The words “teenage” and “rebellion” may seem like they go hand in hand, but it hasn’t always been that way. In the past, getting older meant a child was becoming an adult. Ask yourself a question about any behavior that you have been calling “rebellion.” Is this behavior simply your child becoming an adult? Sometimes what we label as rebellion may simply be our child making decisions for themselves.
How do I Deal with Teenage Rebellion?
One thing that may help is to think about choices other adults make. If your child makes a decision you don’t agree with, but it’s a decision other adults make all the time, maybe it isn’t rebellion at all! An example might be your child’s choice in clothing, or how they style their hair. Their choices may not be your choices, but are those choices ok? If another adult made that choice, would you be upset or confused? If not, perhaps it’s an ok choice for your child to make.
Here is a picture of one of my children’s favorite teenage “rebellions” – facial hair!
One way to prevent or curb teenage rebellion is to give your children choices in their homeschool. Instead of dictating when each task must be done, they list tasks that must be done. “Finish these ten things before 5:00,” for example. This leaves the child to decide when they want to complete each task. Some children would prefer to get up at 5:00 and be done by noon! Is that wrong, or just a choice they are making? What if they get up at noon and don’t finish their schoolwork until 5:00? Is that wrong or just a choice?
In my home, I made my kids finish their work by 4:00. Giving them a choice didn’t work well with our family. I needed my husband to “play the heavy” in some areas, so they had to be done before he got home. Then he would work his magic and make sure work was all done each day. We had sports in the afternoons and I didn’t do well in homeschool mode after dinner. Having them turn in assignments during my own time of fatigue would have been horrendous! More than anything, decide what works for your family!
How do you curb teenage rebellion? What choices do you give your children in your homeschool? Please share!
Please note: This post was originally published in May 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.