It happens to many families. Your child is growing up and everything is going smoothly, then wham! Puberty hits, and everything changes. Suddenly they become teenagers. They’re moodier. They start to hang out with new people at school. They don’t want to do all the fun things they used to do. And they don’t want to listen to you anymore.
It’s like a whole new person somehow took over your child’s body and morphed them into someone different. The cute little kid who loved doing things with you suddenly turned into a defiant teen who refuses to listen. Seemingly overnight, life became harder. Now you have to worry about your teen’s grades at school and figure out how to get them to follow the house rules again.
Unfortunately, parenthood doesn’t come with a manual. There’s no section titled “How to respond to a defiant teenager” to give easy set-by-step instructions. You can try numerous strategies, and it’s good to sort through them all to see what works best for your family.
Understanding teenage defiant behavior
Teenage defiant behavior is prevalent. Little kids want the approval of their parents and other adult authority figures all the time. They want you to watch them, interact with them, and be proud of them. As kids reach puberty, hormones kick in and shifts the way they think, act, and feel.
During adolescence, kids stop craving approval from family and authority and start craving approval from peers. Teens and tweens want to fit in with their friends and find a place in a social circle. If they perceive family and authority as a hindrance to their autonomy or social standing, you end up with a defiant teenager.
How to help a defiant teenager
As the parent of a defiant teen, it’s important for you to help curb their behavior before it gets them into real trouble. Teenage defiant behavior is rarely confined to one aspect of life. Teens who flaunt authority can end up in trouble at home, at school, and with the law.
It’s tough to know precisely how to help a defiant teenager. Different things work well for other kids, so you need to choose something that will work well for your kid. Fortunately, there are numerous options on where to send a defiant teenager for help.
Local therapy sessions
Depending on how severe your teen’s defiant behavior is, you might be able to start with local therapy sessions. Professional counselors can help a defiant teenager by getting them to think about and address how they feel. Teens are known for acting without thinking, and therapy can get them to start thinking.
Lots of teens act out and show defiance to assert autonomy and get respect from their peers. Through therapy, defiant teens can learn more positive techniques for gaining independence and admiration from those around them.
Therapeutic day schools
Some communities have therapeutic day schools for students who need additional classroom support. Teenage defiant behavior does not go well in most traditional schools. So, therapeutic schools take a slightly different approach to schooling. Some communities have therapeutic day schools for students who need additional classroom support.
Students still attend class every day like usual, but there are multiple trained therapists on staff to intervene as needed. Rather than immediately getting into trouble for their defiant behavior, students work with teachers and therapists to learn to manage their behavior and graduate on time.
Residential boarding schools
For teens with major defiance issues, residential boarding schools can be the best option. Students live on campus and receive therapeutic support throughout the day.
Residential boarding schools are designed to help students:
Learn to follow rules
Learn to develop routines
Learn basic life skills
Learn to think about their behavior
Try new activities to find positive interests
Develop leadership skills
Improve their relationships with family
There are various types of residential boarding schools to choose from. When thinking about where to send a defiant teenager, look for a therapeutic boarding school that will help your teen improve their mindset and behavior.
If you want more information about our therapeutic boarding school for defiant teen boys, contact us at 866-224-2733.