What do you do with a disrespectful teenage son?

Written by david stewart
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What do you do with a disrespectful teenage son?
Be calm and in control when dealing with your disrespectful teen instead of yelling or lecturing. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Clark comes home very late every day, talks with his parents rudely and uses offensive language with his sister; breaking home rules has become a norm of his life. His parents reprimand him each time he breaks a rule, which only seems to make him more rebellious. Clark's parents are worried that their teen son is getting out of control. Worse, they are beginning to lose confidence in their parental abilities. If this is your story as well, you can follow some techniques that can make your life as a parent of a disrespectful teen less difficult.

Set Behavioral Expectations

Sit with your teen and tell him that there are house rules that he needs to follow no matter what, and that violating them would attract consequences. Let him know that you will not tolerate his badmouthing his sister, coming late at nights or defying parental authority. Stay calm all the while you speak to your teen, who most likely is going to respond rudely to your expectations. It's not going to help if you mirror his rude behaviour, yelling or shouting at him. If you see your discussion brimming to a fight, just stop talking. Tell your teen that you will talk to him when he is in a more decent frame of mind.

Implement Consequences Consistently

It's obviously futile if you are not going to follow through your own rules and consequences. Your teen is not going to take you or your words seriously as he knows you are not going to implement them; this is one of the quickest ways to lose respect in his eyes. If rule requires your son not to hang at the bar, and he does it, ground him for a week according to rules, every time he does it. This way, he sees that you are serious and tough when it comes to enforcing rules, and will think twice before violating them. However, keep your consequences reasonable. If you ground your teen for one week just because he was home 10 minutes late from the designated time, it is only going to backfire and make him ruder.

Deal with his Behavior Head-On

If your teen behaves rudely in social situations, address it head-on instead of ignoring. Most teens may expect you to cringe in embarrassment in such situations; so, surprise them with the opposite. Be careful with what you say, though. Talk about the behaviour and don't use words that attack him personally. Instead of saying, "You idiot! Is this the way to behave?" say "As much as I love you, I just cannot put up with the way you spoke just now. Be ready to face the consequences as soon as we go home." Your teen will be initially stunned that you even dared to acknowledge his behaviour despite all the people around you, but then will come to understand that you will not excuse his behaviour no matter the place or people.

Give Your Teen Some Room

Don't classify all your teen's behaviours as rude. If your teen is complaining how you are being unfair to him or gives a condescending lift of his eyebrows behind your back, just ignore him; door-banging, eye-rolling and walking up the stairs angrily are some other behaviours you can ignore. Your teen has to have some way to express his emotions and these are some small ways he does it; allow him to do so freely. It's equally important that you listen to him to get a grasp of his views and opinions. Spend time with him often, express your love and affection, and make him feel respected. Behave the way you want your teen to behave and he will most likely mirror you.

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