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Teens and Power Struggles

Understand Them


Power struggles tend to come as a shock to a parent who is raising their first teenager. With this shock comes a lot of emotion. You will get angry and your teenager will get angry. Then you feel guilty and worried. You will wonder where your sweet child went - maybe even, where you went wrong.

So, let me put your mind at ease. This is normal behavior. These are normal feelings. When someone is angry with you, it is normal to be angry back with him or her. It does not matter if you understand adolescent's development inside and out, or if you use every parenting skill given on this site. You will have angry and hurt feelings. The trick is to learn what positive discipline, what to do in power struggle situations while your feeling angry and hurt.

Understand Their Development

There are many reasons that you will begin to see an increase in power struggles when your child becomes a teenager. Here are the main three:

  1. Hormones is the number one reason you will see an increase in power struggles with your teenager. It is as simple, or as complicated, as that. Generally this starts as much as two years earlier in girls then in boys. Puberty is starting its tap dance on your child, and it will not end for quite a long time.

    This means that he may not even realize why he is arguing about an issue this week that didn't bother him last week. Mainly because along with his changing voice comes some moodiness. Consequently, there will be times that you will need to kiss the issue up to heaven and not bother doing battle.

  2. Critical thinking skills begin to develop during puberty, and no one is quite sure when these skills stop developing. Children entering the teen life stage are now able to think in gray areas. No longer is everything black and white. Combine this with the fact that they still want to hang on to childhood fantasies and you will begin to understand just how many shades of gray there are in the color spectrum. Power struggles are going to start because you may never be on the same shade of gray as your teenager.

  3. Teens begin to see parents as fallible human beings. (*OUCH*) Not only can they see why things are right and wrong, they've learned to project it onto their parents. They will also let parents know what they feel in matters of opinion. Since you are the stable figure in your teen’s life, you are his first target and the one that will be aimed at the most as he practices and develops his own ideas. Power struggles will arise as your teenager pokes and prods at your beliefs in politics, religion, etc.

So, what do you do? Start by reading on to the next page.

Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens

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