Typical Teenage Behavior

teen behavior

Typical Teenage Behavior

Is your teenager normal? How do you define normal? These answers can best be answered by you, as a parent, with a little bit of knowledge about typical teenager behaviors. So before you get worried or confused over your teenager’s actions, read on.

First of all, your teenager is a distinct individual with their own feelings and personalities. During their adolescent development, your teenager will likely experience a whole range of new feelings and issues. The following are some of the typical teenage behaviors you can expect.

  • Identity crises as your teenager tries to figure out who they are and who they want to become.
  • Awkward physical movements as your teen grows by leaps and bounds and learns to become situated in their body.
  • Occasional sassiness as your teen realizes you are not perfect and points out your faults.
  • Selfishness as your teenager alternates between setting high goals or demeaning themselves.
  • Independence seeking as your teenager wants to try out new things.
  • Higher abilities as your teenager learns new things and can do more things.
  • Sexual development as your teenager grows and becomes curious about sexual matters.
  • Role-model seeking as your teen looks for people whom they can look up too.
  • Worries and confusion over whether your teenager fits in or is normal.

You will notice that your teenager is most likely frustrated by their limitations and worried about what is thought of them. However, do not worry too much about their development if they are participating well in school, learning and work situations, if they are working to develop relationships with friends and family members, and if they are participating in safe outlets where they can have fun. Here are some ideas to help foster a good relationship with your teen as they experience a myriad of changes through their adolescent development.

  • Listen to and value your teen’s ideas and experiences. Do not necessarily always try to provide a solution to their problems. Just listen then let them work out their problems on their own.
  • Stick to your rules but make sure your teenager understands the expectations and consequences from breaking rules.
  • Pass along your ethics and values to show your teen what you think is important.
  • Try to avoid confrontation. Never show hostility and work through your disagreements. And sometimes you will just have to agree on disagreeing.
  • Deal with anything that threatens you or your teen’s safety.

If your teen is experiencing atypical behavior such as constantly negative and defiant or persists in breaking rules without caring about others or the consequences, your teenager may have a behavioral disorder and you should seek outside help. See the article “Does Your Teen Need Help? ” for ideas of where to go in this case.

Typical Teenage Behavior Sources:

  1. American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Facts for Families, “Normal Adolescent Development Part I,” [online].
  2. American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Facts for Families, “Normality,” [online].
  3. Focus Adolescent Services, Behavioral Disorders, “How can you tell if your teen’s behavior is a problem? Could it be just ‘normal teenage rebellion’?” [onilne].