Family Life Logo and Banner
spacebar
"Rebelliousness is typical of youth and unusual in childhood."
Banner includes image of Family
View Cart
Site Map
Search
spacebar
Rebelliousness in Adolescence
The dictionary defines the verb to rebel as to resist or rise up against a government or other authority. The rebel is therefore a person who dissents from some accepted moral code or convention of behavior, dress, etc. Rebelliousness is typical of youth and unusual in childhood. It is not that children are never disobedient, but their conduct has a very different significance from that of the teenager. Before thirteen, the child disobeys through carelessness or in order to refuse something he dislikes. After that age, at fourteen, he disobeys, not because it upsets him to be ordered about, but to protest against the idea of being subordinate to another, as implied in the very notion of obedience. The substance of what he is told is less important to him than the tone of voice of the person giving the orders.

We must distinguish rebelliousness in this sense from obstinacy or stubbornness, from nonconformity or the critical spirit, which emerges in middle adolescence. None of these attitudes necessarily implies any rejection of being subordinate to adults. There is no incompatibility between accepting someone's authority in general and differing with him on a particular matter of opinion, even if the discrepancy is persistent and expressed in a stubborn manner.

To read the full article, please click here.