How To Deal With A Disrespectful Teenager- 6 Healthy Tips For Parents
Adolescence is the most critical stage for the growth, development, and molding of a teenager’s life and future. The adolescent years build the personality, attitude, character, and beliefs of an individual. They shape them into the adults and humans they will grow up to become.
Teenagers are the generation of people filled with curiosity, unbound imagination, unreasonable logic, rebellious energy, anger, frustration, and the desire to create their own identity in the world.
The teenage phase represents uncertainty, changes in body and surroundings, unexpected challenges that these young adults struggle to understand, and the origin of new feelings. Teenagers experience hormonal shifts, and their brain is in a constant process of—developing their cognition, mental structure, and functionality.
All these emotional and physical changes sometimes make them anxious, vulnerable, depressed, angry, and unable to accept anything that contradicts their beliefs. This, in turn, provokes them to act out, rebel, do unexpected and crazy things, and disrespect and disregard their parents and elders.
As parents, it would be hurtful to receive such anger and disrespect. Raising and understanding a teen is the most challenging task. The constant arguments and tug of war between you and your children make it even more daunting. If you are also struggling with your teenager and their disrespectful behavior, read along and understand—
- What makes the teens rebel and exhibit such disrespectful behavior?
- How to deal with a disrespectful and stubborn teenager?
- What are the consequences of disrespect?
And how to teach a teenager respect?
Why do Teenagers behave Disrespectfully?
The constant rudeness, disrespect, and disregard in your teen’s behavior toward you can be disheartening and infuriating. However, it is essential to understand the core and depth behind such behavior’s arousal and what exactly is fueling this disrespectful transformation.
1. You reap what you sow
Teenagers are impressionable minds that exhibit the behavior they learn and experience from their parents and surroundings. The home environment and parenting methods have a considerable impact on shaping the behavior of teenagers. They react to what they receive and feel. A disrespectful and toxic family environment raises disrespectful adolescents.
2. The taste of newfound freedom
Teenagers who are constantly being suppressed and restricted tend to deviate and rebel when they experience some freedom. They lash out when they see how their peers act and start comparing their parents with others. They judge their parents and their actions which makes them bitter and disrespectful towards them.
3. The Burned of being in a Transitional Phase of life
Teenagers are in the middle of their childhood and adulthood phase. Everything they experience during this stage of life has an immense impact on their personality and behavior. They deal with several emotional, physical, psychological, and social situations which make them anxious, angry, depressed, and severely affect their self-esteem and confidence.
The peer pressure, body shaming, academic stress, relationship crisis, the feeling of not belonging, not having their own identity, and parental expectations make them vulnerable and creates a pool of suppressed, unrecognized emotions.
These unresolved issues make them lash out and behave disrespectfully. They may displace their emotional feelings related to everything in their lives and redirect their anger towards their parents.
4. Bad influence
Teenagers can easily fall into bad company and peer groups. Their behavior is highly influenced by the people they involve in their lives. Bad influences make them rebel, exhibit deviant behavior and disrespect their elders.
They try to fit in with the group, act cool, and have a SWAG which makes them disregard their parents and contradict everything they do or say.
How to deal with Disrespectful Teenagers?
Dealing with disrespectful teenagers is a fraughting experience. If you don’t do it right, you might end up making it worse. We cannot always protect them and teach them what we learned from our mistakes as teenagers.
However, we can try to understand them, let them make their own mistakes, and learn from their experiences. We must support them and let them know that they can always count on their parents. The best ways to deal with disrespectful teens are—
1. Be their ideal
Children look up to their parents and imitate their actions and behavior. They reflect the behavior they learn and experience from their parents and elders. To raise your child to be a polite and respectful person,
- always behave respectfully yourself,
- watch your language,
- check your behavior and communication,
- do not use negative words, taunts, and sarcastic comments while addressing your children and others.
2. Communicate and Be there for your Teens
Communication is an essential aspect of good parenting. Be emotionally available and easy to reach out to.
If you make your children feel, especially teenagers, that their emotions are significant and you are always available to discuss their issues and problems without judgments, they open up to you and feel connected with you.
The primary source of teenagers’ disrespect and rudeness towards their parents is the lack of connection and abandonment issues. Sometimes your teen doesn’t need advice or assistance; they only need their parents to be there for them.
3. Arguments flare up suppressed emotions
Arguing with your teenager, contradicting their views, and disregarding their knowledge and ideas results in unpleasant situations. It starts a series of estranged conversations and blaming. This affects your relationship with your child and creates a bridge between you both. Teenagers desire to create their own place, so try to understand their point of view and calmly tell them how much you love and value their opinions. Let them know you would be ready for discussion if they come up with better alternatives and ideas.
Share everything and involve your children in crucial decision-making for them and the family. Please do not keep them in the dark to protect them. Doing this will let them know that you consider them responsible and respect their opinions.
4. Establish some rules
Have a private and civilized conversation with your teenager about their behavior and how you want to understand them and work on your relationship with them. Discuss both of your expectations and set some rules to communicate and nurture your relationship peacefully.
Write everything down and try to follow them together. This conversation will let your child know that you are willing to work with them, and they will also try to rectify their mistakes and behavior.
Please do not rush the conversation. Let them understand and contemplate the details and talk about their issues and expectations.
5. Reinforce Positive Behavior and don’t Dig Up Past Mistakes
Focus on your child’s accomplishments rather than dotting on their failures. Try to appreciate their efforts and understand the reason behind their negative results and work to improve them together. Unrealistic expectations create a negative impact and cause stress on the teenager’s mind.
When they accomplish something, appreciate them and tell them you are proud of them, and save the criticism for another time. This will encourage your kids and boost their confidence.
6. Don’t take it personally.
Even after all your efforts, you might not be able to retransform your relationship with your teenager and alter their negative and disrespectful behavior. In such situations, not taking things personally as a teenager is an unreasonable and rebellious stage. With their hormones at their peak, it can be challenging to manage teenagers. Making things personal will result in more conflicts and arguments.
Additionally, some children may go undiagnosed for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), a psychological disorder marked with defiant and disobedient behavior and unwillingness to respect and regard authority figures. This may be caused due to genetic or environmental reasons. If nothing works with your child, consult a psychologist and admit your child to psychotherapy. ODD can be treated with proper treatment, guidance, and psychotherapy to channel their emotions and modify their behavior.
What are the Consequences of Disrespect for Teenagers?
To make the teens realize that their actions will produce reactions, and they will have to deal with the aftermath of their behavior, you need to establish consequences:
- The universal punishment of grounding your teen for disrespectful behavior will show them that you will punish their bad behavior.
- Take away something they love for acting out and do not return it until they are ready to apologize and rectify their behavior.
- Assign extra chores for every disrespectful comment and back-talk.
- Restrict privileges like—mobile phones, TV and video game time, snacks, and pocket money.
- Follow through with your restrictions and consequences until the behavior is modified or altered.
- Provide opportunities for restitution and earn their privileges back by altering their behavior and facing the consequences of their actions.
How to Teach Respect to Teenagers?
Experiencing the disrespectful behavior of teenagers and dealing with such behavior comes with several challenges. You cannot consistently maintain your composure and regard their feelings and emotions before letting your anger get the best of you. Sometimes it becomes imperative to keep your foot down and teach them how to respect their elders by doing the following:
- Communicate openly and establish a trusted relationship.
- Create a warm, loving, polite, and respectful family and home environment.
- Respect your child’s opinions and appreciate them.
- Discuss and share responsibilities with them and let them be a part of the decision-making process.
- Be transparent about your expectations and ask them about their expectations.
- Be flexible and willing to modify the rules.
- Stick to your consequences method, restricted privileges, and withdraw cooperation if the behavior remains unchanged.
The adolescence phase is the most stressful and challenging for both teenagers and parents. This phase changes teenagers’ biochemistry, psychology, and behavior, which alters their behavior and attitude towards their parents.
Disrespectful and defiant behavior is one such problem faced by parents. Dealing with disrespectful teenagers, teaching them proper behavior, and getting through to them is a frustrating and stressful task.
In this article, we have discussed how you can navigate through this rebellious phase and help your child understand the importance of respecting others and their feelings. We hope the information will assist you in understanding your teenager better and forming a loving bond with them.
At last, such behavior arises from various situations and circumstances. Try to target the behavior and not the person, determine the actual reasons for your child’s disrespectful behavior, and try to resolve the problem together.