Ways of Reducing Stress When Raising A Defiant Teen

This is the reality: no parent has ever said that raising a teenager is a walk in the park. It is indeed a responsibility that demands time, patience, and a lot of love. Obviously, it is a stressful phase in a parent’s life. 

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For this reason, we have listed a collection of some of the best stress management strategies according to some experts, to help parents deal with their stresses and enable them to raise their teens smoothly and appropriately.


Important Strategies That Parents Can Follow



  • Always Be Physically And Mentally Well. This means that a parent should practice good daily habits like eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of herself. A teenager is already a handful, what more if you have a defiant one. You must be strong in mind and body to be able to show tough love and an open mind to understand your teen. 


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  • Be In The Now. Stress usually involves worry – worry about what happened to your teen last night when he got home drunk, or about how to hurt you were when he shouted at you because you reprimanded him about his low grades. And then our anticipation of what’s about to happen weighs us further down, dampening our spirit and leading us to anxiety and depression. 



Psychiatrists often recommend that parents try to tune in to the present and think of ways to solve or reduce the problems instead of dwelling in the past or future. This has been proven to decrease stress levels and allows one to come up with better solutions. Francoise Adan, Connor Integrative Health Network’s medical director, says, “When you are stressed, you are not really in the present. And when you’re not in the present, you’re just all over the place.”


How To Be In Tune With The Present



  • Utilize Your Senses. Find time to be alone in your home or office, and listen to yourself – to how you feel, what you’re craving to eat, what kind of music would relax you right now, or perhaps where you would love to go. This increases good vibes within yourself and encourages you to face your defiant teen with a clear mind. 




  • Control Your Breaths. According to experts, controlled breathing encourages one to get rid of her bad thoughts. When you breathe in for a few seconds, you welcome good energy and expel the bad when you exhale for a good six seconds. When you master this, you can progress to doing meditation or yoga. Who knows, your teen might just want to join. 


Be Positive. Yes, being hopeful that your teen is just going through his normal phase does help in managing your stress levels. It pushes you to be extra patient with him, guiding him along the way while being stern with your decisions when he defies unreasonably. Showing your teen that you are hopeful about how things will go might also give him hope and a positive outlook in life.

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Other Useful Strategies


A more convenient way to help you learn more about handling your defiant teen and reducing your stress levels is finding parents who also have teens themselves. Every parent has different ways of handling teenagers, and listening to them and joining in on their conversations can help you a great deal. 


Finally, perhaps you need to realize that you don’t have to do everything for your teenager. He is, after all, a teenager. He can do the laundry, wash the dishes, or run some errands. Sometimes, parents have a hard time letting go of their responsibilities that they become too overwhelmed with all that they’re doing on a daily basis. Share the load with your teen. This way, you are also encouraging him to become responsible and self-reliant. 

Anxiety Could Be The Reason For Your Child’s Oppositional Behavior

Lukas on some days worries about things which he should not concern himself with much.  There are nights when he will ask so many questions about what’s going to happen in school the next day.  He is sometimes preoccupied with so many what ifs.  He worries that he won’t wake up early to make it to his class on time.  He fears what if the car won’t start or if his father forgot to pick him up, which never happened.  He worries about his homework, even worries about why a classmate did not show up at school.  

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Some parents may think of this behavior as a typical part of his growing up and that the kid is justa good observant.  



Anxiety is an individual’s reaction to stress.   It could be manifested physically or emotionally, and the way he views his environment.  This is seen when Lukas worries about what might happen, fearing that something might go wrong, or there could be some kind of threat.  


Anxiety could serve as our body’s alarm system which turns on whenever we recognize danger or threat.  We may feel dizzy, sweaty, or shaky, and can even have a rapid heartbeat or difficulty breathing.   


Normal Anxiety

We all feel tense and uneasyfrom time to time, and this could range from a mild feeling of uneasiness to a full-blown panic.  


The kind of anxiety that Lukas experiences is the usual anxiety.  He experiences this because of fear that some situations that are not usual might occur, and he wants to be prepared for it.  He may also feel anxious during an exam which is kind of useful as it can motivate him to study harder to be ready for his test.  


Normal anxiety helps kids stay alert, focused, and willing to do their best. 

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Anxiety Disorders

However, once anxiety becomes too strong and occurs more often, it can be disturbing.  It may interfere with your kid’s ability to get things done, and in some cases can restrict the child to enjoy parts of his life.  It can even result in him misbehaving.  


Sometimes, a kid has outbursts in school because he is upset by something or by a classmate who tends to hurt a classmate.   He can go ballistic, throwing things around, and running away quickly out of the room and down the hallway.  He may even hit his teachers and other authority figures in school if they try to restrain or discipline him.  


It may look to be some kind ofsevere anger issues.  A kid’s disruptive, oppositional, or aggressive behavior can be due to unrecognized anxiety disorder.  It is his way of reacting to the anxiety he is experiencing, which he cannot articulate effectively, and perhaps this is something that is not recognized in the home.


According to a clinical psychologist, a younger kid’s anxiety can be his freezing or clingy attitude.  To some, they can express it by having tantrums, complete meltdowns, and oppositional behaviors.  


Even the licensed professionals are not sure what causes anxiety disorders.  They say it could be genetic, brain biochemistry, stressful life circumstances, overactive fight-flight response, or could be learned behavior.  

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Anxiety And The Oppositional Behavior

Anxiety caused by things that had happened in a child’s life – death of a loved one, parents’ divorce, moving in a new place, and even abuse – can make him more vulnerable to developing oppositional behavior, especially when the anxiety is not processed.  It could affect how a child views the world around him and treatsthe people in his life.  


The anxiety that results in oppositional behavior does not only disturb a kid’s day-to-day functioning in school, sleeping, and eating, but worse, it could affect him later in life.  


A child with anxiety often has uncontrolled temperament, trouble sleeping in his own room, the habit of avoiding specificactivities, and difficulty separating himself from his parents.  If you are noticing these signs in your child, it would be a wise move to have it checked early.