Breaking curfew, hanging with the wrong crowd, piercing parts of the body that shouldn't see the light of day: Teenagers do a lot of things to make their parents mad.
But Windy Hager's rebellion is in a league all its own. On Monday, the 16-year-old North Carolina girl wed her 40-year-old track coach, Brenton Wuchae, despite her parents' desperate efforts to keep the two apart.
Throughout Hager's two-year-long relationship with Wuchae, her parents, Beth and Dennis Hager, sought help from the school board, police, family, friends, and pastors. But when the once bright and energetic girl withdrew and refused to speak to her parents, they caved and signed a consent form allowing their daughter to get married.
The student-coach relationship has sparked heated discussion at ABCNEWS.com, where hundreds of people have weighed in on the story. Some support the marriage:
"Everyone should just leave them alone, commenter bekncat1219 wrote. "They love each other and that should be enough."
While many do not:
"Why in the world would her parents sign a consent form handing her over to a 40-year-old man!?!," commenter sooz_q wrote. "Was there a gun to their heads to make them do so?"
And along with debate, the marriage begs a larger question: What can parents do to stop teens from making potentially life-damaging decisions?
Seeking professional help is key, according to psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall. She said that while Hager's parents were on the right track by reaching out to the authorities and spiritual leaders, they should have sought counseling to get to the root of their daughter's problem.
"I would have gotten a professional to do a full evaluation of the child," she said. "See a therapist -- get a firm diagnosis of what's happening with the child and what's happening in the parenting."
In addition to bringing their child to a therapist, Marshall suggests that parents with problem teens try to connect their kids with a guiding force outside of the immediate family -- someone the child feels they can talk with more candidly than they will with mom and dad.
"During adolescence, because the child is getting ready to leave home, the child makes strong bonds with people outside the family," she said. "Hook them up with an aunt or uncle, a youth group leader or a pastor."
Ann Pleshette Murphy, author of "The 7 Stages of Motherhood" and the former editor in chief of Parents magazine, said that parents sometimes don't have the power to stop a teen's destructive rebellion.
"I am a big advocate that when a child has an emotional or mental health problem, we need to get them to a doctor," she said. "It's not the parent's job to solve the emotional problem."
But it is a parent's job to stay strong, according to Marshall.
"The larger issue is that parents have to be willing to be disliked by the child," she said. "The parent has to be stronger than the child."
Murphy speculated that Hager's parents let her get married because in their desperation, they really believed she might never speak to them again, run away from home, or worse. But she said parents should try to maintain a clear head and realize kids will most likely not follow through on threats.