With oppositional and defiant teens, there are several levels of behavior. Some throw anger tantrums with screaming and cursing, whereas others are physically abusive and violent. Usually, teens who are exhibiting oppositional and defiant behavior view themselves as a victim who is being treated unfairly. As a result, they feel as though their behavior is perfectly justified and, as such, continue to act out.
Change Starts at the Top and Parents Need to Be Involved
Parents who are dealing with this in their teenage sons spend countless hours researching ways to find treatment for oppositional, defiant teen boys. While many parents consider sending their teen off to a boarding school or treatment facility, there are ways that you can help this behavior at home. Change starts with the family, and you can make a big difference in your teenage son’s life and actions.
Video: Help Your Oppositional and Defiant Teen Help Themselves
You may feel defeated, stressed out, and exhausted, but there are things you can do to reduce oppositional, defiant behavior in your teenage son. Here are four of the most effective ways to manage your son when he is acting out.
#1: Remember to keep your cool. As frustrated as you may get, you need to respond to your oppositional, teen boy without any sign of anger. Try to remain as calm and rational as possible. Acknowledge and name the behavior, explain your side of how you see it, and then explain how your teen can change his behavior. Disengage from the conversation after this, as this will prevent arguments.
#2: Be clear, be consistent. Oppositional, defiant teen boys will try their best to cut their parents down and exhaust them until they reach the point where they just give in and give their son what he wants. You need to be strong, and be clear in your expectations. When stating the consequences for the behavior, remain consistent in your follow through. Do not give in.
#3: Remember to not take it to heart. It’s hard to not take your teen’s behavior personally, but you have to stay as neutral and objective as possible. You need to be clear and concise, and remind him that you are the parent. You are the authority, and you do not need to give into a power struggle. Remain calm, and maintain your place of authority. There is no negotiating – this is parenting.
#4: You are not the friend – you are the parent. As much as you want your teen to like you, parenting is not a personality contest. There will be times that your oppositional, defiant teen boy will not like you. In fact, he will probably yell things like “I hate you,” or curse at you. Expect this, and do not let it rattle you. Set limits with your child and follow through by giving him consequences and holding him accountable for his actions.
While it may be hard to parent an oppositional, defiant teen boy, it’s important that you do your best to remain calm and consistent. Ultimately, it comes down to what is the most important thing for your child, and being firm and authoritative is exactly that. It does take a lot of work and support from the influencers in your teen’s life – family, the school system, and even supportive peers – but it can be done.