Angry Young Men – TIME

It’s a well organized and brief piece on adolescent anger. The article provides great insight into the brooding teenager who doesn’t seem to listen.

One section caught my attention.

So yelling at their teenagers doesn’t generally help. But what about the broader idea of parents getting tough?
Some parents take up a very authoritarian stance, trying to lay down the rules. This doesn’t help an adolescent boy at all because it means the rules are imposed from outside, like a moral law. Parents need to be involved in a dialogue with their son. They need to fill the role of intellectual midwife: engage them in a conversation where the rules, the laws, what’s right and what’s wrong are talked about and not imposed. Sometimes parents have to forbid. But that doesn’t mean the forbidding should happen in the absence of a dialogue.

I have always known that imposing rules without explanation is rather useless: it creates spot correction of behavior and most of the time obedience, but it is lacking in what is most important to raising a child: teaching a lesson.