Four Ways to Handle Rude Teens


by on February 26, 2010

in Parenting Teens

Have you heard that teens are supposed to be rude, that it is just part of growing up? Well that is bunk! Teens are humans too, and the way they treat and interact with others should not be subject to their mood, or preference. If you have a rude teenager do not despair, there are things you can do. Consider the following four tips for handling rude teens:

1. Put a stop to it. If your teenager is rude, never excuse it because they are a teen. This is equivalent to handing them a free pass to being rude. Yes, teens are prone to bigger mood swings, and the like, which may lead to their rudeness, but that does not mean it is okay for them to be rude. In fact, it is important that each and every time they are rude, you tell them it is unacceptable. You have to set some rules about appropriate treatment of others. Make sure that they know what you expect and why.

2. Attach consequences to rudeness. If your child is rude, you have to give them a consequence for it. If your teen ignores you, or is sarcastic to you, or is flippant in response to you, then it is time to give them a punishment of some kind. Of course, it helps if you attach consequences to behaviors BEFORE the behavior occurs. So, next time your teen is rude, say, “Hey, come here, let’s talk. I am not going to put up with your rude behavior any more, so we are going to attach some consequences to it. Next time you are flippant in a response, you (fill in the blank).” For example, you might say, “Lose your phone for a week” or “Lose an hour on curfew.”

Don't let your teen get away with rudeness.Don’t let your teen get away with rudeness.

3. Don’t be rude to them. When a teen is rude, they need to be handled with kindness. Often if you are rude, or disrespectful to your teen, they do it in return. It makes them feel like they are allowed to be rude in return. If you want your teen to learn to be respectful, and kind, example is the best way to teach them. If you yell at them, and are short with them, or cut them off when they are speaking, or think it is okay to put your needs before everyone else’s, then you can expect them to act likewise.

4. Get to the root of the problem. Most people like to show common decency. They want to interact with people positively. So, when your teen is not acting in a positive fashion there must be a reason. Discover what it is. Are they feeling ignored? Are they feeling disrespected? Are they trying to impress their friends? Are they going through a stage where they aren’t sure if they are a kid or an adult? Whatever the reason, figure it out so that you can address it.

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