Parenting Tips

Handling Disrespectful Teenagers

November 25, 2019
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You might have noticed that recently, you and your teen might be having strangely confrontational conversations. For example, you might be curious about how your teen is doing in school, and you want to show your teen that you are interested in his or her life. So you might ask a simple question such as how they are doing in their school project that you know they are working on. But instead of giving you an update of their school project, your teen belligerently asks why you are checking up on them and accuses you of not trusting them. Naturally, you would feel worried and hurt.

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Where Does This Disrespectful Behavior Originate

Not every teenager behaves disrespectfully or rudely. However, disrespectful behavior is not unusual in the development and growth of teenagers. Part of the reason is that your teen is testing their independence. Your teen might be expressing his need for privacy. It’s also normal for the mood of a teenager to change rather quickly. It is possible that your teen is worried or stressed about something. And it is also possible that your teen might be copying another teen’s disrespectful behavior.

What To Do If Your Teen Behaves Disrespectfully

You should remain calm. Breathe in profoundly and talk calmly.

Try using humor.

You should ignore behavior such as bored looks, raised eyebrows, or shrugs.

Verify that you understood their behavior correctly. It is possible that your teen is not being intentionally disrespectful.

Praise your teen when he positively talks to you.

Act as a role model. You should also communicate in a respectful manner.

Seek another trustworthy adult to provide support to your teen.

Ask your teen if he is worried or stressed about something.

Know the friends of your teen.

Specify rules about communication and behavior.

Concentrate on the behavior of your teen. Do not comment on your teen’s character or personality.

Specify and utilize consequences.

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What Not To Do If Your Teen Behaves Disrespectfully

Do not argue with your teen. You might say something in anger that you do not mean. You should take a little bit of time off to allow both of you to calm down.

Do not talk or discuss with your teen when you are angry. Inform your teen that you wish to speak with him at a later time and agree when you both will communicate.

Do not be defensive. Try to remember that your teen is just trying to be independent.

Do not lecture your teen. If you wish your teen to listen, then you should also listen to your teen.

Do not nag. It will just make your teen stop listening.

Do not use sarcasm. It will only drive you and your teen farther apart.

What To Do If Your Teen Continues To Show Disrespectful Behavior

If the suggestions above do not work and your teen continues to behave disrespectfully, it might be an indication that your teen is struggling with a problem. You should start worrying if your teen’s mood or attitude changes if your teen stops socializing with friends and family, if your teen runs away or if your teen regularly skips school.

If you are worried about the behavior of your teen, then you should consult a professional such as a doctor, a teacher, or a school counselor. You can also talk to your family about the issue. And you can consult other parents and ask them for suggestions.