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Toe to Toe with Your Teen -- A Guide to Successfully Parenting a Defiant Teen without Giving Up or Giving In
by Dr. Jimmy Myers, Ph.D
© 2009. (Regal: Ventura, CA) All rights reserved.
[Answer 18 of 25 questions correctly to receive
12 hours of Continuing Education Credit]

 

Introduction: Winning the War on Terror (p. 11-22)
1. When Jimmy was 15 and was getting ready to go out on a date, what eventually compelled him to obey his father and go mow their lawn (twice)?
a. His father had threatened to kick him out of their house if he didn’t mow the lawn immediately.
b. Jimmy was afraid that his father would overpower him in a physical altercation.
c. His father had threatened to withhold his allowance.
d. Ever since he was a young child, Jimmy had been taught to respect his father and mother.

Chapter 1: It’s Never Too Late (p, 23-32)
2. Which is characteristic of authoritative parents?
a. They emphasize friendship with their children above all else.
b. They are skilled at avoiding conflict.
c. They are dictatorial.
d. They establish clear boundaries.

Chapter 2: So When Do We Start to Worry? (p. 33-51)
3. The author identifies four behavior patterns which nearly all adolescents exhibit to some degree, at some times, in their growth toward independence. Most teens, he says, are not hardcore, defiant delinquents. The teen who exhibits all or most of the four behavior patterns to an extreme degree for at least a six-month period can be considered an oppositional child.
A situation: A mother is cleaning her teenage daughter’s room and stumbles upon a bag of marijuana. When her parents confront her, she responds, “You had no right to go snooping around my room.”
This is an example of:
a. The adolescent narcissistic fantasy.
b. An exaggerated sense of entitlement.
c. A persistent pattern of defiance.
d. How normal methods of parental discipline don’t remedy the problem.

Chapter 3: Rules without a Relationship (p. 52-69)
4. Dr. Myers says, “Almost without exception, if a family has trouble with an oppositional, defiant teenager, a broken relationship [with one or both parents] lies at the heart of the conflict.”
What best describes what Dr. Myers means by “relationship”?
a. Where the parent has communicated clear and fair rules that the teen has mostly complied with.
b. Where the parent has protected the teen from the more destructive influences in our society.
c. Where the parent and teen have enjoyed one another’s company without the parent engaging in any of the usual “life lessons”.
d. Where the parent has backed down from enforcing a rule to earn the teen’s friendship.

5. In order for a parent to repair a broken relationship with an oppositional teen, which of the following did the author NOT say in this chapter?
a. Any parent who is simply at home when the teen is there is an example of quality time.
b. One way to spend quality time with your teen is by checking in with your teen every day. Another way is to schedule specific times to be alone together.
c. Reduce negativity.
d. Acknowledge the negative stereotype your teen perceives in you and purposely work against it.
e. Maintain an interest in your teen’s world.
f. Don’t use every moment as a teachable moment. Sometimes simply relate to your teen as a person.

Chapter 4: The Question of Control (p. 71-89)
6. In a home where parents talk like this -- “It’s time for bed, okay?” “Let’s get cleaned up for dinner, okay?” “It’s time to do your homework, okay?” -- the parents’ instructions sound more like suggestions and solicitations for the teen’s approval.
This lack of parental leadership allows for a defiant teen to gain control of their home in which of the following ways?
a. passive resistance
b. relentless debate
c. domination by fear
d. leading by default

7. To maintain control in their home, and to parent the way God does, parents must
a. not allow their teens to talk back to them.
b. respond immediately to misbehavior with immediate consequences.
c. establish and enforce boundaries while exercising unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance.
d. love their teen while maintaining as few rules as possible.

Chapter 5: If We Keep Doing Things to Same Way… (p. 90-108)
8. Why should our teenagers suffer bad consequences for their bad choices?
a. Because God uses the natural consequences of our negative behavior to teach us how to live. Hebrews 12:5-11 “…God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness…”
b. Because if the teen has no negative consequences for bad choices, he won’t have any motivation for stopping the behavior. Some kids are internally motivated to do the right thing. Other kids have to be extrinsically motivate by consequences so they will learn to do the right thing.
c. Because discipline is a part of love. Parents discipline their children because they love them.
d. All of the above.

9. Which advice did the author NOT give to parents in this chapter?
a. Choose your battles and win the battles you choose. Don't battle over every issue.
b. Give your child a reason to change her behavior.
c. Bad choices must result in bad consequences.
d. Make your word your bond. If you give your teen a warning to comply with your wishes or suffer a consequence, then follow through with the consequence if he doesn’t comply.
e. Remember that parenting is not about you. Don’t give consequences because you are frustrated and want revenge. Give consequences for the purpose of molding your teen’s character.
f. Parental yelling is a sign of weakness and loss of control. It is ineffective.
g. Families that have a defiant teen, have fathers who are too strict and authoritative. The fathers should become more gentle and diplomatic.
h. Present a united front with your spouse. Otherwise, the teen will use the “divide and conquer” tactic. Parents should go to another room to work out their disagreements and not openly side with your defiant teen over your spouse.
i. Don’t be your teen’s friend -- be his parent.

Chapter 6: Parenting Makes Me So Mad! (p. 109-131)
10. Which of the following four ways that parents express their anger in sinful ways did the author admit he struggled with the most?
a. sarcasm
b. yelling
c. emotional distancing
d. physical aggression

11. A physiological reason why parents’ first response is their worst response is because a brain fueled by adrenalin will make them say and do things they will later regret. Parents need to bring God into the situation by seeing themselves as Christ’s representatives who use discipline to reconcile their teen to God. The teen is being redeemed, not punished.
The author gives practical ways for parents to take their anger out of the discipline process, using the acronym S.T.O.P. Because the rest of the process cannot work without it, the author says that the most important aspect of S.T.O.P. is:
a. Both parent and teen drop the argument and separate for about 30 to 60 minutes.
b. Tone down the tension by doing whatever will help you to calm down.
c. Pray for the wisdom and grace to approach your child with the heart of Christ, not a heart filled with rage or vengeance.
d. Be Christ’s representative in your conversation with your teen.

Chapter 7: Your Secret Weapon (p. 132-151)
12. According to the author, all of the following are benefits of a written behavior contract EXCEPT
a. It shifts the focus from the parent to the written rules and consequences. The parent is no longer the bad guy. The law, not the parent, is king -- REX LEX -- like the old-English style of law and order.
b. It makes parents, who often have two different approaches to parenting, agree through compromise. The stricter spouse will have to agree to a discipline strategy that will be more lenient than he or she would like. The more lenient parent will have to agree to a discipline strategy that will be stricter than he or she would like.
c. It makes teens less manipulative and less cunning. They know ahead of time that they cannot get away with misbehavior, so they become more compliant.
d. It reduces parental stress by taking the guess work out of the next time a teen misbehaves. Parents know exactly what consequences they should administer before the next boundary violation occurs.
e. It eliminates parental inconsistency. Parents are much more inclined to follow through with discipline when the consequences have been written down and agreed upon.
f. It protects the teen from receiving excessive discipline when the parent is fatigued, frustrated, exasperated, or angry.

13. Which is NOT true?
a. The teen misbehavior that should receive the greatest penalty is whatever the teen’s greatest problem is because this is the behavior the parent wants to reduce as much as possible.
b. Virtually all teen infractions can be grouped into three categories: disrespect, disobedience, and dishonesty. Specific consequences, then, can be simplified by being listed for a category violation rather than for every single violation.
c. It should be written into the contract that the consequences will be doubled if the teen is disrespectful (i.e. yells) while the parent is trying to communicate the consequences.
d. Once the contract is written, it should not be changed, to avoid confusion or inconsistency.
e. For an exceptionally defiant teen, using an “all or nothing” approach is effective. This means when a contract is first begun during a period when the teen has been behaving relatively good, then the consequences can be: removing privileges for negative behavior. Conversely, if the contract is begun when the teen has no privileges, then the consequences can be: adding privileges for good behavior.

Chapter 8: The Great Consequences Debate (p. 152-175)
14. What is NOT true about consequences?
a. The purpose of consequences is to motivate a defiant teen to make good choices.
b. A parent just talking to a teen about the teen’s misbehavior is often an effective consequence.
c. If a consequence is not painful enough, the teen will see no reason to change his or her behavior.
d. The most effective consequence is whatever the teen cares about the most as well as what would bother the teen the most to have taken away.
e. A parent needs to have more options than just taking away privileges and possessions. Giving boring tasks to do like cleaning the bathroom, temporarily removing text messaging from their cell phones, removing their favorite clothes from their closets, are examples of alternative consequences.

15. With regard to executing consequences effectively, all of the following are true EXCEPT
a. Parents should not back down from following through with a consequence once it has been assigned.
b. If consequences are not resulting in a teen stopping their misbehavior, then parents should stop giving consequences for that behavior because it probably isn’t going to change.
c. With a defiant teen, parents should not rely only upon negative consequences. They should also encourage and praise their teen for any achievement or improvement. Their defiant teen desperately needs to know that they still believe in him.
d. If parents want to let their defiant teen off the hook (“extend grace“), they should do it very rarely, about 1 out of every 100 times of misbehavior. Otherwise, if they extend grace too often, the defiant teen can become angry -- “My parents don’t think I’m worth the trouble it takes to enforce the rules.” Also, the teen doesn’t look at his parents’ over use of grace with appreciation; he looks at it with contempt for parental weakness.

16. The decision to remove a defiant teen from the home
a. is too expensive. Many insurance companies will not pay for a therapeutic facility or wilderness program.
b. is too extreme. The teen will ultimately conclude he is not loved by parents who send him away.
c. should be used as a last resort, when a teen has repeatedly defied his parents with no sign of his behavior ever changing, especially if that behavior is violent or criminal.
d. is more beneficial for the facility, which charges lots of money, than it is for the teen.

Chapter 9: Don’t Let Your Marriage Become Collateral Damage (p. 177-199)
17. In doing research for his doctorate degree, the author discovered that almost all families with a defiant teen have a father who
a. has been unemployed for long periods of time, or is a workaholic.
b. is an alcoholic or has some type of substance abuse addiction.
c. is weak-willed, ineffectual, unengaged, conflict avoidant, or passive.
d. is strong and confident, swift to administer discipline that is fair and appropriate.

18. In families with a defiant teen, the mothers feel
a. abandoned by their husbands who let them handle all the difficult discipline situations alone.
b. angry that their husbands lack the backbone to stand up to their defiant teen.
c. hopeless because they lack the support they need from their husbands.
d. like failures as parents. And that perhaps their bad parenting caused their teen to be defiant.
e. All of the above.

19. The best way to help parents stop being adversaries with opposing parenting styles and to behave like team members who present a united front to their defiant teen is by
a. using a written behavioral contract that states which consequences will be administered after misbehavior.
b. having the parents respond to defiant behavior with the other parent’s discipline style to see which one is more effective.
c. having each parent apologize to the other for past mistakes and promising to do better next time.
d. having each parent do extensive, written research on the pros and cons of their own particular parenting style.

20. In helping couples to work together to find discipline solutions instead of working against each other, which did the author NOT advise?
a. Don’t quit talking to one another.
b. Don’t start your discussions with a harsh beginning. Begin with acknowledging that your spouse has a valid point of view.
c. Practice active listening where you restate back to your spouse what you heard your spouse just say. That confirms to your spouse that you have heard your spouse correctly.
d. Don’t threaten to divorce your spouse. Keep the focus on reaching a resolution, not leaving the marriage.
e. Gently remind your spouse of past mistakes so your spouse will not be inclined to repeat them.

Chapter 10: Special Focus -- Single-Parent Families and Blended Families (p. 200-217)
21. Within the first two years after a divorce, ___ percent of noncustodial fathers become delinquent in their child support payments.
a. 20
b. 30
c. 50
d. 70

22. If there is bitterness between ex-spouses, either on the part of one or both parties, and they cannot agree on a written behavioral contract for their children’s misbehavior, then what can the custodial parent realistically do to get their ex-spouse to be cooperative?
a. Take their ex-spouse back to court and have the court make their ex-spouse comply with written behavior rules for consequences for misbehavior.
b. Absolutely nothing. The custodial parent must realize that their influence with their ex-spouse is over. They have to accept how things are handled differently in the other household.
c. Tell their children not to comply with their ex-spouse’s standards.
d. Get the people most admired by the ex-spouse to persuade the ex-spouse to be cooperative.

23. In a blended family, the best way for a husband and wife, with two different styles of parenting, to present a unified front to the children is: 1) To have an “our kids” mentality, not a “mine” and “yours” mentality, 2) To have a written behavioral contract with specific, agreed-upon consequences for misbehavior, and for each spouse to put their loyalty to their spouse ahead of their loyalty to their children.
a. True
b. False

Epilogue
24. Parental anger and domination are not necessary in order to enforce boundaries in the home.
a. True
b. False

Appendix: Sample Behavior Contract
25. According to this sample behavior contract, if a teen acts disrespectful to a parent, the consequence is
a. losing all electronic devices for 48 hours.
b. losing all electronic devices for 48 hours and being grounded to the house for the coming weekend.
c. being on total lockdown for 48 hours. This includes no electronics, no leaving the house, no one coming to the house, and no communication with anyone outside the family.
d. being on total lockdown for 72 hours. This includes no electronics, no leaving the house, no one coming to the house, and no communication with anyone outside the family.