How to Deal With Teenage Attitude

How do I handle my teenager’s nasty attitude? 

Parenting teens can be extremely challenging, especially today when they are faced with the pressures of their online worlds colliding with their offline reality. These can be very delicate years when they are transitioning to adulthood.

They feel the need for freedom that comes with adulthood, however, it’s also full of hormones that might lead to many internal conflicts. This spike in hormones might be the reason why most teenagers tend to get their bad attitudes towards their parents or any authoritative figure.


Does this sound familiar:

-Snarky comments
-Backtalk, eyeball rolling
-Outbursts of anger
-Refuse to do chores
-Defiant, rude, disrespectful


Having a better understanding of why your teen is developing this attitude can help you prevent or curb it before it escalates. Teenagers (no different than when most of us were young) believe they are adults — or old enough to be an adult.


When a parent treats their teen like a child, it can lead to friction and conflict. Your teen is now experiencing emotions and feelings they hadn’t experienced before. They are constantly testing their new-found independence and the parent-teen struggle can continue into negative behaviors if not addressed.


This battle for freedom and authority between parents and teenagers can lead to teenage attitude problems. Although in some extreme cases, a teenager’s behavior can get out of hand, and they might start to indulge in negative behavior, most teenage attitude problems are short-lived. They can be dealt with compassion, love, and patience.


10 Ways to Deal With Teen Attitude


Communication is key to parenting at all ages, but it’s extremely important through the teenage years. Using the right approach can help parents deal with teens that have attitude problems in a mature way.


1. Give them space to figure things out. It may be difficult for you to accept that your once-dependent child wants to run things on their own. Try letting them handle their own tasks, such as their dressing, and even their peer groups. Also, let your child know that they may enjoy this freedom to choose as long as they remain responsible.


2. Accept the change.  Although it might be challenging to let go, you have little to no option rather than agreeing they are growing up. Sometimes, reflecting on your teenage years may help to understand what they are going through. You should also ensure they understand right from wrong by setting clear rules on the limits of their newfound freedom.


3. Try not to impose your opinion. With a teenager, you might find it difficult to agree on certain things because of different opinions. You might find it more practical to listen to them rather than forcing your point-of-view on them. With this, you avoid them rebelling from you.


4. Be patient. Attitude might provoke you to act on impulse most of the time. Learning how to be patient with them may help you resolve some of the problems you wish to fix. Being patient while clearly stating that you are unhappy with their actions might help you avoid the stubborn behavior which mostly worsens situations.


5. Do not overreact. Teenagers might not always want to seem rude. As a parent, you may find it better to handle their inappropriate behavior by communicating calmly with them. Lecturing teenagers when upset doesn’t always solve situations.


6. Use an indirect approach. Sometimes, parents might find actively involving their teenagers in activities that distract them from their bad attitudes to be helpful. Also, teenagers are more likely to learn how to handle things by observing their parents. Parents should therefore lead by example.


7. Appreciate them often. Appreciate your teenagers when they do the right things. It goes a long way to improve their self-confidence. Appreciating your teenager’s efforts genuinely also shows them you are still proud of them despite their behavior.


8. Spend quality time. Neglect is one of the many reasons that might trigger your teenagers to react with negative attitudes. Although teenagers often seem distant, you should create special family time to bond with them.


9. Use humor. Rather than getting upset over your teenager’s attitude, change the mood by using humor to lighten up the situation. Remember not to use humor against your teenager’s situation.


10. Professional help. Some parents might notice their teenagers’ attitude as too excessive. If you can’t get through to them you might consider outsourcing help. Some teenagers might find it difficult to talk directly about their problems, especially with their parents. Where this is the case with your teenager, you should encourage them to talk to someone they are more comfortable with.


Read: What is the Goal of Residential Treatment?

Read: Why Short Talks With Your Teen Build Strong Relationships?

Read: 5 Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools.


If you’re struggling with your teen’s negative attitude, it’s become out-of-control, you feel like you’re hostage in your own home and you’ve exhausted your local resources — contact us to learn more about the benefits of residential treatment for teen help.

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