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Defiant Behavior

teen discipline

Learning How to Discipline Your Teen: Balancing Freedom and Structure

Learning How to Discipline Your Teen: Balancing Freedom and Structure 2560 1707 se_admin

When our children are young, discipline is easy. A time out when they make a poor choice or a sticker chart when they show positive behaviors you want to reinforce. As children get older the risk from those poor choices increases, but those methods of discipline start to become less effective.

Why Do Teens Need Boundaries?

Boundaries define what you will and won’t accept, and should come from what you believe is right for your teen at this stage in his life and for your family. It can seem like your teen is constantly fighting any boundary you set, but the reality is that teens benefit from boundaries. Boundaries can keep teens safe both physically and emotionally, and that is why it is important to hold them, even when your teen is rebelling. When boundaries are not held, teens learn that they can get what they want if they just yell or slam enough doors. 

Boundaries are important. But teens are still prone to test them in every possible way. So, as you develop and enforce healthy boundaries, it is important to spend time with your teen on a regularly scheduled basis to discuss them. This makes it clear to them that no matter what decisions they make, your relationship will not be affected.

Effectively Disciplining Your Teen

The ultimate goal of discipline is to help adolescents develop sufficient self-discipline so that they can learn to manage themselves and their lives independently and well. The first step in discipline is empathy. When your teen’s emotions are running high and you come in with a reaction to match, no one is going to win. Rather, when your teen is expressing their anger, taking a moment to express empathy can help to diffuse the situation. Saying to your teen, “I hear you, that must be really frustrating” doesn’t give their anger the fuel that an argument does.

Next, it is important to understand your teen’s motivations. If your teen is staying up too late and is exhausted and in a bad mood, talk to them about how that is negatively affecting them the next day. Maybe they noticed that they can’t focus during class and their grades slip when they’re tired. Or maybe they’re more sports-oriented, and you can talk to them about how they feel at practice after a night of little sleep. Helping them to see how their behavior has a negative effect on the things they care about has a greater impact than parents just telling them to go to bed earlier. 

Once you have helped your teen understand the positive and negative consequences of their behavior, involve them in creating the house rules. While there will be some rules that are non-negotiable, such as curfew is at 9 pm, provide opportunities where they have a say in the rules. If curfew is at 9 pm, maybe they can have access to their cell phone until 10 pm so they can still chat with their friends. Having input in creating their boundaries gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership. 

Solstice East Can Help

The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff. 

We firmly believe in the immense importance that strong family relationships can provide. The core of our programming is based on healing damaged relationships so that we can help restore healthy connections within the family system. In addition to weekly family group therapy sessions by phone, we also invite families to visit the campus and participate in face-to-face family group therapy sessions. Weekend visits with their daughters are highly encouraged. For more information please call (855) 672-7058.

getting help for a defiant teenage daughter

Getting Help For A Defiant Teenage Daughter: Five Ways To End Defiance

Getting Help For A Defiant Teenage Daughter: Five Ways To End Defiance 640 429 se_admin

The teenage years bring about many hormonal changes for teenage girls. Parenting a teenager can often feel like a power struggle. When they exhibit defiant behavior, it can quickly become frustrating and cause you to want to react negatively. In the end, this will only worsen the situation and the relationship between you and your teen.  Getting help for a defiant teenage daughter at a residential treatment program may be the best option for your child. However, before taking that step, here are some ways you can work towards positive change in your teen’s defiant behavior.

Five Ways to End the Fight

Consider these five tips for empowering yourself to end the defiance in your home:

  1. Know your limits. You must first control yourself before you can attempt to take control of chaos at home. Develop your sense of self-respect and learn where to draw the line. Remember consistency truly is key. Make your expectations clear and follow through. If you take away your teen’s privileges when they exhibit inappropriate behaviors, then they will quickly learn that they do not have the power to manipulate you. This is not you acting as the “bad guy”, this is you holding your teen accountable for their actions.
  2. Practice problem solving. Whether you realize it or not, you are a huge influence on your child. Part of your job as a parent is to teach your teen how to effectively handle tough situations and manage emotions. You must communicate with them clearly that lashing out, screaming, or being disrespectful will never solve anything. Suggest other effective ways to handle things such as: journaling, walking away, taking a deep breath, etc.
  3. Think ahead. Be prepared to confront situations with your teen. Deliver your message firmly. Communicate that you will not tolerate being disrespected. Use a business-like and stern tone to set the example for your teen. If you refuse to engage in a screaming match, they will feel silly for responding that way. Remain calm and go into the situation ready to stand your ground in an effective manner.
  4. Take it one day at a time. Don’t expect everything to be solved in one incident. Helping your teen overcome defiance is a gradual process. You should appreciate the small victories and improvements. After an argument, go back and process it with your teen. Talk about how you could have handled the situation differently. Talk about the ways they handled it appropriately. This is a part of the growing process. It will also strengthen the bond and understanding between you and your teen.
  5. Seek out your support system. Don’t be hesitant to lean on family and friends for support. Bottling up your stress is never a good idea. Don’t feel ashamed about talking about things with family and friends. Extend your expectations to them to avoid communication barriers. This kind of change is a group effort. Ask for help when you need it whether it be from a therapist, support group, or family member.





Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (855) 672-7058.

Rebellious Teenage Girl: Brain Scans May Reveal Hidden Risks

Rebellious Teenage Girl: Brain Scans May Reveal Hidden Risks 150 150 se_admin

What drives a rebellious teenage girl continues to elude parents all over the planet–but we may have gotten a step closer to understanding what drives teenage rebellion pretty recently. Brain scans give us a deeper look into how the adolescent brain functions, allowing us to further understand why certain teens turn towards disruptive behavior while others don’t.

Brain scans shed light on ADHD

You’ve probably heard of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at some point since it affects more than 1 in 20 young people under the age of 18. A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found some interesting information concerning the brain and ADHD.

In the study, researchers looked at brain scans of over 1,700 individuals with ADHD and over 1,500 individuals without ADHD. The brain scans revealed that the brain volume of those with ADHD was lower than that of those without. Specifically, there was a large difference in the size of the amygdala–the section of the brain that has to do with emotions.

Some believe that this information will lead to faster and easier diagnoses along with a better understanding of how ADHD operates in the brain. ADHD can most certainly cause behaviors commonly perceived in a rebellious teenage girl, making this a significant find.

Could brain scans help predict drug use?

A new study published in Nature Communications may have discovered a new way to predict whether someone will be more prone to drug abuse or not.

The study included almost 150 adolescents who had never before taken drugs. They took those individuals and monitored their brains while they performed different tasks that could win them money–which were designed to light up the “reward” section of the brain.

It was found that individuals who had less brain activity towards getting a “cash” reward were more likely to turn to recreational drug use two years later.

While there’s still a lot of theory surrounding what this information means, researchers are optimistic that it may help in identifying more “vulnerable teenagers” and therefore allow parents to intervene before the issues even begin.

A rebellious teenage girl will often turn to drugs as a means of either coping with difficult emotions or rebelling against rules. A way of identifying if a teen is more likely to turn to drugs than others could be extremely helpful in intervention techniques.

Solstice East can help your rebellious teenage girl

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, bullying, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.

For more information about how we can help your rebellious teenage girl at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

Authenticity Training May Help Decrease Teen Anger

Authenticity Training May Help Decrease Teen Anger 150 150 se_admin

What is authenticity? To Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, authenticity is about nature-fulfillment. It’s about being true to our intrinsic interests, innate strengths, and being self-determined. From the humanistic perspective, the more authenticity we have, the greater amount of compassion, altruism, and acceptance towards others we should show. According to a recent Psychology Today article, teaching authenticity to adolescents may be a way to curb teen anger.

Research connecting the two

The authenticity rooted in humanistic values has been shown to lead to less angry responses. In a study at the University of Leicester, researchers got individuals to partake in a computer scenario. The participants just had to press a button depending on a message that would appear on the screen–if they pressed a specific button during the time given, they could earn points that could be exchanged for money.

There was a twist, though.

Individuals were told they were competing against another person that could steal points from them. The scenario was supposed to mimic a real-life situation in which someone may take credit for another’s work. Unbeknownst to the participant, they were never actually playing another person. The researchers wanted to see if someone thought someone was stealing their points, they would begin to play the game in an aggressive way. To measure aggression, they told the participants that they could now steal points from the person stealing their points.

For participants that were considered very authentic, they had a lower chance of responding in an aggressive manner. They showed less punitive behavior and continued to work hard to get points themselves instead of stealing.

Authenticity and teen anger

While this study doesn’t prove directly that authenticity inspires less teen anger, it does show that there’s a strong correlation. But how do you teach authenticity? There’s no formula for it, but we know what authenticity is, so maybe we can go from there.

Encouraging your child to try new things, even in the face of possible failure, is one way you can teach them authenticity. Teach them to be kind to others, even when they’re not kind to you. Teach them that hard work earns you success, not cutting corners and stealing. Teen anger is part of going through puberty, but for many people it follows them into adulthood. During these years, it’s important for us–as parents–to act as guides and help our children develop healthy habits as best we can.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, teen anger, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We strive to help our girls develop healthy habits for teens and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles out of control teen anger, please call 828-484-9946.

Don’t Let Your Teen Bully You: Putting An End To Manipulative Teen Behavior

Don’t Let Your Teen Bully You: Putting An End To Manipulative Teen Behavior 150 150 se_admin

Most people hear about teens bullying other teens. But what happens when teens begin bullying their own parents? And why does this happen? If you have a manipulative teen on your hands, defending yourself can be rough at times. A manipulative teen can make you feel helpless and insecure about your parenting skills overall. Why should your teen be capable of bullying you? YOU are the parent after all!

Why do teens bully their parents?

Often, children who bully their parents believe their parents will put up with whatever behavior they throw their parents’ way. This is usually due to parents being too accommodating and permissive to their children’s’ behavior.

Why is this permissive behavior occurring? Some say it’s because the troubled childhoods parents had are coming back to haunt them.  One reason, according to Sean Grover LCSW, author of When Kids Call the Shots, parents are trying to rebel against the way they were raised by their own parents.

According to Grover, many parents who are bullied by their own children were once upon a time bullied by their own parents. Their own parents’ strict, harsh authoritarian parenting style inspired them to tell themselves that they would never treat their children the way their parents treated them. However, by giving teens too much freedom you may be allowing them to continue manipulative teen behaviors that should not be put up with.

Stopping manipulative teen behavior

Manipulative teen behavior can be a hard thing to crack down on. After all, they are your child and you want them to have all the happiness in the world. However, sometimes it is important to say “enough is enough” and lay down the law. Here are some ways to crack down on manipulative teen behavior and stop the bullying once and for all!

  1. Consistent consequences for behaviors: Every time your child tries to pull manipulative behaviors over you (lying, emotional retaliation, revenge, etc.), you must enforce consistent consequences. Sit down with your teen and write up a consensual contract that details house rule and consequences. If your child breaks those rules, they will have to face the consequences set down in that document. If consequences are not followed through, they are meaningless. So stick to them!
  2. Honesty is key: Most teens can tell when they are being lied to; they aren’t dumb. Creating an environment full of honesty and trust helps prevent manipulative behaviors. In an honest household, there is no room for manipulation.
  3. Pause arguments to think: During fights with your child, it’s hard to think straight. You might say something you’ll regret. That’s why it’s important to pause the battle with your child and tell them you need to time to think about their behavior.  You can then come back with a clear head and come up with an appropriate response to whatever you were arguing about.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teens ages 14-17, can help your struggling daughter find success.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.


More than “Being Difficult”: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Teens

More than “Being Difficult”: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Teens 150 150 se_admin

We all know the most common aspect of teenage girls: they’re difficult. Sometimes it is more than the common “difficult”, though. Oppositional defiant disorder in teens is characterized by frequent arguing, irritability, vindictiveness, anger, and defiance toward parents and other authority figures. If this sounds familiar, your daughter may need to be treated for oppositional defiant disorder in teens.

What is oppositional defiant disorder and how common is it?

From the US National Library of Medicine, oppositional defiant disorder in teens is “a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures.” The authority figures can be you–the parent–and teachers, other adults, etc. Consistent excessively hateful or uncooperative behavior is a serious concern that can affect parts of a teen’s academic, social, and family life.

Defiant and oppositional behavior is fairly common among young people, it’s what makes teenagers so difficult, but oppositional defiant disorder in teens is different. Some studies place the statistic at 1 to 20 percent of school age kids being affected by this disorder, but it is hard to pin down because of changing attitudes of what is considered “normal” behavior.  

Signs of oppositional defiant disorder

Figuring out the difference between regular behavior and behavior related to oppositional defiant disorder in teens can be a hard task for parents. From the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, common signals of oppositional defiant disorder in teens include:

  • Excessive arguing with adults
  • Questions rules often
  • Frequent temper tantrums and outbursts
  • Actively defies or refuses to comply with adult rules and requests
  • Blames others for mistakes
  • Deliberately tries to upset or annoy others
  • Easily annoyed by others
  • Persistent anger and resentment
  • Revenge seeking and spiteful
  • Hateful or mean speech when upset

If you believe your child may be struggling with oppositional defiant disorder, it’s imperative to reach out for professional guidance. Ignored ODD can lead to many future complications in your child’s life and treating it as soon as possible will have the best effects.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with anxiety, trauma, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more info about how Solstice East treats oppositional defiant disorder in teens, please call 828-484-9946!