How Do I Manage My Stubborn Teen?

How Do I Manage My Stubborn Teen?
How Do I Manage My Stubborn Teen?

When did your sweet and innocent child turn into a strong-minded teen that constantly challenges you over the smallest thing?

If you have a stubborn teen, chances are good that you spend plenty of time wondering, “How do I get my teen to listen to me?” The following tips are designed to help you manage your strong-willed teen. 

Things to Avoid  

At times you may be tempted to ignore conduct—as long as it is not dangerous—in an effort to keep the peace. This will only work against you. When parents avoid conflict, it empowers willfulness and encourages your teen to act out intentionally:

  • Do not fall into a power struggle with your stubborn teen in an effort to prove who is in charge or who will win. This only encourages your teen to act out further.
  • Do not indulge your teen’s requests in an effort to please them. If you do not agree with something, such as staying out until midnight when curfew is usually 10pm, do not give in. It will set a precedent that will be almost impossible to break.
  • Do not discipline your teen when you are angry. Take a timeout and revisit the issue when you have had time to calm down. 

Things to Remember  

It’s important to understand that a teen with a significant amount of willpower can’t be “made” to do anything. However, you can do things to reestablish your authority and facilitate improved communication:

  • Set firm limits with clearly defined punishments and always adhere to them. 
  • Keep in mind that your teen should respect you, but you should also respect them.
  • If you are constantly arguing with your teen, reevaluate your rules to make certain they are realistic. If they are not, don’t be afraid to change them.
  • Understand that consistency is the key. Inconsistency sends a double message to your teen and a strong-willed teen will quickly realize “sometimes my parents mean what they say, but sometimes they don’t.” Your teen will definitely use this to their advantage. 
  • Do reaffirm positive behavior. 


Unfortunately, teens are at a period of their life where they have a strong desire to assert themselves without regards to your feelings. However, with constant and consistent work, you both can work back into healthier communication and habits. 


Elevations RTC is a program that specializes in both therapy and excellent academics for teens. To find out more, call us at (855) 290-9681.