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How to Manage a Disrespectful Teenager

8 Tips for Managing Disrespectful Teens

Do you have a disrespectful teenager? Read on for eight effective parenting tips to help you create a more harmonious, respectful household.

Remain calm. If you want your child to stay calm, set an example. This isn't always easy when a child reacts to a discussion with an eye roll or bad attitude. If you find yourself losing patience, take a deep breath before continuing the conversation. Try to ignore your teen's shrugs or bored looks. If necessary, take a break to compose yourself and revisit the discussion later.

Set clear rules about communication and behavior. Involve your teen in a discussion during which you all create family rules about the way you will treat one another. For instance, you might say, "We will all speak respectfully to one another in our family, and we will not call each other names." By involving the children in the conversation about rules, you can remind them later that they helped create the rules and agreed to abide by them.

Differentiate the behavior from the child. Try to avoid making any comments or judgments about your child's character or personality. Instead of calling the child rude; explain that the child's words and behavior hurt your feelings. It's ok to express that your child's actions have made you angry. But, don't use the behavior to make broad claims about who your child is.

Set and follow through with consequences. It's best to set clear expectations for what will occur in exchange for swearing, rudeness or name-calling. Try not to overwhelm your child with too many rules. Keep it simple, and always follow through with consequences, so your child will accept that they are real.

Try to keep an open mind. Many times, teenagers are inadvertently disrespectful without actually meaning to be rude. If your teen reacts in a provocative way, try asking whether he or she intended to behave rudely. If the answer is no, ask if he or she is willing to avoid the behavior, so you can both have a good, constructive conversation.

Point out the positives. Be sure to give your teen verbal praise whenever he or she communicates in a positive way. If you have a constructive, calm interaction, point this out and explain that you appreciate the effort. This is one way to let your child know you are aware of and value his or her opinions.

Think about teen counseling . Modern teenagers face considerable challenges related to school pressures, social anxieties and relationships. If your teen seems to struggle with feelings or behaviors, a compassionate therapist can help your entire family develop an effective action plan that will help everyone involved navigate some of the key developmental years. Whether it's one-on-one counseling between a therapist and teen or group counseling involving several family members, consider reaching out for support and assistance from a professional who is experienced and trained at working with teenage minds.

Be a good role model. It's not uncommon for parents to exhibit the very behavior they want their kids to avoid. If your children see you being rude in traffic or yelling on the phone, they are likely to pattern this behavior. Before you judge your child's action, honestly ask yourself if you are a good influence. You may also want to consider counseling for yourself if you feel that you are having difficulty managing your emotions in response to your teen or life in general.

Our caring therapists can help you and your family develop a closer, more harmonious relationship. Contact us today!