Children Who Talk Back: Tips on Dealing with a Disrespectful Teen

“I hate you! You don’t understand me!”

Yes, every parent has heard these words at least once in their life. But when conflicts become a daily occurrence, the parent is faced with an unpleasant truth: they are raising a disrespectful teen. This situation is not rare and, fortunately, there are multiple tips on how to restore a happy family relationship.

Keeping a Positive Attitude

The first step to remember when dealing with a defiant teen, is to take a deep breath. Your child’s puberty won’t last forever, even though it might not seem this way. The fact that they are a disrespectful teen today does not mean that they will turn into a horrible adult tomorrow. In the meantime, there are several factors to consider as a parent: 

disrespectful teen

Image source: Flickr user- sethwoodworth

  • Keep calm. Your disrespectful teen is testing boundaries and attempting to form their own individuality. It is not an easy process. By losing your temper, you are fueling the fire. It is easier said than done, of course, but by taking insults your disrespectful teen throws personally, you only exacerbate the issue.
  • Make time and listen. While everyone has their own opinion on parenting, the general consensus is that an authoritarian parenting style (one where the parent is highly controlling, but unreceptive to the child’s needs) is more likely to produce tension. By opening lines of communication, you encourage your children to talk to you.
  • Use positive reinforcement. More often than not, a disrespectful teen is crying for attention. Let your child know you are proud of them and, with any luck, they will work hard not to disappoint.
  • Set an example. You are the parent. It is only too easy to be caught in a power struggle or a screaming match. Instead, show your disrespectful teen how you don’t lose your head in stressful situations.
  • Be fair – and that’s not the same as strict. You are in your right to expect respect from your child. However, if you demand respect or set draconian rules, your teen will take you less seriously. Consider the boundaries you expect and discuss them as a family – by treating your teen with respect, you promote a healthy environment.

If you are still having trouble with your disrespectful teen, it might be time to consider professional help. Elevations RTC can help your disrespectful teen find success. For more information about Elevations RTC, please call  today!


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