Why Your Teen Would Not Obey
Why would your teenager not behave and become rebellious?
It takes from a teen a certain amount of rejection to reach the point to where they begin to disobey their parents. It usually starts from before they were teens... because the parents did not discipline them on a consistent basis, and or they simply did not get involved with their teenagers life. A teenager does not all of a sudden stop obeying, and respecting parents. No, there is almost always an underlying issue that has not been resolved between parent and the teen - too many broken links. Remember what I said earlier. When a link gets broken it needs repaired immediately before another link breaks.
Teenagers and pre-teens disobey because they are angry, embittered, exasperated and confused. Of course these emotions certainly do not give them excuse for disobeying their parents, but here again, the teenager who is frustrated with his or her parents obviously will not want to express themselves (let down their guard) to their parents - they feel intimidated by parents reaction to their feelings. Why would a teen feel intimidated of a parents reaction? Perhaps they aren't being "listened to" or perhaps parent often discounts their feelings.
What can a parent do?
Sit down with your teenager and be humble with them. You may be their parent/caregiver, but you're not their God. We must be ready to admit our weaknesses and failings from the past and let our children know we will try to do a better job trying to understand them. The minute you admit you have faults (telling them you know you have not always been the best parent) they will at once be more willing to release their feelings to you.
Remember don't discount their feelings. Listen, ask questions and become genuinely interested in them. Your teenager wants to feel safe and validated... talking to you about what has been going on with them, but if you show any hint of rebuff to their feelings, they will clam up on you. Your teen actually wants to obey and respect you, but you have to let them do that without your rejection.
Don't misunderstand, it is not that you can't correct them if they misbehave, you should instruct them and discipline them correctly in the Lord, but parents should never attack a teens feelings. Instead, listen and be understanding of those feelings, and if you feel differently, by all means, state your opinion but don't discount your teen in the process. That's what I'm talking about.
Let them talk - let them be who they are. If they are not disobeying you, but only moving in a direction that you don't approve of, you really just need to let them be. Let them be the person God is leading them to be. We have no right to interfere with God's work because of our own selfishness. Too many times parents intervene in their teens lives because of their own selfish reasons. They pressure them into taking studies in college they are not interested in, or they pressure them into going to college when they are not interested, or they want them to excel where they themselves did not...blah, blah, blah.
This kind of pressure from selfish parents is just not right - what a burden on the teen. This is difficult for the teen who is not interested in what you are pressuring them into doing and or being. In the end they will either go your way to only please you and feel resentful later about it, or they will simply reject your decisions for them and then you will think they are rebelling.
Let them become the person God leads them to be not what YOU lead them to be.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)
Do you want discouraged teenagers or do you want happy teenagers? Its up to you.
Woe to those who are wise IN THEIR OWN eyes and clever in their own sight. (Isaiah 5:21)