Why do teens argue all the time? Can you help me get through this very troubling and difficult time?


Teens are busy practicing a new way of thinking.  (Jean Piaget called it “formal operational thought.”)  Between 11 and 16 years of age, teens develop the ability to solve problems without the concrete, action-oriented experiences of a child. Teens are forming theories about everything—and testing them out. They make assumptions, consider hypotheses, and work out the inferences that follow.  This abstract thinking is very difficult to master. So, teens argue constantly to practice these abstract thought processes. Most parents feel threatened by their rude and argumentative teen.

Try these helpful survival tips:

1. Know that you aren’t alone in trying to cope with a cantankerous teen.

2. Try to meet with other parents for support and an exchange of ideas whenever you can.

3. Know that this argumentative phase is related to your teen’s struggle to learn (...continue reading)