How to deal with disrespectful teenage behaviours
Disrespectful behavior in teenagers remains a thing many parents face at some point. But here are some strategies that can help you manage this sort of behavior in the meantime. Sometimes you might feel that interactions with your child all seem a bit rough, but there’s a way to resolve things. As a parent, it’s only normal to feel hurt, unsure, and worried about your child’s behavior. Your child used to value your input, but now, it seems that even the simplest convo can turn into an argument.
There are reasons for your child’s attitudinal issues. But the good news is, this phase will surely end – so, you need not worry. Here’s what you need to know:
Not all teens will be rude, but acting like this is a normal part of teenage development. Your child is learning to express his independent ideas. Thus, there’ll always be a time when you disagree. Developing this mental state is a key part of growing up.
Also, teens can be moody because of how their brains develop. The changes that tend to go on, especially those affecting the emotional part of the brain, can sometimes lead to sensitivity and changeable attitudes or moods.
Teens are starting to think in a deeper way than they did some years earlier, and they can have feelings and thoughts they’ve never had before. It’s now that some young people seem to pop into the world with a contrary view on everything. The morphing into deeper thinking is just a normal part of their mental development.
How to handle a teen’s disrespectful behavior
- Focus on the behavior
Do not focus on the person, just the behavior. When you need to talk about a disrespectful act, focus more on the behavior rather than the child’s behavior – letting your feelings get the best of you isn’t the ideal thing to do. So, avoid comments about characters or personalities. It’s OK to “occasionally” say how you’re feeling without being offensive about it.
- Set clear rules
You need to set clear rules about communication and behavior. For instance, you could say, “we talk kindly and respectfully in our homes. This means we don’t use curse words or call people names.” Involving your child in these sorts of discussions about manners and rules means you can later remind them they helped make the rules as well and that they agreed to them.
- Stay calm
This is crucial, especially if your child reacts with a rude attitude to a discussion. So, stop, take a deep breath, and continue to calm your nerves with what you want to say. A calm nerve makes for a nonconfrontational approach, which is what you need in this case.
When to be concerned
If your child’s manners towards you and your family don’t change after you’ve applied the strategies above, it might be a warning sign that there’s an underlying problem – a deeper one at that. And you might also be worried if there are changes in your child’s attitude, coupled with other changes like withdrawal, mood swings, friends, or family.