If you have a teenager, you already know how it goes. Sometimes they open up and share a tidbit about their day; other times, you’re forced to walk on eggshells around them. These older kids are 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.

While it may feel like this behavior is purposeful and directed at you, Dr. Lucie Hemmen shares in a recent TikTok that all of this is par for the course when it comes to their development.


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Things teens do that drive their parents crazy: 

  1. They stay in their rooms. “If you don’t take this personally, it will go way better for you, because it’s not personal, it’s part of their separation, and they need more time alone,” Dr. Hemmenn says. “The best way to deal with it is to honor that and let them know: ‘I’m going to honor that. But when it’s dinner time, you’re coming out of your room.'” You are giving them some freedom but still maintaining the family bond—and meeting them in the middle.
  2. Teens are emotionally intense. “It’s really not their fault. It has to do with their brain development. Their feelings are on full blast, and discernment, as far as how a feeling needs to be given the situation at hand, is not so great. So it’s something you need to make space for and wait out.”
  3. Teens are irritable. This is also part of development and is something you’ll just need to ignore and wait out. You might feel like you are saying the wrong way every step of the way, but try not to take it personally.
  4. They seem very self-absorbed. “That’s not who they’re going to be when they’re an adult, necessarily, but it’s very age-appropriate when you’re a teen.”
  5. Everything seems like an argument. “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 have more skills for that. They also feel more empowered and they want more separateness, so they’re very willing to engage in an argument.”

The main takeaway from this list is that most teen behavior, though it might seem mean and intentional, is just a biological inevitability. If you wait it out and give them a little space, you just might get your friendly kid back on the other side.

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