Understanding Resistance and Oppositionality in Teens

Children and adolescents are naturally inclined to resist and oppose when feeling pressed upon or controlled. Although the reaction is quite normal, and even healthy in certain circumstances, its manifestations and impact can be highly disruptive and disturbing, making life difficult for parents. Resistance can take many forms: negativism, disobedience, rebellion, passivity, noncompliance, disrespect, nonconformity, belligerence, incorrigibility and even antisocial attitudes and actions. In this presentation we will outline the meaning of this deep-rooted instinct as well as the dynamics that control its existence and expression. We will introduce strategies for how to handle this misunderstood and troublesome reaction in our adolescents.