3 Ways to Manage Defiant, Aggressive Behavior in Teens

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By Jordan Adams

A friend of mine has been working with defiant and aggressive teens for quite a few years. Adam Jones is the president of the Harbor House Foundation, "a ministry dedicated to the health and well being of parents and students."

Through the years of working with struggling and aggressive youth, Adam learned very important truths for managing defiant and aggressive behavior in teens. I had the privilege of corresponding with him a couple days ago. I asked him, "If you had to choose, what are the most important ways that a parent or guardian can manage a teen's aggressive and defiant behavior?"

Over the next couple of weeks, we will get more in depth on how these tips or strategies play out in your home. Here are the 3 valuable pieces of advice:

Working on Aggressive Behavior in Teens

The Parent Should Always Control Themselves
Conversations and arguments WILL get out of control with your teen if you are not controlling yourself. A lot of the time, or most of the time, adolescents push their parent's hot buttons. For some it is intentional, and for some it isn't. Some teens act defiant and rebellious simply to inspire a reaction out of you. As a parent, you cannot react to your teen or their rebellious behaviors.

If you are always arguing with your teen, or if you lose your cool because your teen is openly defiant, you have just taught your teenager that it's OK to behave that way. Whether you see it or not, your teens look to you as an example, even if their harsh words don't say it.

A parent needs to always remember that they cannot control the actions of their teen. That problem alone causes hardships left and right. Parents cannot control their teens decisions. They can however guide, lead, and equip them to deal with their aggression and anger in a healthy way.

The Parent Needs to Recognize the Signs of Potential Aggressiveness in Their Teen
We'll break this down in future articles so that you will be able to fully understand the signs of aggression. While noticing and recognizing the signs is important, there are obvious triggers that anger teens. These triggers need to be identified by the parents so that they will be able to handle themselves when the triggers are present. Briefly, recognizing the signs of potential aggression in teens is often referred to as WAVE: wind up, agitation, verbal abuse, explosion.

If the Parent is the Source of the Problem, They Need to Remove Themselves
If the parent is not controlling themselves, and if the parent is instigating, this will cause a teen's behavior to be aggressive, defiant, and rebellious. An instigating parent is the worst ingredient for managing aggressive behavior in teens. Parents sometimes instigate their children because they don't know any other way of handling their aggressive behaviors. Most troubled teens take offense to such an attack. Adam also provided three points of focus for this one tip. We will study them soon.

Those points are prevention, intervention, and post-vention.

About the Author
Jordan Adams is the Founder and an Author of ResourceToLife.com. The website provides support, resources, and advice for parenting troubled teens. Please come join the parenting community!