How do you treat an 18-year-old rebel?

We have all been (or are or will be) adolescents at some point in our lives. We know and have experienced many changes, and some will even have gone through a phase of rebellion against their parents, even once they reach adulthood.

And the truth is, while at the time this might seem like the logical way to proceed, the truth is that this behavior can be frustrating for adults, as they may find out when they have their own children. In this context, doubts can arise on how to react, what to do. How do you treat an 18-year-old rebel? In this article, we will try to give ten basic tips to deal with this situation.

    The rebellion in post-adolescence

    Adolescence, the transition from childhood to adulthood, is a process that involves many physical, mental and social changes.

    In addition to those of development, we are faced with a sharp increase in what society demands of us, which is particularly noticeable when we reach the age of majority: legally, we are adults and we must be responsible in as such, despite that we have to mature. adolescence not yet over (in fact, some authors even propose to remain adolescents until the age of 25). We keep experimenting and trying to find each other, In addition to proving our newly acquired identity.

    It is therefore a difficult age for those who live it, and can be a painful and frustrating stage. Likewise, it usually still persists a certain distance from authority figures clean of previous years, derived from its search for a separate identity and the search for and increasing importance of other social relationships.

    All this can lead to the emergence of opposition and rebellious behavior, which can also be a source of anxiety and incomprehension between the now legally adult and his family environment.

    These phenomena persist during the final phase of adolescence, after adolescence, with the characteristic that at this age, the capacity to disobey is greater, Since more resources are available for this.

    10 tips for dealing with a rebellious young man

    Dealing with adolescence and reaching adulthood (legally speaking, at least in our country) can be complicated both for the young person and for his parents, and attitudes of rebellion can appear. In that regard, here are ten tips for dealing with an 18-year-old rebel.

    Now keep in mind that we are talking about rebellious teens, without including the presence of aggressive attitudes and domestic violence.

    1. Establish good communication

    Perhaps the most important thing in any kind of relationship, and especially in a relationship where there is some rebellion and resistance to parental figures, is to establish fluid communication. It is important that this takes into account the possible conflicts that our child may have, and that it does not happen as an interrogation but as a conversation as it should be in which a genuine interest is appreciated. It may be useful to address the young person’s hobbies in order to produce a reconciliation between the two.

      2. Give him space, listen and respect his opinion.

      Our son or daughter is already 18 years old, and he still needs us in his life, he also needs his own space. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care about him, but we accept that he wants and needs to have privacy.

      As for space, the 18-year-old it has its own criterion which, although a little inexperienced, remains valid and must be respected and taken into account. You have to listen to them attentively and without interrupting them: it is not a question of ignoring their point of view but of validating and considering it.

        3. Keep an eye on expectations and compare

        Many conflicts can arise because of their own demands on what the adult should do. It should be understood that we are dealing with an autonomous person with his own ideas and convictions.

        It is important not to try to force them to live the life we ​​wanted to lead and not to demand that they meet our expectations or lead them down the path we wanted to lead. Above all, do not compare them to others: they are precious beings in themselves, as valid as anyone.

        4. Forbidden to prohibit and overprotect

        Banning and censoring without further delay is, especially in the event of a rebellion, totally counterproductive. In fact, the ban will probably be more appetizing to the cutaneous fact of being and at the same time to contravene the imposed standard. In addition, we must keep in mind that he is of legal age and that he has the capacity to make his own decisions, we must consider that we must advise and guide him without being a presence that acts by coercion or imposition.

        On the other hand, overprotecting our child has negative consequences and also leads to a certain distance, not feeling the young person validated and finding that he is considered incapable of making his own decisions. As long as certain limits are not exceeded, he must be allowed to experiment and even to make mistakes.

        5. Set clear limits

        We said in the previous point that it is necessary not to prohibit but that we must not sin by allowing too much. We need to set clear, consistent and consistent limits of conduct, which we need to hold firmly to without being perceived as coercive.

        These are the acts themselves having consequences and that these be known to the young man. This of course includes the treatment of parents and the non-acceptance of violent attitudes or degrading treatment.

        6. Give an example

        An 18-year-old is already perfectly capable of observing when someone says something to him while doing the opposite. Thus, we cannot demand of our children something that we have not shown them: we must be able to set an example so that the young person sees a consistency between what has been said and what has been done. Of course he’s always a different person you have to be careful with demands and expectations that we have in regard to it.

        7. Don’t lose roles and have empathy

        Although it can be difficult, you need to remain calm even in the face of rebellious attitudes and try to understand the point of view of the adolescent / young person. After all, he faces a far more demanding reality than he has been used to until now, as he has entered or is about to enter the adult world. Anger, cries or arguments will generate discomfort and distancing from postures.

        8. Give him the floor and vote

        This point is important because it allows on the one hand to establish a communication and to give it a certain autonomy (not in vain it is already legally of age) and at the same time to respect a certain number of limits. We must give him not only the capacity to speak his own but also to take it into account, being already an adult legally capable of making decisions concerning his own life. It’s not about the young man still taking hisBut let us be able to negotiate an alternative valid for all in the aspects where there is no consensus.

        9. Reinforce positive behaviors

        A common mistake in transitioning to adulthood is to focus on what the child is doing wrong, with the parent’s generally corrective attitude.

        Regardless of our age, we should all be approved and praised for what we do well. therefore it is appropriate to reinforce and congratulate the achievements from now already legally adult, especially those who are important to him. It is also very helpful that any positive behavior is viewed and reinforced, without going into criticism or claims.

        10. Let her know you love her

        This last point may seem obvious, but it is probably one of the most important: No matter how legally an adult our child is, he will now and always need to know that his family was a core of support, that he loves and appreciates. regardless of letting that happen.

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