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What Is Considered Defiant Behavior In Teens?

As the parent of a teenager, you can expect some tension. During the teen years, kids try to exert more independence and do things on their own. However, they will also try to do some things that you don’t allow them to do, and they will likely question your authority.

Your teen might test the limits of your rules, or they might even flagrantly break your rules. While your teen is going through this phase, it’s essential to know the difference between typical teenage behavior and defiant behavior.

Almost all teens will push back against their parents’ authority from time to time. Some teens take their rebellion further and display defiant behavior.

What is defiant behavior in teens?

All kids are going to power struggle with their parents or be oppositional from time to time. Little kids might throw a temper tantrum to get their way. They might cry or fight back when you try to bathe them or get them dressed in the morning.

As they get older, they might be cranky sometimes and try to skirt the rules. This is all expected when you have a kid. However, some teens struggle with authority more than others.

Defiant behavior in teens shows up as rebellion against authority. Teens diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) are more likely to fight back against all authority. They might defy your rules at home, get in trouble at school, or even get into legal trouble. According to the CDC, ODD tends to begin around elementary or middle school.

Some signs of defiant behavior include:

  1. Ignoring rules

  2. Frequently arguing with authority figures

  3. Purposefully annoying or antagonizing others

  4. Blaming other people when they get in trouble

  5. Becoming easily annoyed or irritated