Does Your Teen Doing Things Differently Mean They Are Difficult?

Updated: Nov 17

Many parents of teens agree that parenting teenagers is one of the more difficult season in parenting. The teenagers' brains and bodies are changing in extraordinary ways. Because of these changes, we see new kind of kids emerge from the little lovelies we are used to. We see different kind of behaviour, demeanour, thinking and, loads of other differences.

Most teenagers go against the grain. they are different. This is a challenging time for both the parents of teens as well as the teenagers themselves.

teenagers' strange behaviour tend to tick many parents off and a lot of the times. Many parents of teenagers struggle with this different and often refer to it as difficult behaviour, and struggle to identify how to avoid being ticked off.


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Now, here's some questions for you, in deed for all of us.


  1. Do you equate your teen being different to being difficult?

  2. What really ticks parents of teenagers off, is it our thinking or our teenagers' behaviour? 

  3. Do you know what to do to avoid being ticked off by your teen's behaviour?

Do you equate your teenager behaving differently to being difficult?

Many parents of teens are unaware of the changes happening in their teenagers brain and body. Consequently, they equate the strange occurrences to teenagers being difficult.

Raging hormones, brain and body changes, identity crisis and confusion, attempting to be independent adopt adult roles yet without skills and experience can cause them to behave in all sorts of strange ways.

Believe me, you are not the only one to be shocked by this behaviour, your teenager is often bewildered by their own behaviour including their thoughts and feelings.


The following are some of the ways that teenagers behave differently in puberty and adolescent years.

  • They prefer to spend more time with peers as compared to family.

  • Needing more sleep or food and unwilling to get up early to attend school or other usual family activities.

  • Rocky relationships with friends and family.

  • Taking risk that they previously would not have even though about

  • Adopting different looks some to a point of obsession with their looks

These are normal teenage behaviours. Of course if you notice excess and extremes of these you may want to seek professional help as this may be a sign that they are dropping into the doldrums and depths of mental breakdown.

This different behaviour however should not be confused with being difficult.


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In actual sense, what really ticks parents of teenagers off, is their thinking and labelling of the teenagers' behaviour and not the actual behaviour.


How many of us parents and carers of teenagers go ahead and label this behaviour as difficult; while all that is happening is our teenagers going through their rightful passage?

Again as stated earlier, these are normal teenage behaviours unless they are extreme; which then becomes a sign that they are heading to mental breakdown, which is when wed as parents of teenagers and their carers, we must seek professional help.


Teenagers' different behaviour should not be confused with being difficult.

Unfortunately, when parents of teens label these differences as difficult, they are not as motivated to help and support the teenagers to navigate this season successfully; which is the very thing they need most.

In our misunderstanding of their behaviour and labelling it, we see them as rebelling against us and this is the thinking that trips and traps most parents of teens, and ticks them off.

Whenever you feel ticked off by your lovely teen, due to their behaviour (which you have chosen to label as difficult) you injure yourself in your anger.

Remember this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." 


What can you do to avoid being ticked off by your teenager's behaviour?

  1. Stop the labelling. "Once you Label Me, You Negate me" S. Kierkegaard

  2. Understand normal teenage behaviour and know it as ok and normal behaviour and avoid labelling it as difficult.

  3. Trust that your teen has an intelligence that flows within them.

This caption below sums up some of my findings about teens.

Think about this.


In answering the question whether your teen doing things differently is synonymous with being difficult; here's the conclusion

  1. Your teen doing things differently doesn't mean they are being difficult.

  2. What really ticks us off as parents of teens, is the thinking that results from labelling teens behaviour as difficult.

  3. Parents of teens can avoid being ticked off by dropping the idea that being different is being difficult.

Every teen has an intelligence that flows within them. It beats their heart and guides them. So let's trust them a little bit more and avoid being ticked off by every different thing that they do. Angela Karanja

Please share this information with all parents of teens and change someone's perspective and life today.






About Angela Karanja

Contact angie@raisingremarkableteenagers.com with any additional questions.


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