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Why Rebellion?

Updated: May 18, 2019

As anyone who has ever dealt with teenagers can tell you, they are known for their many forms of rebellion against adults and our rules and the things we tell them to do. What most people don't realize or understand is that this rebellion is not kids being obnoxious, it's physiological adults being tired of the constraints of childhood. It's a normal and healthy process, even if it is annoying.

I can just about hear parents saying, "physiological adults?" but yes, the people we cal teenagers or adolescents, those aged about 12-20, are physiologically adults. It can happen any time during those years, usually earlier for females but not always. At some point during the adolescent years, a person develops sexually. Females develop breasts and begin to menstruate, males develop the characteristically deeper voices and facial hair. In most cases people reach their adult height during this time, though males may continue to grow for an extra three years or so. Therefore, these people are physiologically adults. In may societies and at different times, they would have been functioning as adults as well.

there's the rub, isn't it? they would have been functioning as adults in other places or times. However, in our increasingly complex society, there is too much to learn to be done by age twelve. Think about all of the things they cannot do, not because they aren't ready but because they are not allowed to do them. They cannot drive a car, marry, have sex, vote, leave school, work full-time, sign a contract, go to war, and drink alcohol, to name just a few. While they begin to be allowed to do some of these things during adolescence, we don't generally encourage full independence. So, they are physically capable of a great deal of independence but we don't give it to them. Is it any wonder they rebel?

I am not suggesting for one moment that teenagers be given complete freedom to do whatever they want in a world as complicated as ours. I am suggesting that we understand the biological reasons behind the impatience to be treated as adults that leads to rebellion. With this understanding and knowledge comes patience and creativity so that we can honor their very real frustrations and find ways to work with it.

That's where hypnotherapy comes in. I have worked with many, many young adults (as I prefer to think of them) who were incredibly frustrated with the whole "adolescence thing" and were behaving more rebelliously than their parents thought was safe. The young people and their parents learned that these feelings are normal. In hypnosis, the young people were able to see a way clear to the adult life they wanted and the parents were able to experience the feelings of being held back. This usually led to compromise and better family interactions, which led to less rebellion at home and in school.

I would love to talk with you and your young adult, too. Send me an email at or through my website, any time. I look forward to hearing from you.


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