How to Deal With Uncontrollable Teens


It is practically a daily occurrence for teens to roll their eyes, mutter under their breath, and wish they could hurry up and graduate so they can move out and be on their own. Teens are notorious for wanting more independence than they get, but this type of behavior is nothing out of the ordinary. You needn’t worry about your teen’s behavior unless it surpasses typical and becomes uncontrollable. Screaming fits, enraged behavior and the inability to control your teen’s behavior all require parental intervention.

  • Look for a cause for her uncontrollable behavior. According to Dr. Phil McGraw, behavior expert and talk show host, your teen’s personality does not simply switch from normal to uncontrollable for no reason. Think back to when you first noticed a change in her personality and try to figure out if anything life-changing occurred at that time. If you are getting divorced, if she started spending time with new people, if she’s having problems at school or her boyfriend broke up with her, she might not take it well and it could be the catalyst to her uncontrollable behavior. Understanding what began this downward trend will help you overcome it.

  • Refuse to tolerate this behavior. According to social worker James Lehman of Empowering Parents, when your teen’s behavior becomes uncontrollable, it slowly changes the way you view him and his behavior, which makes you become more tolerant of his misbehavior in less extreme cases. Do not allow this to happen. Enforce discipline every single time your teenage son behaves in a way that breaks even the simplest of rules.

  • Discipline your teen only after you have calmed down, advises the American Academy of Pediatrics. When your teen’s behavior is uncontrollable, it might make it difficult for you to wait to punish her but you need to. Punishing in anger rarely helps the situation, as you are unable to talk rationally and impose penalties that are appropriate for the situation. You might over-punish or make the situation worse. Ideally, take a few minutes to breathe and calm down before imposing penalties such as loss of driving or Internet privileges. Always ensure punishments are short-term, such as a weekend or a few days rather than a week or a month. Teens learn more from short-term punishments than long-term punishments.

  • Be the parent, advises Dr. Phil. The worst mistake you can make when dealing with your out-of-control teen is to be his friend in hopes that he will like you more and behave better. As the parent, your job is not to be popular with your teen; it’s to be responsible and protective. When you act like a parent rather than a friend, your teen is less likely to defy your rules.


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