For Educators

Resistance to Parents – Background


It’s inevitable that children and teens will resist their parents from time to time. Regardless of how strong the relationship is between a parent and a child, certain rules and requests will always be met with a struggle. Most of the time, parents create rules and set boundaries that are intended to keep their children safe, healthy, and disciplined. But sometimes, parents make requests that are unreasonable, unethical, and even illegal.

In this lesson, students will consider instances in which it is reasonable for children to oppose the demands of their parents. They will discuss requests that could put children at risk of physical or emotional injury, and they will recognize instances in which a parent’s demands may be read as abusive. Students will determine specific examples of unethical and irrational requests that should be met with resistance, and they will consider the ways in which a child or teen might seek help if a parent’s behavior becomes burdensome or abusive. Students will explore the channels that are open to children and teens who need help dealing with the unreasonable demands of parents, and they will think about how they might help or advise a friend who is dealing with a difficult or dangerous home environment.

Grade Level:

Grades 5-8

Time Allotment:

Four to five 45-minute class periods

Subject Matter:

Communication Skills, Ethics, Family Life, Health, Interpersonal Relationships, Language Arts, Parenting, Psychology, Religion

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss the ways children and teens might resist their parents.
  • Explore the reasons children and teens challenge their parents.
  • Identify demands or behaviors that should be met with resistance by children and teens.
  • Determine the channels that are available to help children and teens who are dealing with a difficult or dangerous home environment.
  • Consider the ways they would try to help a friend or peer who struggles with unreasonable requests or demands from a parent.


This lesson was prepared by: Erin Audia