Even before the first year of life is complete, a baby learns that they are separate from their parents. Around the time they reach toddlerhood, they begin working on establishing who they are as an individual by exercising their right to say “no” and by demanding they do everything on their own. As they get a little bit older, they continue to develop a sense of themselves although it is often not as apparent until the teenage years. The main developmental goal for the teenage years is developing a sense of self, most often apart from their parents and the rest of their family.
This can be a difficult process for some parents because many parents begin day dreaming about their child’s future before their child is even born! You may already have an idea of what you would like your child’s future to be like and an idea of what they must do in order to reach those goals, and you are lucky if your child’s goals are the same. If you are one of the parents whose teenagers are rebelling against your values, beliefs, rules, etc the teenage years can be quite
difficult. It may be helpful to know that typically as teens get into their early 20s they will be passed the rebellion stage and often times return to the values that were instilled in them growing up.
So why is it that some teenagers rebel and others do not? Although there is no formula to answer this question, there are a few things that can contribute to it. Let me make it clear now though that the answer does not often lie with any one thing, but is most likely a combination of factors together.
- Personality and temperament- We all have differences in our personality and temperament and these differences can play a part in how forcefully your teen will rebel against you. For instance, a person who naturally likes to please others is less likely to rebel than a teen who is less concerned with how others see him or her.
- Peers- Parents and family are the most influential people in a person’s life during the early childhood years. As children get into middle school and high school age their peers become more influential. The type of friends your child surrounds him or herself with can determine some of theirbehaviors as they are likely to act accordingly to fit in.
- Parenting styles & relationship- The type of relationship a teen has with their parents can impact the likelihood of the teen to rebel as well as the parenting style in terms of flexibility and control.