Why Teens Argue with their Parents


Campbell Cheers, Staff Writer

Kids tend to argue with their parents for various reasons, like wanting to go out with their friends, wanting to stay out until a certain time, or hanging out with who they want.  The reasons cause tension between the kid and the parent leading up to the argument. Teenagers are more likely to cause conflict with their parents than any other age child. 

Teens talk back because they often think what they are saying is right. They feel as if their parents are not paying attention and hearing them out. Believing that if they keep arguing, they can get their way by changing their minds. 

“Kids in high school argue with their parents because two things are still developing in the human body during the adolescent period,” said psychology teacher Kourtney Saavedra.  “The limbic system regulates a lot of emotions, and the frontal lobe which helps with our decision making,”  

With not everything fully developed in teenage bodies, it messes with how they react to discipline and the word “no.”  Teenagers want to be able to do what they want and be with who they want because they want to have freedom, fun, and the choice to do what they want.  

“Adolescence is very stressful,” said Saavedra. “There’s a lot of trying to decide who you are based on the family and friend context. There are a lot of things going on in a teen’s life all at once and our bodies are not quite ready to handle everything that’s happening.  We are still in the process of growing and making all these life decisions.”

With teens having little free time it could be hard to hear “no” coming from a parent.  If you do a lot of activities and finally get free time, you would most likely want to go do something fun with your friends at a place that interests you or just simply hang out without worrying about a curfew, trusting yourself to be responsible. Some teens do not understand why they are told not they can or can’t do something.

Without reasoning behind the “no,” there is often a spark of disagreement leading into an argument.  If parents gave a valid reason for their decision, it could end many arguments and keep a healthy relationship.  Even if they disagree, understanding why their parents are making the decisions they made, helps teenagers understand the decision-making process, but when reasons are made transparent, teenagers are less likely to respond in a negative way.  

Parents should not always intervene with their kids’ choices.  It is a part of growing up and making decisions and suffering the consequences is an important lesson to learn. Some kids may abuse their privileges and make wrong decisions, but most are responsible when given the chance and open communication.