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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can i control my 14 year old daughter and her having tantrums?

    My Daughter is 14 and I am at my wits end. She does not seem to be able to accept when we say no. In retaliation she throws a tantrum which has now got worse. This seems to only be at home , other places she is fine. I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.
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  • 2


    I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    I am sorry to hear of your frustration and angst. It can be terribly difficult when teenagers refuse to listen to their parents. However, it may help you to know that some of this behaviour is normal. Although we expect tantrums to end after the ‘terrible twos’ the transition of adolescence actually is another stage of development which can feel akin to having a two-year-old! 
    Most teenagers find it very difficult to accept parents saying “No” and rebeliion is a necessary part of them finding their own identity and becoming more grown up. It is a necessary part of separating from parents and defining oneself as a unique individual with unique and sometimes quite distinct views from one's parents. If a teenager does not go through this process the individuation necessary to form one's own life and to take responsibility for one's self is delayed and development can be impaired.
    Knowing this may just help a little in alleviating your frustration.
    However, in reality I understand that temper tantrums are distressing for the entire family and seem unecessary. I would suggest that you try hard to listen to her (when she is calm) and to see her point of view. You may not wish to change anything else that you do but listening to her will increase a sense of connection and understanding between you. She needs to feel held and contained as she is going through a transition period of enormous change in her development which is, in all likelihood provoking anxiety.
    It may also help for you to reflect on what growing up was like for you (and your partner)and what was it like for you both to be 14. You do not mention where she is placed in the famiily but this is also likely to have some bearing on the situation. It would be helpful for her (and you) to see a counsellor to help explore what is at the heart of her concerns and yours. Just being heard and feeling understood can make a difference. Good luck.

  • Bundles

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you, I think a lot of this makes more sense. It's always harder with the eldest, i think we learn from that with the second one.

  • 1


    Adrian Harris

    Social Worker

    Clinical Social Worker and Couple / Family TherapistFounder of Harris CounsellingAs a counsellor and social worker, Adrian has devoted the past decade to building and … View Profile

    Sounds like you are on the right track just by being curious regarding your teenagers behaviours, and how you can respond differently. Individualised approaches like CBT and anger management may be less effective with teenagers where relationship between parent and child is the focus of the problem. This is because what you are dealing with is not an individual issue, but more of a problem that is occurring between family members. Also, you don’t want to get them offside by suggesting that the problem rests with them and that they are the only one that needs to make adjustments. This strategy is likely to close them down and impact greatly on your relationship with you teenager. 

    Try this watching this video:

    I wish you all the best

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