rebel against any rule that seems to compromise their happiness. They consider the rules to be oppressive even if they are meant for their safety.

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A study on youths found that they loved their parents (Parkin and Kuczynski 48). However, a majority of the adolescents claimed that they were against the parents influencing their decisions. One teenager argued that the parents did not have to dictate what she should eat or wear. According to the youth, the parents should give her the freedom to decide on matters involving her life. That is the only way that the parents would show that they love her.

Some teens rebel against the parents due to the desire to be spoilt and treated in a special way. The teens claim that parents spend most of their time at work and leave them with the house helps. It becomes difficult for teens to share their problems with their parents because they are ever busy. With time, they divert their love from parents to friends. Some youths turn to technology as the final consolation (Parkin and Kuczynski 52).

They start to hate their parents and view them as careless. The situation degenerates such that it is hard for the parents to relate to the teens. Whenever they try to communicate with the teens, they become rebellious. Others decline to be open to the parents and prefer sharing their problems with fellow youths who might mislead them.

Parents should understand that teenagers require their attention (Luthar and Ansary 234). The teens want their parents to notice every change that arises as they grow. Whenever they realize that the parents are not paying attention, they can engage in any activity to draw their attention. Therefore, the parents have the responsibility to be available for teens whenever they need them. Failure of the parents to pay attention to the teens leads to the youths seeking attention from other sources.

In most cases, the parents do not approve the alternative sources, thus leading to conflicts with the teens. The parents have to make their sons and daughters realize that they love them and have their interest at heart. As the kids grow, they expect the parents to cease controlling all their affairs. Luthar and Ansary claim, “Parents should show their teenagers that they will have more control over their decision-making to the extent that parents can trust them to make wise decisions” (239). The primary mistake that parents make is a failure to explain to the youths the reason they get involved in their decision-making. The kids consider the actions of the parents as dictatorial. Hence, they rebel to disapprove of what the parents are doing.

Identity crisis commences during teenage. The youths struggle to find answers to numerous mysteries regarding themselves. The parents have the responsibility to assist the kids in discovering their identity. The conflict arises when the parents help the children to develop their identities based on their full potential. The youths seek to forge their identities based on what they can do. They focus on the image they portray to the society.

Conversely, the parents pay attention to the full potential of the teenagers (Maughan and Moore 51). In the process, a misunderstanding arises, leading to the youths becoming rebellious. Apart from the struggle for identity, some teenagers become revolutionary as they try to fit in a particular group. Most teenagers prefer doing what the colleagues are doing even if their parents are against it. They do not appreciate the significance of standing out from a crowd.

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Doing what friends are doing makes the youths develop a sense of belonging. On the other hand, the parents view it as a limitation as the youths cannot discover their full potential. An attempt by parents to encourage their teens to be different is subject to stiff opposition. The kids view it as a ploy by the parents to deprive them of the opportunity to have friends.


Teenagers rebel against parents due to the desire to be loved. Besides, they revolt due to the need to draw attention, forge an identity and be free to make their decisions. Many youths claim that they do not hate their parents. However, they do not prefer the parents influencing their decisions.

The teenagers argue that the involvement of parents in decision-making amounts to an infringement on their freedom. The youths consider themselves as mature people who can make sound decisions without the influence of the parents. On the other hand, the parents regard the teens as immature individuals who need parental guidance. Failure of parents to pay attention to the youths prompts the teens to indulge in unethical acts as they seek care.

In other instances, the teens associate with bad people as they try to find love and attention. Eventually, the parents disapprove their company leading to conflicts. Parents should understand that teenage is a sensitive stage of transition. As a result, they should pay attention to their children and love them. Besides, they should look for appropriate methods of collecting the teens whenever they are wrong and not reprimand them as they might turn rebellious.

Works Cited

Feinberg, Mark, Marni Kan and Mavis Hetherington. “The Longitudinal Influence of Coparenting Conflict on Parental Negativity and Adolescent Maladjustment.” Journal of Marriage and Family 69.3 (2007): 687-702. Print.

Kakihara, Fumiko, Lauree Tilton-Weaver, Margaret Kerr and Hakan Stattin. “The Relationship of Parental Control to Youth Adjustment: Do Youths’ Feelings About their Parents Play a Role?” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 39.12 (2010): 1442-1456. Print.

Luthar, Suniya and Nadia Ansary. “Dimensions of Adolescent Rebellion: Risks for Academic Failure Among High- and Low-Income Youth.” Development and Psychopathology 17.1 (2005): 231-250. Print.

Maughan, Daniel and Simon Moore. “Dimensions of Child Neglect: An Exploration of Parental Neglect and its Relationship with Delinquency.” Child Welfare 89.4 (2010): 47-65. Print.

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Parkin, Melanie and Leon Kuczynski. “Adolescent Perspectives on Rules and Resistance Within the Parent-Child Relationship.” Journal of Adolescent Research 11.1 (2012): 45-63. Print.

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