It’s no secret that teenagers can be… Tricky, at times. So, let’s talk about some ways to manage your teen’s disrespectful or unruly behaviour.
Let’s start with the good news first – this behaviour is a phase for a lot of teenagers, you’re not alone and it usually passes. Disrespectful behaviour can be managed through effective positive communication – avoiding arguing or nagging which could potentially inflame the situation.
This kind of behaviour also needs to be monitored, as there could be other underlying reasons for it, such as bullying. So it is important not to dismiss such behaviour as simple ‘teenage moodiness.’
As for yourself, as a parent, it can be quite hurtful when your children start to treat you with this kind of disrespect. But it’s important to remember that it is a phase that so many teenagers go through as they start to test boundaries, find independence, and attempt to balance their changing emotions.
As your child’s brain develops, they go through a lot of changes that can lead to over-sensitivity, lack of empathy, general moodiness, and rude behaviour. This is hard for them too, it’s crucial to keep that in mind when navigating through these unchartered waters.
Establishing clear family rules from the very beginning can help to create an environment of stability and help your teens to navigate these tumultuous moods while still being aware of the consequences of their actions.
Tips for communication
- Stay calm – avoid arguing and getting defensive.
- Use humour – don’t laugh at them, but with them. A shared laugh can break the tension and help strengthen your relationship. (Avoid sarcasm.)
- Constructively question their understanding. If they have said something rude, let them know that it came across as offensive and if they meant it to sound that way… You may find it brings them back down to earth for a moment. Avoid any negative comments towards your child’s personality, such as “you’re rude.”
- Give descriptive praise when your child acts or communicates in a positive way. Help them to learn while they’re dealing with the changes going on in their growing brain.
Most importantly – be a role model. When you’re with your child, treat them with the kindness and respect that you want them to show towards you.
Lead by example with your child, they absorb much more than we realise.