How can a parent tell the difference between normal rebellion and the signal that a teen is troubled? Ask yourself these two questions:

How frequent and intense is the rebellion? Normal rebellion is sporadic. There are moments of sweetness, calm and cooperation between outbursts. If on the other hand, rebellion is constant and intense, this can be a sign of underlying emotional problems.

Is this behavior change drastic for my teen? Normal rebellious behavior develops over time, beginning with a teen wanting to be with friends more and disagreeing with parents more frequently.

Problem rebellion is sudden and drastically out of character. For example, a normally rebellious "A" student may get a few "Bs" and cut a class or two, but if he suddenly starts failing or refuses to go to school, this can be a sign that your teen is experiencing an emotional crisis.

Time and patience help normal rebellion, but the troubled teen needs additional help from counseling professionals and parents.

Mr. B