How to Help Your Defiant Teenage Daughter


Teenage defiance and rebellion can be common characteristics associated with adolescent development, but that doesn’t make raising a teenager any easier. During this transformative time, your teenager is becoming more of an individual. You’re bound to have disagreements throughout the maturation process. At what point, however, should you be concerned for your teen and ask for help? If your teenage daughter is always rebellious or disrespectful towards you, there are some things you can do to help your troubled teen along their path to adulthood. As a parent dealing with teenage defiance, remember that you can come out of this phase without losing connection with your daughter.

Throughout the years we’ve spent helping parents with troubled, defiant teenage daughters, it seems that there’s one message every parent of a troubled teen needs to hear: there’s hope for parents of defiant, troubled teenagers. Your job isn’t easy. The outside world doesn’t always help guide your teen down a healthy path. Fortunately, you aren’t alone in this difficult time and you have options.

Here are some ways you can help your daughter when she’s become a defiant or disrespectful teen:

What is Teenage Defiance?

Some warning signs that your teen has taken a negative path include:

  • – She suddenly begins socializing with new individuals and stops spending time with old friends
  • – The way she speaks, her tone or her mannerisms change
  • – She has been avoiding school
  • – Her grades drop significantly
  • – She begins to act secretive, sullen and withdrawn
  • – She begins asking to do things and go places she previously had no interest in
  • – Her clothing style or hair color has drastically changed in a short period of time

While many parents believe, “It’s just a phase,” the truth is that you should always be on the lookout for any dramatic change in your daughter’s life. It may just be a way for her to test who she is, but these symptoms may also be a result of unhealthy influences that can affect her choices in life and future. Erring on the side of caution is always a better option than standing back and waiting for something bad to happen.

What Should You Do To Help Your Defiant Teenager?

Your teen daughter is at a critical age where she is exploring the world and her place within it. Whether she admits it or not, your opinion still matters to her. For this reason, it’s important to address teenage defiance and disrespect in the right way. Here’s what to do.

Get Your Defiant Teen to Listen— Without Judgment

Don’t attack your daughter’s behaviors out of hurt or taking it personally. This will only cause her to become even more defensive and she may shut you out from further conversation. Instead, have a calm conversation about the changes you’ve noticed in her attire, behavior or grades. Explain how her behavior makes you feel. Don’t rush the conversation. Give her time to think through her answers and talk it out. Don’t interrupt and ask questions before reflecting her responses back to her. This will help her feel heard as you talk about it.

Know When to be Aggressive

Forbidding your daughter from activities that are good for her like art or sports practice will only create distance. Her rebellious teenage brain may become even more confused if she’s distanced from relationships that help her. Instead, encourage outside interests like a part-time job or special academic classes.

That doesn’t mean you should always be aggressive in your stance, of course. If she has been using drugs, shoplifting or engaging in activities that are illegal, being aggressive and getting her as far away from those friends as possible is important.

Provide Her With Unconditional Love

Listen to her, spend time with her, pay attention to her life. Be that safe haven she can turn to. Remind her over and over again how beautiful she is, how important she is, and how loved she is. She may act like it bothers her. She may roll her eyes and sigh. However, she’ll remember your love when it comes to making the right choice.

Defiant Teenager Programs

If the issues continue, and you’re worried for your daughter’s mental health, safety and future, a therapeutic boarding school like Greenbrier Academy may be the best option for her. While living apart from her will be hard, Greenbrier offers a safe place with positive peer influences and therapies that will help her practice making the best decisions for her future without negative outside pressures and influences.

If you’re truly worried about your daughter’s future, give us a call today 1-877-788-8422

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  1. Amanda Cruz on June 15, 2021 at 4:16 am

    What’s the cost of Greenberg? 9707124813.

    • Thomas Condon on June 15, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Amanda, Please send any questions about the program through our secure contact form HERE.

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