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What are some effective ways to handle my preteen's resistance or rebellion against authority?

Hi everyone,

I am a single mother of a 12-year-old girl who is going through her preteen phase. Lately, I have been noticing her resistance and rebellion against authority figures, including myself and her teachers. She talks back to us and often argues when she is asked to do something she does not want to do. I am worried that this behavior may escalate and become more challenging to handle. As a parent, I want to know some effective ways to deal with my daughter's resistance and rebellion. I would appreciate any advice or strategies that have worked for other parents in similar situations.

Thank you in advance.

All Replies


Hi there,

I empathize with your situation as I went through a similar experience with my son when he was a preteen. While we had our fair share of challenges, I found that actively engaging in his interests and getting involved in his life helped build a deep connection between us.

I would attend his extracurricular activities, participate in his hobbies, and engage with him on social media. This helped me understand his world better and gain his trust, which significantly reduced any resistance or rebellion from his end.

Another strategy that worked wonders for me was to set clear boundaries and offer incentives for positive behavior. I would explain to him what was permissible and what was not and follow up on the consequences of his disobedience. At the same time, I offered him incentives for positive and cooperative behavior like a fun activity or a treat that he enjoyed.

Lastly, I found that demonstrating empathy towards my son was crucial. I would try to see things from his perspective and openly acknowledge his emotions. When he felt heard and respected, he would reciprocate, which led to a positive and healthy parent-child relationship.

I hope my experience helps, and I wish you all the best! Your daughter will grow out of this phase soon; just keep the communication channels open and maintain your connection with her.



I too have gone through a similar phase with my now teenage daughter. One thing that really helped me was picking my battles wisely. Instead of arguing over every little thing, I learned to prioritize what was important and let the rest slide. This helped keep our relationship on good terms while also ensuring that the most critical issues were dealt with firmly.

When my daughter would resist or rebel, I would try to approach her in a non-confrontational manner. I would listen to her complaints and try to understand what was causing her resistance. In case I had to say no to something, I would try to explain my reasoning in a calm and logical way. This helped my daughter understand my perspective, and she began to trust and respect my decisions more.

Also, I have found that giving my daughter incentives or rewards for positive behavior can be very motivating. For instance, if she completed a task without resistance or behaved in a manner that pleased me, I would offer to take her to her favorite restaurant or plan a fun activity for her. This helped her see that good behavior came with its own set of benefits.

Lastly, counseling helped my family a great deal. My daughter was struggling with some issues that we weren't aware of, and talking with a mental health professional helped her work through her feelings more effectively. With the counselor's support, she was able to overcome her struggles and behavior began to improve.

I hope these strategies are helpful for you too. Remember that resistance and rebellion are typical of the preteen years, and with patience and persistence, you can help your daughter navigate this phase.


Hello there,

I appreciate your question and also can relate to your current situation. I have a 13-year-old son who was also rebellious at this age. I found that giving him some space and freedom really helped reduce the tension between us. Of course, there were rules that he had to follow, but I also gave him the power to choose certain things and make his own decisions that were not harmful to himself or others.

Another approach that I took was to look at the root of his behavior. I realized that there were some underlying issues that were causing his rebellion, such as struggling with schoolwork or feeling misunderstood by his peers. Once I addressed those issues, his behavior started to shift positively and he became more compliant and cooperative.

I also found that showing love and affection towards my son was helpful in reducing the resistance and tension. I spent some time with him, listened to him, and gave him emotional support. When he felt appreciated and loved, he was more willing to cooperate and listen to our parental advice.

I hope these tips help. Remember, every child is different, and you will need to find what works best for your daughter. With patience and persistence, you can overcome this phase together.


Hello everyone,

I can completely relate to the situation as I have a preteen son who can be quite resistant and rebellious at times. One approach that was helpful was to approach him with a sense of humor. I would try to make him laugh, even in tense situations, which helped reduce the tension and get him to see things from a different perspective.

Another thing that worked wonders was to focus on building a positive relationship with my son. I would spend quality time with him, playing games or going out to eat, which helped create a sense of bonding and trust. When he felt close to me, he was more likely to listen to me and cooperate with my instructions.

I also found it helpful to give my son some space and flexibility. While there were certain rules and expectations, I also allowed him some freedom to make decisions and choices, which helped him feel more in control of his life.

It's important to remember that preteens are at a difficult age, and their resistance and rebellion may be a reflection of their struggle to figure out who they are. By remaining supportive and empathetic, we can help them navigate this phase with minimum conflict.

Lastly, I found that consistency in our approach worked wonders. We had a set of rules and consequences that were consistently followed, and this helped my son understand that while there was flexibility, there were also certain non-negotiables that he needed to adhere to.

I hope these tips work for you too. It's important to remember that every child is unique, and it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your child. Just keep at it, and things will eventually fall into place.



I completely understand your situation as I have been through the same experience with my son a few years back. What worked for me was building trust with my son by talking to him and listening to his perspective on things. I would set aside some time each day to have a casual conversation with him, ask him about his day, and listen to his opinions. This helped him feel heard and valued, which in turn decreased his resistance and rebellion.

Another thing that helped was setting clear expectations and boundaries. I started making a list of household chores that needed to be done, and I would assign them to my son, explaining why they were important. I found that when he understood the rationale behind my requests, he was more willing to comply.

Finally, when my son would argue or talk back, I would remain calm and not get defensive. I would acknowledge his feelings and empathize with him, but still maintain my position. This helped build a sense of mutual respect, and eventually, his resistance and rebellion decreased over time.

I hope these strategies work for you too. Hang in there and remember that this is a phase that will pass eventually.


Hello everyone,

I totally understand what you're going through and have experienced the same with my son, who is now in his teenage years. One thing that helped us during his preteen years was creating a routine and structure at home. We would make a schedule for him on the weekend, outlining his tasks and activities for the week. This helped him see what he needed to do and when, which reduced resistance as he knew what was expected of him.

Another approach that worked was trying to put myself in his shoes and understand his perspective. I tried to remember how it felt to be his age and how I struggled to assert my independence. By showing him empathy and understanding, I was able to ensure that he knew he could confide in me, and our relationship became stronger.

It's also important to understand that discipline doesn't always have to involve punishment. When my son misbehaved, I would try to look for the root cause of his behavior, instead of immediately punishing him. This helped me understand him better, and we would often come up with a resolution together.

Lastly, rewards and incentives can be a great way to reduce resistance and rebellion. I found that offering something that he wanted in exchange for positive behavior helped motivate him in a way that punishment couldn't. For instance, if he scored well in a test, we would celebrate with a special meal or an activity that he liked, which gave him the drive to perform well.

I hope these strategies help you handle preteen resistance and rebellion. Just remember, it's a phase, and it will pass. Keep calm and take one day at a time.


Hey there,

I can completely understand what you are going through as I have a 14-year-old daughter who has gone through the same rebellion phase. One thing that worked wonders for us was giving our daughter a sense of control and responsibility.

We would involve her in household decisions and give her tasks that required her to step up and take ownership. This helped her develop a sense of independence and leadership, which in turn decreased her resistance towards us. She felt as if her opinions and efforts were valued, and this gave her the confidence and self-esteem to take up more responsibility.

Another thing that worked was modeling the behavior that we wanted to see in her. Instead of reacting negatively to her defiance, we would remain calm and composed, refraining from any harsh comments or punishment. By setting an example of respect, empathy, and patience, she began to mirror our behavior, and her attitude improved over time.

Lastly, I found that communication and understanding were key. We would have weekly one-on-one meetings with our daughter, where she could voice her concerns, ideas, and plans for the upcoming week. This helped us understand her thought process and connect with her on a deeper level. We were also able to provide feedback or guidance without coming off as imposing or authoritarian.

I hope this helps, and always remember to keep the lines of communication open with your child. A little empathy and perspective-taking can go a long way in reducing resistance and putting your child on the path to positive behavior.


Hi there,

I can definitely relate to your situation, as I have a preteen daughter who can be quite stubborn at times. One thing that I found helpful was to approach her with a positive attitude and tone of voice. Instead of sounding frustrated or angry when she resists, I try to remain calm and optimistic, offering solutions or alternatives that might appeal to her.

Another strategy that worked for me was to focus on building a rapport with my daughter before asking her to comply with my requests. I would spend time with her doing fun activities or just chatting about her interests and life, which helped establish rapport and trust. When she trusts me, she is more likely to listen to my requests.

It's also important to be consistent with my rules and consequences. I've found that when I am clear and consistent with what I expect from her, it helps her understand what is and isn't acceptable. When she knows what to expect, she's less likely to push back, and the consequences are less of a surprise.

Finally, I found that picking my battles was important. I try to limit how many times I say "no" to my daughter, and instead focus on allowing her some freedom to choose and make her own decisions. This sense of autonomy helps her feel more in control and less resistant.

I hope these tips help! Remember, each child is unique, but with patience and persistence, you can help your daughter navigate this preteen phase.

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