Definition: Stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.
Although this definition may sound like every teen, trust me it does not describe them all. At the teenage stage of life, getting your teen to respond to adult logic, rules, or common sense probably requires an act of congress. Which if no one else has told you before, it should be expected.
During the teen years many teens are moving in a direction of autonomy that seems to push parents away. Their attitudes and behaviors may oftentimes be perceived as rude or disrespectful (which they usually are) but again it should be expected. Trying to argue your way into compliance does not and will not work. Trying to punish or ground your way into compliance does not work. Having their younger sibling spy and snitch does not work either (good try though). Obeying or disobeying rules is a heart issue not solely a teenage issue.
If your teen views you as out of touch, distant, an overbearing task master, or just not cool you are in for a rough ride. By no means I am suggesting that as a parent you should become your child’s friend. However, I am suggesting, that on some level, you must be a friend to your teen if you want them to trust your judgment or guidance, especially when it is in contrast to that of their peer group. This is why I say obedience or compliance is a heart issue; if you are not connected to your teen on a heart level your job as a parent will become just that, a JOB!
For the next few entries I will be discussing how to better respond to "The Obstinate Teen.”