Sometimes, as a father, it is frustrating to find your kids ignoring even simple requests to pick up their socks, and responding with a surly “what for?” whenever you ask them to take out the trash. As frustrating as it is, you must understand that it is normal for kids to test adult guidelines and expectations. At this age, “defiance is about finding a way to assert yourself,” says Susanne Ayers Denham, a professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
As your kids mature and learn more about the world around them, they develop their own opinions about relationships and rules (or adopts their friends’ opinions). So don’t be surprised if they try asserting themselves by defying you and your “stupid” directives.