Why do teenagers misbehave?

Puberty: is extreme behavior normal or cause for concern?

Whether it's aggression, alcohol or clothing style: When parents observe extreme behavior in their children during puberty, they are often worried that something is going completely wrong. Most of these behaviors are completely normal in this phase of life. These tips can help you react correctly in the appropriate situations.

Extreme behavior during puberty in boys and girls

Adolescent boys and girls tend to behave differently, which can repeatedly turn into extremes. For example, aggressive behavior in boys can hide the need for recognition in the group, but also the fear of being seen as weak. Increased alcohol consumption makes adolescent boys and girls feel more adult. In this way, young people often try to cover up their inhibitions or simply belong to the group. Many girls become overly "bitchy", for example to cover up their insecurity or to reduce frustration.

The list could be supplemented by many points, ranging from mobbing and demarcation from the opposite sex to the cult of the body. Many young people also place excessive value on status symbols or branded clothing. Such extreme behavior during puberty can often overwhelm parents because they do not know how to react to it. (Anorexia: Beware of Dangerous Sites on the Internet)

Tips: How you should react to border crossings

Perhaps the most important tip for parents of pubescent children: Make yourself aware that extreme behavior during puberty is fundamentally normal. However, that doesn't mean you should just sit and watch until the growing up phase is over. For your child in this phase of life, understanding is important on the one hand, and on the other hand, they also need clear rules so that they learn to correctly assess their actions and, if necessary, their misconduct.

If extreme behavior during puberty results in your child not following agreed-upon rules, do not react with excessive harshness unless it has to be. For example, the first drunkenness does not necessarily have to be accompanied by a harsh punishment, because this is one of many ways for young people to test their limits. However, the incident should not be concealed either.

Tip: Educate your child about the dangers of alcohol and make it clear to them that you are concerned. In this case, it is also important that you exemplify a responsible approach to alcohol, because parents are particularly important role models for pubescent children, according to the qualified pedagogue Uta Reiman-Höhn, according to the specialist portal "elternwissen.com" - although very few young people do would openly admit it. (Alcohol: be a role model for your children)

Be lenient!

Even if it is difficult: Extreme behavior often resolves itself again during puberty. You should therefore not address everything that is extreme and wrong from your point of view. Tip: If your child puts on a very unconventional clothing style, turn a blind eye and react calmly. Because in this way too, young people try to explore their own identity.

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When behavior gets out of hand

During puberty, parents should give their children sufficient freedom and tolerate extreme behavior as long as it does not endanger the peace of the family or the child's health. When agreed rules are violated, it requires a certain instinct as to whether you are better off reacting with forbearance or dealing with it with consequences.

The situation is different, however, if you are seriously worried that your child could, for example, be dependent or be involved in criminal offenses. Tip: A first step could be to ask other parents for advice. If no solution can be found, you should seek professional help as soon as possible to prevent worse consequences. (Dealing with adolescents)