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How to treat a rebellious young man of 18 years?

How to treat a rebellious young man of 18 years?

July 23, 2024

All of us have been (or are or will be) teenagers at some point in our lives. We know and have experienced a lot of changes, and some have even gone through a phase of rebellion against their parents, even once they reach the age of majority.

And the certain thing is that although in its moment perhaps it could seem the logical way to proceed, the certain thing is that this behavior can be frustrating for the adult, as they can discover when at the same time they have their own children. In this context, doubt may arise as to how to react, what to do. How to treat a rebellious young man of 18 years? In this article we will try to give ten basic tips to deal with this situation.


  • Maybe you're interested: "Rebellious teenagers: 6 tips and reflections for parents in distress"

The rebellion in post-adolescence

Adolescence, the passage from childhood to adulthood, is a process that involves a lot of physical, psychic and social changes.

In addition to those of development, we face a great increase in what society demands of us, something that is especially visible when we reach the age of majority: legally we are adults and we are held responsible as such, even though we are not yet mature we have just finished adolescence (in fact, some authors even suggest that we are still teenagers until we are 25). We continue experimenting and trying to find us , as well as try our newly acquired identity.


It is therefore a difficult age for those who live it, which can be an anguishing and frustrating stage. Also, it usually persists even a certain distance with respect to authority figures characteristic of previous years, derived from her search for a separate identity and the search and increase in the importance of other social relationships.

All this can lead to the emergence of oppositional and rebellious behaviors, something that can also be a source of anguish and a lack of understanding between the now legally adult and their family environment.

These phenomena persist during the final stage of adolescence, post-adolescence, with the characteristic that at this age the ability to disobey is greater , since there are more resources available for this.

10 tips to treat a rebellious young man

Facing the adolescence and the arrival to the adulthood (legally speaking, at least in our country) can be complicated so much for the own young person as for his progenitors, being able to get to appear attitudes of rebellion. In this sense, here are ten tips to treat a rebellious young man of 18 years.


Now, we must bear in mind that we are talking about rebellious adolescents, not including the presence of aggressive attitudes and intrafamily violence .

1. Establish good communication

Perhaps the most important thing in any type of relationship, and especially one in which there is a certain rebellion and resistance to the parental figures, is to establish a fluid communication. It is important that this takes into account the possible conflicts that our son may have, and that it is not carried out as an interrogation but as a thorough conversation in which a genuine interest is appreciated. It may be useful to approach from the young person's hobbies in order to produce an approach between both.

  • Related article: "Advice to improve communication between parents and children"

2. Give your space, listen and respect your opinion

Our son or daughter is already 18 years old, and although he still needs us in his life he also needs to have his own space. He does not want us to be interested in him, but we do accept that he wants and needs privacy.

As with space, the 18-year-old has its own criteria that, although somewhat inexperienced, is still valid and must be respected and taken into account. We must listen to them carefully and without interrupting them: it is a question of not ignoring their point of view but of validating and considering it.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 3 stages of adolescence"

3. Be careful with expectations and compare

There can be many conflicts due to the very requirement with respect to what the now adult should do. We have to understand that we are facing an autonomous person with their own ideas and convictions .

It is important not to try to force them to live the life that we would have wanted to take and not demand them to fulfill our expectations or lead them along the path that we would have wanted to take. Above all, do not compare them with others: they are valuable beings by themselves, as valid as any.

4. Prohibited to prohibit and overprotect

To prohibit and censure without more is, especially when there is rebellion, totally counterproductive. In fact, the forbidden is likely to be more appetizing to the fact of being and at the same time to contravene the imposed rule.In addition, we must bear in mind that he is already of legal age and has the ability to make his own decisions, we must consider that we should advise and guide him without being a presence acting through coercion or imposition.

On the other hand, overprotecting our child has negative consequences and also leads to a certain distance, as the young person does not feel validated and observe that he is considered incapable of making his own decisions. As long as certain limits are not exceeded it is necessary to allow them to experiment and even make mistakes.

5. Set clear limits

We have said in the previous point that it is necessary not to prohibit but we must not be overpermissive either. We have to establish clear, coherent and consistent limits on behavior, which we must hold firm without being seen as coercive.

It is that the acts themselves have consequences and that these are known by the young man. This includes, of course, the treatment accorded to parents, and the non-acceptance of violent attitudes or degrading treatment.

6. Give example

An 18-year-old is already perfectly capable of observing when he is told something while doing the opposite. Thus, we can not demand from our children something that we do not show: we need to be able to set an example in such a way that the young person sees a coherence between what has been said and what has been done. Of course, it does not stop being a different person so we must be careful with the demands and expectations what we have regarding him.

7. Do not lose your papers and have empathy

Although it can be difficult, it is necessary to remain calm even in the face of rebellious attitudes and try to understand the adolescent / young person's point of view. After all, he is facing a much more demanding reality than he was used to until now, when he is or is about to enter the adult world. The anger, the shouting or the arguments will generate discomfort and a distancing of postures.

8. Give voice and vote

This point is important because it allows on the one hand to establish a communication and give it a certain autonomy (not in vain it is already legally adult) and at the same time respect a series of limits. We must give him not only the ability to express his opinion but also to take it into account, being the already legally adult able to make decisions regarding his own life. It is not that the young man always gets his way , but that we are able to negotiate an alternative valid for all in those aspects in which there is no consensus.

9. Reinforce positive behavior

A frequent error in the passage to the adult world is to focus on what the child does wrong, being the attitude of the parents generally corrective.

No matter how old you are, we all need you to approve and congratulate us on the things we do well. So that it is advisable to reinforce and congratulate the achievements of now legally adult, especially those that are important to him. It is also very useful that all positive behavior is well seen and receives reinforcement, without entering into criticism or demands.

10. Let him know that you love him

This last point may seem obvious, but it is probably one of the most important: no matter how much our child is legally an adult, now and always he will need to know that his family will be a support nucleus, that he loves and appreciates regardless of what happens.


Use this Method to Get Your Child to Listen and Behave (July 2024).


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