Anyone who has ever been or raised a teenage girl knows that they can be stubborn. Stubbornness is a natural part of being a teenager, a manifestation of the natural urge to separate oneself from her parents. There is a difference, however, between simply being stubborn and exhibiting oppositional defiance. Girls can be challenging, but a teenage daughter who is openly defiant, vindictive, and angry can be more than challenging, she can be completely unmanageable. How do you tell if your daughter is just stubborn or if the problem is more severe?
A stubborn child will fight to get their way, but they are neither violent, nor are their outbursts unfounded. Girls who are simply stubborn have plenty of tenacity, but they will often yield to reason. There are plenty of upsides of having a stubborn daughter: she is a problem solver who is unlikely to be swayed by peer pressure. If your daughter is simply stubborn, she will likely also exhibit the positive character traits that accompany stubbornness. She also is unlikely to be explosive.
Being stubborn doesn’t mean that she is unable to accept disappointment or that she will fly into a turbulent rage every time she doesn’t get her way. If this is happening, this is indicative of a much more serious problem.
Oppositional defiance has many things in common with stubbornness. Those with oppositional defiance will still be resistant to letting others have their way and will be obstinate when it comes to change, sharing, and peer pressure. There is another layer, however, on top of normal behavior that indicates a teenager might actually be exhibiting oppositional defiance. This is violence and outbursts.
Teenage girls that are violent, either physically or verbally, that can melt town in temper tantrums, and are easily whipped up into a rage, even by situations that would probably not even affect other teenagers. Oppositional defiance goes beyond run of the mill stubbornness and causes serious problems that can impede an individual’s ability to make friends, maintain relationships, and develop properly. When stubbornness escalates into disobedience, the inability to comply with rules, even when those rules are clear and reasonable, irritability, anger, and spitefulness, it is no longer just stubbornness and is oppositional defiance.
Asheville Academy can help
Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school for young girls ages 10-14, can help your daughter with oppositional defiance. With a caring, expert staff and a clinically intensive program, Asheville Academy can bring your family back together.
For more information about how Asheville Academy can help your family, please call 800.264.8709