Lately, you may have noticed that your teenage child has changed drastically. They now dare to answer back and harshly for that matter. You recall that a few days ago a similar situation occurred at school and you were forced to go and plead with the teachers to let them stay. Otherwise, the school administrator had threatened to send your once polite child home indefinitely. For as long as you can recall, they have never behaved this way before now. Are you in shock and confused about what might have gone wrong?

Your teenager is acting up or being rebellious which is also a sign that they are growing up. Such behavior is perfectly normal for both boys and girls. Most are not aware that their actions cause discomfort among parents, teachers and other grown-ups. During teenage, young people feel that they are now independent and should not answer to anyone. However, you need to step up and help your teen overcome this critical phase of their life. Here are five practical ways to handle acting out teenagers.

1. Initiate conversations

Get your teen to talk and share their thoughts with you freely. During this period, listen attentively to what they say. Encourage your son or daughter to share their feelings openly. However, avoid being confrontational. Also, do not be judgmental but create an outlet for self-expression. While at it, be helpful in making the teen understand how their feelings and actions connect to each other. Inspire your teen always to speak out their opinions no matter how senseless they may sound. The objective is to have your son or daughter examine themselves and avoid redirecting their frustrations to other people.

2. Make an assessment

Teenage boys and girls always have a high tendency of rebellion. As the negative behavior starts taking root, look for issues that remain hidden beneath the surface. Usually, the trigger could be loneliness, pain, fear or rejection. Unlike mature adults who will share their feelings with close friends or relatives, teens opt to misbehave as a way of demonstrating what ails their hearts. For instance, boys become highly irritable when depressed while girls choose to remain sad. A sudden drop in academic performance, withdrawal at home and a gain or loss in weight are all warning signs. If you notice any of these signs, you should consult a therapist for assistance.

3. Avoid personalizing the behavior

When your teenage son or daughter dashes off to their room at the slightest provocation, they can make you very angry. Most parents may feel that their children are waging personal attacks. Far from it, teens strike out at parents, teachers, and their peers. Understand that the child is in the development stage that you may have once gone through. If the teen does not come home on time or fails to do a task, do not take it personally. Instead, let them know that there are rules and that they must be accountable for their actions.

4. Do not overreact

Teenage behavior can at times drive you towards insanity. Teens can really annoy you and feel nothing. Nonetheless, try to show them how it affects you. The objective is to make them learn how irresponsibility can mess things up. Additionally, it helps them learn better ways to communicate and express their feelings, as you lead by example. Ask yourself what lessons they should learn from the mistake to avoid recurrence. Engage them in dialogue with the objective of finding solutions. Show them, with love, the repercussions of disobedience. For example, getting into the house late without prior notification may have everyone worried about their whereabouts.

5. Steer away from confrontations

Whenever there is an issue, teenage children are always ready for a fight. Do not accept their invitation to get into arguments. Some children may, upon being confronted with misbehavior, dash to their bedroom and slam the door. Others will just roll their eyes.

 At best, give a reprimand immediately and let the matter rest for the moment. Parents with teenage children often feel helpless when a child starts acting out; you wonder where your parenting went wrong. Fortunately, there are ways of salvaging the situation and steering your child to the right path. Talk to the child often and show them that they can always approach you with a problem. Find out what could have caused the sudden behavioral change. Do not take matters personally and avoid overreacting. At the same time, avoid getting into a confrontation.