The Most Common Defiant Teenage Behavior – Gateway Academy

When teenagers want to prove their independence and test authority, they rebel. Almost every teenager out there will rebel in some way. Of course, some out of control teenagers take rebelling to the extreme, while others simply break a few rules. When your boy becomes a teenager, it is wise to expect this rebellion in one form or another. Here is some of the most popular defiant teenage behavior that you need to prepare yourself for.

Not Listening

This is one of the most common ways that teenage boys rebel. You can pretty much guarantee that your teen is not going to listen to everything you say at some point in time. He may not listen every once in a while, or he may not listen all of the time. This is perfectly normal, and while that doesn’t mean you should tolerate it, it does mean there is nothing wrong with your teen. He is just trying to figure out who he is.

However, if your teen seems to have a complete disregard for authority, never listens to anyone, and gets really angry for small reasons, you may want to get him tested for oppositional defiant disorder. Oppositional defiant disorder is a mental condition that is best known for its persistent, excessive anger. If this is what your son is suffering with, you may need to seek professional help.


Again, arguing is a common form of defiant teenage behavior. It should not make you worry, but you also shouldn’t have to put up with it. As long as you set firm boundaries from the very beginning, and stick your ground, you should be able to combat arguing without intervention.

Missing Curfew

One of the easiest ways for your teen to test his boundaries is by missing curfew. Oftentimes he will do so just to see how serious you take the offense. This is your chance to prove that you are serious about him following the rules. If you don’t, he will continue taking his boundary testing further.

Driving Fast

Okay, basically anything you tell your teen not to do, he will do, just to rebel. He is his own self now and he wants to prove it to you. You can help your teen with his mission by allowing him to have independence when his safety is not at risk. However, you need to make it clear that some rules are not only there because you want to control his life: They are there to keep him safe.

Breaking the Law

Some teens take defiant teenage behavior to the next level: They break the law. The most common teenage crimes include car-jacking and shoplifting. No teen should ever be allowed to break the law, and this behavior is not normal. In fact, if it occurs frequently, your teen may have a condition called conduct disorder. Teens with conduct disorder break the law with reckless abandon. They have no qualms about doing what is wrong, and they will continue to do so until they receive treatment for their condition.

A boy with a hangover

Drugs and Alcohol

Unfortunately, teenage alcohol problems are fairly common. Web MD reports that just over 50% of teenagers have admitted to using alcohol. Additionally, 40% have admitted to using illegal drugs. The good news is that means almost 50% of teens have not used alcohol and 60% have not used drugs. Usually, teenage alcohol problems can be hard for a parent to notice if they are not aware that they need to look out for them. Many parents of addicted teens, when looking back, admit to obvious warning signs that were missed. These can include glossy eyes, out-of-character actions, being overly tired, coming home late, etc. Never be afraid to ask questions if you sense something is awry. Teenage alcohol problems can usually be treated if they are caught early on.

While some defiant teenage behavior is a normal part of growing up, some of it can prove to be very dangerous, and even life threatening. Now that you know what you need to look out for, you can be more prepared to combat the challenges of the teenage years.


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