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DaphneT's avatar

Is rebeling against parental rules a sign of maturity?

Asked by DaphneT (5745points) June 1st, 2012

I got into a discussion with my sister over my niece’s level of maturity and she maintained that said niece is not mature because she has chosen to not rebel against her parent. I maintained that I wouldn’t classify her lack of rebelling as a sign of immaturity. What say you?

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15 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

I am not sure that it is always that simple. I didn’t rebel per se so as others might notice, but I did rebel in my own little ways. The difference is that my goals and my parent’s goals for me were very similar, so that was not an area of friction—no need to rebel. It may be the same with your niece.

I always got good grades and went to school (and drank and snuck out to parties), I was just good at creating a situation that allowed me to do what I wanted without the drama of giving my mom a chance to say no and start a fight.

tom_g's avatar

My 3-year-old must be very mature.

GladysMensch's avatar

Not every child rebels against their parent. Some kids don’t like conflict, just as some adults don’t like conflict. Also, not every parent is worth rebelling against. There is no need to rebel if a child shows good decision-making skills and the parent rewards that with increased trust.

Pandora's avatar

Than my kids where really early bloomers at age 2 and then late bloomers at about 20. I think you have to have something to rebel against. My kids didn’t need to rebel in their teens because I actually wanted them to do more than they did. I was the parent that wanted them to go out and party as I did as a teen. But both of my kids simply didn’t see the point in it. They rathered stick around at home or hang out with their friends playing video games. Or watch animie. That was their thing. Neither enjoy going out to party too much even today. They go out for drinks with pals or workmates and they enjoy going out on outdoor adventures but parties still are not their thing.
Rebelling is about independence. If they feel they are already doing what they want to do, than what would be the point in rebelling. But I don’t believe it means a person is mature. It just means they are willing to fight for what they want and just means that they may be more assertive. Maturity has to do with making proper decisions and weighing the pros and cons. Any idiot can fight but a mature person picks their battles wisely.

YoBob's avatar

Erm…. no.

Reaching the point where you finally figure out that your parents knew what they were talking about is a sign of maturity.

wundayatta's avatar

Rebellion is not a sign a maturity. You can think for yourself without rebelling. You can think with wisdom and maturity without rebelling. The two are not correlated in any way I can think of.

Nullo's avatar

No, but in some cases, I think, it’s on the way there.

JLeslie's avatar

I would not say maturity, but a little rebellion in children, especially girls can be a good thing in my opinion. Healthy rebellion where she stands up to her parents if she does not agree with them and state her case for a different curfew or to change some sort of rule. Parents are a safe place for adolescents to learn how to not always be passive and obedient. I would have some worry if my child just accepted every rule I set. Especially girls who are more likely to be submissive to their husbands and submissive or passive in general. I would want my children to feel they have a voice.

On the other hand children doing crazy things to be spiteful is very different. When they are putting themselves in harms way just to counter their parents, obviously that is not mature.

zenvelo's avatar

A lot of rebellion is a process of learning what your boundaries. The rebellion is pushing to find those boundaries, and where your parents end and you begin.

Children brought up well by parents that neither smother nor ignore the child will learn these boundaries over the years, and don’t need to act out to define themselves. The parents have helped them become well adjusted and self reliant..

PurpleClouds's avatar

Not at 11, but at 20 and working, yes. Context is everything.

YARNLADY's avatar

If rebellion means ignoring their rules and the rules of society, absolutely not. There are many ways to separate oneself from their parents that don’t involve open rebellion. The more mature children make plans for themselves that don’t include the parents, but do involve the adult child taking responsibility for their own behavior and for their own financial support.

josie's avatar

No, it is not. Otherwise, since we are always maturing, we would always and increasingly rebel against our parents, until they died of frustration or broken hearts.

hearkat's avatar

Rebellion is for those who are oppressed or neglected. I always patted myself on the back as a good parent because my son didn’t go through a rebellious phase. That is not to say that he didn’t defy or challenge me or other authority figures in some situations. But I think because I gave him the opportunity to push limits here and there, and I stood up to his challenges when he tried me, and I allowed him to earn responsibility progressively over his lifetime, he always stayed close to me and told me nearly everything.

JLeslie's avatar

@DaphneT I think possibly people are using various different definitions of rebellion and possibly there is a miscommunication between you and your sister, because maybe you are talking about two different things. It’s pretty well documents that adolescents is a time for children to start asserting their independence and autonomy, and to some paremts it might feel like or be described as “rebellion.” I think most people in the psychology field would worry about a child who does not move through this time effectively, practicing for adulthood by being out more with their own with friends, maybe not doing some of the chores assigned to them at home, becoming less interested in physical affection with their parents and more interested in “romantic” possibiilities, etc. But, most people on the Q see rebellion as a very negative word, which I didn’t when I first read your question, because I was simply thinking of the typical stages of growing up.

Did your sister define exactly what behavior she means? So you know if you two are thinking the same thing?

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. It’s normal process to become more self reliant.

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