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How to handle rude and demanding adolescent behaviour?

Q: My teenage niece always throws tantrums, which I guess are normal for a teenage girl. She is always mad at her mother and creates an issue out of everything. She tries to pick up a fight even when her mother tries to avoid her. Her father does not live with them, and she has never seen him. She is a pampered child and has money but is never happy or content. She always wants something and thinks she is missing out and not getting everything. She talks rudely, which is unlike in the family. How can we change her and make her realise that she is better off then most in the world?

A:Bringing about change in an adolescent's behaviour is not an overnight process nor is it an easy one. Primarily it requires major changes in the care givers behaviour towards the adolescent. There are a number of factors that are involved; first of all you need to know the degree of distress that this behaviour is causing. If it only seems like difficult behaviour to you and not to her mother then there is little that one can do in this situation. Another important aspect involves change in the way the adolescent is treated. It must be realised that the behaviour that in being exhibited is mostly a result of the environment. This can include being given excess or lack of attention or parent being over protective or uninvolved. She can also have unresolved feelings towards the absence of her father and may blame the mother or self for it. It is advisable for both the mother and the adolescent and any other care giver involved to undergo counselling or family therapy.


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