Is your teenager defiant?Not all teenagers are rude or disrespectful, but disrespect is a common part of teenage growth and development. This is partly because your teen is expressing and testing independent ideas, so there’ll be times when you disagree. Developing independence is a key part of growing up. It’s a good sign that your child is trying to take more responsibility. But your child is also still learning how to handle disagreement and differing opinions appropriately. Also, your teen is trying to balance their need for privacy with your need to stay connected and show you care. So sometimes you might get a rude or disrespectful response because your teen feels you’re taking too much interest in what they’re doing or invading their space. Your teen’s moods can change quickly too. Because of the way teenage brains develop, your child can’t always handle changing feelings and reactions to everyday or unexpected things. And this can sometimes lead to over-sensitivity, which can lead in turn to grumpiness or rudeness. Teenage brain development can also affect your child’s ability to empathize and understand other people’s perspectives, including yours. Sometimes disrespectful behavior might be a sign that your child is feeling particularly stressed or worried. Teenagers are also starting to think more deeply about things, so they can have thoughts and feelings they have never had before. Some young people seem to have a conflicting and radical view on everything and might question previously held beliefs. This shift to deeper thinking is a normal part of development too. And sometimes teenagers are disrespectful because they think it might be a way to impress others, or because they have seen their friends behave this way.
Avoiding teen disrespect, defiance, and rebellion:Arguing rarely works for parents or teenagers. When we get angry, we can say things we do not mean. A more effective approach is to give yourself and your child some time to calm down. If you are angry or in the middle of an argument, it will be hard to calmly discuss what you expect of your child. A more effective approach is to tell your child that you want to talk and agree on a time. Being defensive is very rarely useful. Try not to take things personally. It might help to remind yourself that your child is trying to assert their independence. Even though you have more life experience, lecturing your child about how to behave is likely to turn them off listening. If you want your child to listen to you, you might need to spend time actively listening to your child. Nagging is not likely to have much effect. It might increase your frustration, and your child will probably just switch off. Sarcasm will almost certainly create resentment and increase the distance between you and your child. Do you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells in your home? Is your teen quick to anger? Do they yell at you? It might be time to consider professional help with a counselor to help learn coping skills. It could be more than disrespectful behavior, there could be underlying mental health issues that need to be addressed. Read: Where to Send My Troubled Teenager.Read: 5 Benefits of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.
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