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Dealing With A Rebellious Teenager? Rebellion Is Normal

Teen rebellion. We all recognize the signs: eye rolling, deep sighs, staying out late, maybe even dying our hair. Oh no, you’ve got an angsty teen in the house!

Although lately it seems as if there is a rebellious teen in every single movie that fits all of these stereotypes, rebelling isn’t just a cliché. Many teens feel that they need to rebel in order to distance themselves from their parents.

Teenage Rebellion Against Parents

Rebellion honestly doesn’t just have to be staying out late, doing drugs, and having sex. We like to rebel against our parents’ values. If a parent is obviously okay with their teenager having sex in high school, then that kid might swear off sex until marriage. If a parent wasn’t the valedictorian in high school and sees no reason for their teenager to be, that teenager might push himself to be the valedictorian simply as a way to distance himself from his parent. We might even rebel in a simple way, like refusing to do our homework before we watch television.

Basically, when we’re in our teenage years, most of us don’t want to be like our parents. It doesn’t matter if you’re the “cool parent”—in fact, sometimes this can be even more embarrassing. We want independence, and it can be hard to obtain, even with a driver’s license and a job. This is why we’re pushed to rebel.

Not All Rebellion Is The Same

Obviously, most parents would not like their teens to be out late, drinking and doing drugs, skipping school, or any of the other “typical” rebellious things that some of us do in our teens. But I believe a healthy amount of rebellion is completely normal and can even help us figure out who we are. No matter how great a parent you may be, you shouldn’t want a carbon copy of yourself. Rebelling helps open our world to things that we wouldn’t have experienced had we not tried to get a little distance from the things our parents believe they know best.

So, parents, although teen rebellion is painted as a pretty terrible thing in the media lately, please be willing to believe it can help your teen too. It can be a learning experience. We’re trying something out to see if it works for us, kind of like trying out for the track team or a school play. A lot of it is nothing to worry about and, quite honestly, you should expect it from your teen.

Isabella Jaffery is a sophomore in high school.

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