Why Do Teenagers Rebel Against Parents?

Teenagers rebel against their parents in response to social stimulation and psychological changes in their brains. Brains of teenagers and adolescents develop at a rapid pace. As children progress through the teenage years, the developmental center of their brains expands and allows teenagers to form ideas and develop independent thoughts, which often conflicts with ideas and concepts held by parents.

The prefrontal cortex, which controls learning, development and emotions, grows rapidly during adolescence. Teenagers gain the ability to reason and think independently. This leads to challenging and questioning of norms and rules typically imposed on children by parents. Teenagers express differences in opinions by arguing with parents and voicing concerns and doubts. In addition to physical changes, social atmosphere plays a role in teenage rebellion. Teenagers strive to fit in with friends and peers. They sometimes engage in risky behavior such as drinking, shoplifting and other activities against the will of their parents. Most teenagers engage in risky behavior because the emotional and logical sections of their brains grow at different speeds. Although teenagers seem unruly to parents, adults who spend time with children and encourage communication and conversation transform interactions with children from shouting matches to adult dialogue. Parents should praise teens for good behavior but reprimand bad behavior to distinguish right from wrong.