Treatment for Defiant Teens: Handling Arguments With Your Teen

Teenagers are hard to handle–in treatment for defiant teens, we understand this wholeheartedly. They require patience and the ability to allow insults to roll right off your back, which many parents struggle to do. With teens, life can get pretty tumultuous at times–but with a truly defiant teen, life can seem impossible. Argument after argument after argument, it can get to the point where it feels as if all you do is argue.

There are ways to make things a little bit easier on yourself, though, and even reach your teenager more effectively. Oftentimes, when parents argue with their teen, the teen is blocking everything out and not even trying to hear a different opinion–the trick is to get them to listen.

Tips for arguing with your teen

  1. Don’t Try to Tell Them How They Feel. This is one of the most common mistakes parents make. Your child is yelling at you about how you don’t understand what they’re going through and you slip up and say, “I do know, I went through it, too.” Big mistake. Teenagers don’t look at parents as people who went through adolescence like they’re going through now, so when you try to say that you “understand” already, it just makes them tune you out. Instead, try saying something like, “Okay, maybe I don’t, but help me understand.”
  2. Try to Look Past the Rage. A defiant, screaming teen isn’t just a challenge, they’re also a sign–a sign that something is wrong. In treatment for defiant teens, we often see that parents lose sight of this fact. Trying to look past the rage and into why they’re experiencing these intense emotions is more important than screaming back. Keep your calm and ask them what’s making them feel this way. Is it something you did? Is it something at school? Make sure they know that you’re listening and that you’re there.
  3. You’re Not Always Right. In the heat of the moment, it can be easy for a parent to just end an argument because they don’t like where it’s going–especially if they feel like their teen has a point. For example, maybe their curfew hasn’t changed for the past 4 years and they’re extremely fed up with you about it. Instead of saying, “That’s my decision, I’m the parent, you have to listen,” come at them with, “Okay, let me think about this for a bit, we’ll talk about it again tomorrow.” That gives you time to settle down, take in what they’re saying, consider if they’re right, and then calmly talk about it later. We teach these types of tactics in treatment for defiant teens.
  4. Make Sure They Know You’re There for Them. In treatment for defiant teens, we often find that teens feel as if they have no one to turn to–it’s your job as a parent to establish that connection. When teenagers argue with their parents and have tantrums, a lot of the time it doesn’t have to do with the parent, it has to do with other issues. When this happens, just say something along the lines of, “This argument is over, when you calm down, just know that I’m here to talk about whatever you’re struggling with. You’re not alone.”

Elevations offers treatment for defiant teens

Elevations RTC offers treatment for defiant teens. We’re a residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, extreme defiance, depression, ADHD, drug use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. At Elevations, we use a combination of a focused therapeutic lens, real-world environment, secure setting, and caring staff to foster growth and success in our students. In our treatment for defiant teens, we strive to help our struggling students move towards a brighter future.

For more information about treatment for defiant teens at Elevations RTC, please call .