Psychologist Breaks Down 5 Infuriating Teen Habits & How to Handle Them

teen girl arguing with her parents iStock

For parents who are currently screaming into their pillows, here’s what to know and how to react to your teen

If you have a teenager, you already know how it goes. They’re learning their way around the world and becoming independent, fully formed humans—but with that comes some pretty freaking obnoxious habits that will drive you up every wall of your house. When you’re at your wit’s end, hit play on this TikTok video and listen to what a psychologist has to say about some of the most rage-inducing teen habits and how to handle them.

Dr. Lucie Hemmen makes content that helps families navigate their relationships with one another, and this video is no exception.


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“Five really typical things that teens do that drive parents crazy,” she says to introduce the video.

The first one won’t surprise any parent of a teenager: staying in their room all the time. Dr. Hemmen explains this is because teens are establishing their own identities away from their families.

“The best way to deal with it is to honor that and let them know that ‘when it’s dinner time, you’re coming out of your room’,” she says. “That way, they know you’re meeting them halfway.”

The second habit is teens’ tendency to be “emotionally intense.”

“It’s really not their fault,” Dr. Hemmen explains. “It has to do with their brain development. Their feelings are on full blast, and discernment, as far as how intense the feeling needs to be given the situation at hand, is not so great.”

Unfortunately, the only way to handle this one is time.

“It’s something you need to make space for and wait out,” Dr. Hemmen says.

No. 3 is that teens are irritable, she says, but this is also part of their normal development. The best thing parents can do is try not to take it personally and let things go, but “call out what you need to.”

Fourth on the list is that teens are “self-absorbed,” according to Dr. Hemmen.

“That’s not who they’re gonna be when they’re an adult, necessarily,” she says. “It’s very age-appropriate when you’re a teen, especially a younger teen.”

And finally, “Everything seems like an argument.”

Dr. Hemmen reminds parents that it’s “not because they disrespect you, it’s because they’ve had a burst of brain development and they know how to argue better. They feel more empowered and they want more separateness.”

At the end of the video, Dr. Hemmen notes that it was hard to narrow the list down to just five teen habits—something else that will help parents of teens feel seen. Parents, hang in there!


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