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Behaviour Problems of Adolescent and their solution


The adolescent period is a time of speedy growth and change in physically, mentally and socially. Some teenagers face numerous challenges and such changes can be frightening, while others take it in their stride. As teens begin to assert their freedom, some common behaviour problems arise. While misbehaviour like deceitful, replying back and lying may not seem like much to handle, they can intensify quickly by aiding trouble in teen behaviours like drug use or open disobedience and violence leaving teen out of control and parents find themselves helpless.

Major causes of behaviour problem in teens:

For teens, parents divorcing, a death in the family and the birth of a sibling are triggers for misbehaviour. Some children suffer from emotional and behavioural disorders that require professional treatment. These children display a range of behavioural, emotional and social disabilities that often manifest in poor performance at school and ultimately, frequent interactions with law enforcement.

Mental health specialists diagnose behavioural disorders of teens after performing standardized tests, referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder and gathering information on the child’s behavioural history from family, teachers and others.

Signs of behavioural problems in teens:

  1. Disrupts others
  2. Acts impulsively
  3. Seems preoccupied or inattentive
  4. Reacts negatively to change
  5. Exhibits aggressive, intimidating or bullying behaviour
  6. Has low self-esteem
  7. Takes risks without regard for personal safety
  8. Manipulates others
  9. Has frequent temper tantrums
  10. Argues with adults
  11. Upsets others deliberately
  12. Seeks revenge

Common behaviour problems of teens are mentioned below:

  • Major behaviour problem in teenage is lying. It is a teen’s behaviour use as a means to escape. They get caught doing something wrong, and in order to protect themselves, they lie. Sometimes teen wants something, and does not want parents or elders to know about it, then they lie. They will lie to parents, their teachers or their friends' parents for their friend. At times, it may seem like even they believe the lie. This is because teens do not always see telling a lie as a real mistake or misbehaviour. They often explain away lies by reasoning them away, placing the blame of the lie on the parent. Some teens even see lying as a way to keep their parents from becoming too stressed. It is important for parents of teenagers to impress upon them that lying is not right at any time and not correct behaviour for family to forgive.
  • - Some adolescents lie for Self Defence. Teenagers often resort to telling lies to save them from any kind of anger. If parents find that their teens are doing something wrong and they catch them, they quickly make up for the act by telling a lie. This situation can get worse in the long run. Parents must control it by authoritative approach.
  • Teen also misbehaves in school. It is very difficult for a parent to handle such issue that happen at school because parents are not there to witness the problem. Parents do not often find out there is a problem until it is too late or if they disagree with how the problem is being handled by the school officials. But, this behaviour problem of the teen must have to be fixed. Otherwise, in later stage, teens may have adjustment problems with social group and other relatives.
  • It is often observed that teen is engaging in risk taking behaviours. It has become a biological fact that teens engage in risk taking behaviours like dating the bay boy and sending inappropriate messages via cell phone or Facebook to teen drug use and immoral sexual behaviour. In teenage, brain is still developing, so they do not always understand the scope of their misbehaviour until they know the consequences. Parents must handle this behaviour problem by setting up rules and limits, being clear with messages and using consequences
  • Arguing is another behaviour problem of teen. It is disrespectful and talks back. There are numerous reasons that a teen will get angry, argue with and talk back to a parent. Sometimes, teen has something to say, it is important to them and the parents are not interested and do not want to listen. The teen has learned that arguing is the best way to focus attention of parents. The teen develops lack of respect for the parent. If parents do not pay attention, teen continue to argue.
  • Swearing is also teen’s behaviour Problem. Swearing is a bad habit that is learned through modelling and normally learned well before the teen years begin. It is the responsibility of parents to give their teen a clear message and set up a consequence. Then be consistent and follow through each time teen swears.
  • Sometimes teens want to stay aloof. Teenager suddenly stay aloof or away from family and relatives because he/she no longer enjoy company of parents or siblings. They suddenly become reserved and detached and demands sufficient space. At this stage, he/she may want company of same age teenagers and not the caring family. It is recommended to give teen the space he/she needs.
  • Some teens are addicted to Social Media and Electronic Gadgets. This is the time when the life of teen spins only around mobile phones, virtual social networking and other gadgets and gizmos. They usually becomes less communicative and rely more on virtual connection. Even while dining or in a social gathering, teens stuck to their devices like smartphones or tablets. Parents can interact regularly to resolve such behaviour problems.
  • Teens who have behaviour problems may break Rules Constantly. Teenagers do not like any fringes attached to their independence. They will absolutely hate it if anybody questions with authority. They hardly care for the rules and regulations. It is important for parents to ascertain that they guide youngster with greatest caution.
  • In teenage conformity to group is must. With this extreme pressure, teens fall into Bad Company. They choose friends depends their perceptions at that uncertain age. They do not have clear understanding of what is right and wrong and they will not often realize that their company is bad until there are some vicious consequences. Step back and let youngster learn the lesson as it is supposed to be.
  • Over Sensitiveness to Surroundings is also behaviour problem in teen age. A teenager feels extremely even for trivial issues. Even on a simple advice, some teenager reacting or taking things very personally. They easily get hurt when scolded or rebuked. Teenagers usually tend to put up a big drama for the small things and their reactions are never in proportion to the action. With this behaviour problem, parents will have to let the phase pass and give teens space to cope up.
  • Teens sometimes show lack of decision making skills. They have poor sense of judgment and inability to decide. Teens often do something because others are doing it. Also there are chances of leaving things midway without completing. It is suggested to enhance communication between parents and teen. This is the best way to deal with this issue.
  • In teenage, teens show excessive aggression. Such behaviour is not only harmful for their health but can cause unnecessary problems. Those teens who show higher degree of anger might also be suffering from Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Such condition may be marked by chronic aggression, frequent outbursts of anger, tendency to argue and frequent annoying behaviour. If this problem persist, it is recommended to see medical practitioner or counsellor.
  • Teens are not serious towards Life: A teenager may not take things seriously. Even when they receive advice from parent, they will make fun of it. Many a times, it is found that they are not taking their studies seriously and are often found lagging behind. This is a common issue in adolescent stage. The issue can only get better by time and by regular interaction of parents with teens.

It is well established that Adolescence is a time for developing liberation. Characteristically, teenagers exercise their independence by questioning and sometimes breaking rules. Parents and doctors must differentiate occasional errors of judgment from a degree of misbehaviour that requires professional intervention. The severity and frequency of infractions are guides. For example, regular drinking, frequent episodes of fighting, truancy, and theft are much more significant than isolated episodes of the same activities. Warning signs of extreme behaviour problem include deterioration of performance at school and running away from home. Adolescents also cause serious injury or use a weapon in a fight. This is serious concern.

Children infrequently engage in physical confrontation. During adolescence, the frequency and brutality of violent interactions may increase. Although episodes of violence at school are highly exposed, adolescents are much more likely to be involved in violent episodes at home and outside of school. Many factors contribute to an increased risk of violence for adolescents, including:
I. Gang membership
II. Access to firearms
III.Substance use
IV. Poverty

In research studies, there is little evidence for relationship between violence and genetic defects or chromosomal abnormalities.

Because adolescents are more independent and moveable as compared to previous stage of life, they are often out of the direct physical control of adults. In these situations, teenagers set their own moral and behavioural code. Parents need to guide rather than directly control the adolescents' actions. Adolescents who feel warmth and support from their parents are less likely to engage in risky behaviours. Also, adolescents whose parents convey clear expectations regarding their children’s behaviour and show consistent limit setting and monitoring are less likely to engage in risky behaviours. Authoritative parenting is a parenting style in which children participate in establishing family expectations and rules. This parenting style, as opposed to harsh or permissive parenting, is most likely to promote mature behaviours. Authoritative parenting normally uses a system of graduated privileges, in which adolescents initially are given small responsibility and freedom (such as caring for a pet, doing household tasks, picking out clothing, or decorating their room). If teenagers handle this responsibility well over a period of time, more responsibilities and more privileges (such as going out with friends without parents, and driving) are granted. By contrast, poor judgment or lack of responsibility leads to loss of privileges. Each new privilege requires close watching by parents to make sure adolescents obey with the agreed-upon rules.

It is observed that some parents and their adolescents clash over almost everything. In these situations, the core issue is really control. Teenagers want to feel in control of their life, and parents want adolescents to know the parents still make the rules. In these situations, everyone may benefit from the parents picking their battles and focusing their efforts on the adolescents’ actions.

Nurturing a teenager is a very puzzling work, and when it comes to the age of 13-16, kids seem to be more violent. All parents face problems with their children, and they should understand that most of these problems appear because of emotional state and changes their teenager is going through. There are some possible solutions for teenage behaviour problems.

Disrespectful or rude behaviour in teenagers is very common. Although this phase will pass eventually, there are some approaches that can help parents to handle disrespect from their child. To tackle teen’s disrespectful behaviour, it is essential to set clear rules about behaviour and communication. Parents must focus on their child’s behaviour. It is suggested to avoid any comments about their child’s personality or character. Parents can set and use consequences, but try not to set too many. At times, it might be appropriate to use consequences for behaviours such as rudeness, swearing or name-calling.

Youngsters, whose behaviour is dangerous or otherwise intolerable despite their parents' best efforts, may need professional intervention. Substance use is a common trigger of behavioural problems. This disorders require specific treatment. Behavioural problems of teens also may be due to learning disabilities, depression, or other mental health disorders. Such disorders usually require immediate counselling and mental health disorders often also require treatment with drugs. If parents are not able to limit an adolescent’s risky behaviour, they may request help from the court system and be assigned to a probation officer who can help enforce reasonable household rules.

If parents have high expectations from the teens, they might feel pressurized. It is advised to parents that they should not force the children to get the best grades in school. The children should do well in studies and other activities like music, sports, dance, etc. If the child spends time for some activities, he would be relaxed and perform well.

The emotional health of the child can get troubled due to the hormonal changes in the body. Therefore it is normal if the child shouts or yells. But if it happens every now and then, it should be taken care of. To overcome behaviour problem, it is necessary to continue communication with teens. The child should be able to talk to parents and discuss about all the topics.

Presently, many adolescents have problems and are getting into trouble. There are a lot of pressures for them to deal with among friends and family. For some youth, pressures include poverty, violence, parental problems, and gangs. Teens may also be concerned about significant issues such as religion, gender roles, values, or ethnicity. Some children are having difficulty dealing with past shocks they have experienced, like abuse.

It is not advised to impose anything on teens. Discuss the important aspects and set the rules with the child. Set the limits and consequences for the child. It is not recommended to punish the teenagers does not work in all the cases. Parents must explore some other ways to motivate their child who is entering in teenage. A single trick cannot work for all the children.

Teens should be provided with healthy and nutritious meals. Make the child get proper rest and sleep. Parents must appreciate the child when he behaves in a good manner with them or family members. Small rewards may also be given.

Sometimes, teen aggression can turn into violence. If they lash out at parents, or someone or something else, put safety first. To curb aggressive behaviour, it is significant to tell teenager that violence is unacceptable in family. Parents need to talk to their school and find out if their aggressive behaviour is happening there as well. Some schools offer counselling. If teen admits he has a problem and is willing to get help, then book appointment with a counsellor or psychologist as soon as possible.

It is the responsibility of parent to educate the child about oral and personal hygiene, social activities, evils, bad habits and others. Parents must teach them how to make goals and achieve them. Parents must not give mental pressures to their child. Counselling help can be taken in several cases. Parents can talk to a professional or read books to manage their teenage child.

According to psychologists, Teenagers are at high risk for the development of problem behaviours that are distressing and socially troublesome. Some problem behaviours, such as having multiple sex partners, can result in problems for the individual, and other problems, such as stealing or using weapons, can have dangerous consequences. Thus, problem behaviours in youths can have serious concerns for the adolescents, their family and friends, their schools, and society. Child and adolescent health practitioners frequently report that problem behaviours are the most common. Nurses, often with great access to adolescents and their parents through school settings, primary health care offices, and public health departments are well placed to assess, educate, and intervene with adolescents, school personnel and parents.

It is said that though Teenage is the best period in development life cycle. It brings with it a cheer, passion, fun and excitement but at the same time, phase comes with a lot of challenges too. It is well understood that parenting a teenager is a tough task, but when teen is violent, depressed, abusing alcohol or drugs, or engaged in other irresponsible behaviours, it may seem irresistible. Therefore careful and effective approach and good counselling is imperative for personality enhancement of teens.