Most teenager go through the disrespectful Phase it is normal and usually passes when handled positively. Though it’s normal not all teenager are necessarily disrespectful or rude, but it is a common part development and growth.
This can be as a result of mood swings because as their brain develops they find themselves unable to control their feelings, they become over sensitive, grumpy or rude. The development of teenagers brains can also make them unable to understand other people’s points of view even yours.
As part of their development teenagers begin to think deeply and have conflicting thoughts, feeling and different views on things that they never had before; although this is normal and a part of their development it may make them moody as they find it difficult to handle their constantly changing feelings.
Other reasons why teenagers are disrespectful
Although disrespectful is perfectly normal for teenagers there are other reasons that could cause them to show disrespect. Some teenager think being rude is cool and shows that they are mature or grown up. others show disrespect because of peer influence. They are copying their peers or mates because they think that’s what they are supposed to do. Some teens do it to impress their friends.
Another reason why teenagers show disrespect is because they want freedom or independence, they may begin to think you control all their actions or you’re too strict with them and you should just let them live their lives. They may be to request or demand a latter time for their curfew or for permission to go to a party and such things. They may also begin to insist that they will do things when they want to for example complaining about doing the laundry/dishes or cleaning up their rooms or simply saying “ I will do it later”.
Some teenager show disrespect because they believe they know everything or at least more their parents and start talking back to you or challenging everything you say. Some teenagers show disrespect because they think you’re invading their privacy, they feel you’re overly interested in what they are doing as if they can’t make decisions for themselves. Sometimes teenagers show disrespect because they feel stressed, worried it anxiousness.
Some teens show disrespect because they do not understand other people’s perspectives and are unable to give suitable replies to arguments so they just lash out.
Consequences For A Disrespectful Teenager
Consequences for disrespectful teenagers
Understandably it could be difficult to decide which punishment will help discipline your teenagers with out traumatizing them because some consequences may have adverse effect on teenagers(like break their self esteem, self confidence and make them feel unloved).
Assigning extra chores: when your teenager shows disrespect or refuses to carry out other responsibilities like cleaning their room or taking out the trash you can punish them by giving them extra chores to do in addition to their regular chores for an allotted period of time or else they their loose privileges. For example; if you ask you teen to do the dishes and they do not you can punish them by making them do the dishes, laundry and mowing of the lawn for a few days or a week depending on how serious their offense.
Use of restitution : this is an effective consequence to use when your teenager’s actions hurt other people, damage property or out someone in danger because they have to make amends for such actions. This is also a strategic way of building empathy and care for others plus you can also play the “ how would you feel if it were you” card. Restitution allows your child to apologize with actions and as they say “ actions speak louder than words”. It will provide an opportunity to repair any damages they may have done to someone.
Instances in which you can use restitution as a consequence; if your teen gets speeding or packing tickets then they have to work to pay them off. If they leave their phone out in the rain and it gets ruined then they have to work to buy a new one .If your teen destroys the television in a fit if rage, while playing or otherwise being careless they work to pay for at least half the price and get extra chores (like doing the dishes or cleaning the sitting room) etc. Or when they ruin their sibling belongings they gave to replace them.
Allowing natural consequences : natural consequences are those things that automatically happen when one takes certain actions. Such consequences punish teens without you having to interfere, it also shows that your rules are not unreasonable and are set to protect them . This will prevent them from resenting you for always punishing them because they brought it in themselves.
When such consequences occur refrain from stepping in to save them or assist them because you think its to severe and such because it ruins the lesson mostly because they know next they get into trouble you’ll help them. Natural consequences are supposed to give them first hand experience or ideas on why those rules are set in the first place and consequences of not following them.
Some natural consequences that can occur are: if a teen fails to study then they get a zero on their test or exams; then they will have to take a make up test, repeat the class or go to summer school to catch. Parents should not try to assist them so next they will study to avoid failure.
Another example is if your teen spoils or loses their phone then they will have to go without. Another example is if they get weekly allowance on Sunday and they spend it all in Sunday or Monday then they will go without all allowance toll next Sunday. Another example is if they eat too much snacks then they will have an upset stomach.
Use of logical consequences : In some cases natural consequences cannot be used especially in areas of safety for instance if a teenager doesn’t use a seatbelt while driving or drives too fast then the natural consequence is death so In this case natural consequences would not work. You could however use logical consequences to prevent that certain behavior. Logical consequences do not threaten the teen but are directly related to a misbehavior.
For instance you can deter your teen from driving without seatbelts or driving to fast with a standing consequence of losing their car for a period of time when caught. Another example is if your teen is reluctant to wake up in the morning then you can make their curfew earlier or time for lights out earlier at night.
Use of restrictions : restricting of privileges is the most common form of consequences parents impose on their teens, however they are ways you can do it and guidelines to follow. Removing privileges: violation of rules are sometimes a sign that your teen can not handle the freedom you award them so you can respond by tightening the rules whether by reducing their screen time or assigning an earlier curfew.
Screen time is very important to teenagers. So restricting their phone or electronic privileges will be an effective consequence. But making sure it is time limited is also important as it should only be long enough to pass across a desired message, usually 24 to 48 hours is enough.
You can also take away their freedom by canceling already made plans for special weekends, thanking away their right to leave the house for a few days; when your teenager’s misbehavior was stimulated by friends if involved friends you can make them get a break from them so next they will make better choices next time.
Types of privileges to restrict and restriction limits: when restricting privileges it’s important to take away something that will cause them discomfort so they know not to do it next time. It is also important to make it clear for how long you’re restricting those privileges and when necessary if they have to ear it back and how because it will prevent them from festering resentment for you for punishing them. They are ways you can do this and they are;
- Time limited restrictions: this is when you take away privileges for a certain amount of time like , driving without seat belts earns your teen a week without their car , this will teach them to be conscious of that rule when they finally get their car back.
When you take something away from a teen for too long like a month or months then this consequences becomes ineffective because they realize they can live without it, and Sometimes resent their parents.
- Earning back privileges: This is a situation by whereby a parents makes it clear to their teen exactly how their they can regain lost privileges. It is very important that your teen understand what they have to do to regain list privileges. An example of such restriction is if your teen misses her curfew then she has to come home 1 hour earlier than her curfew for a week and make sure all her chores are done on time then she can have their curfew back.
Another Important guideline is to always follow through with all restrictions because only then will it be effective. Parents have to see all consequences through so that they can see changes in their child’s behavior. You will lose all power if you threaten to take away their car it phone and don’t follow through with it so don’t threaten to do something you cannot do. By deciding on appropriate restrictions and actually carrying them out you will begin to see changes in you teenagers behaviors.
Things to avoid with teenage disrespect
Although your teen’s behavior may be frustrating for you as a parent it is important not to do things that will make the situation worse. Here are a few things or behaviors to avoid;
- Power struggle: as hard as it may be try not to get sucked up in any for if power struggles especially heated ones with your teen, calmly set a decided limit or rule and follow through with suitable consequences but always resist the urge to argue.
- Try not to nag: nagging is more likely to increase your frustration than get to your teen, they will just switch off or tune you out so try have conversations rather than nagging them
- Sarcasm: sarcasm will only increase the distance between you and your teen and make your teen resent you.
- Lecturing: admittedly you have more life experience than your teen but try not to lecture her on how to behave because it is not likely to have any effect. Rather have deep conversations with them where they’re allowed to express themselves .
- Arguing: it is important not to discuss things when you’re angry because we say a lot of things we don’t mean when we are angry, instead decide in a time when you’re both calm and then discuss the issue.
- Being defensive: when you talk to you teen try not to take things personal because they are only trying to assert there independence.
- Bad timing: “there is a time for everything” this saying is also applicable to this case, it’s a bad time to talk when you’re both angry or in the middle of an argument so decide on a good time and give yourselves time to calm down before discussing the issue
- Putting them down: although at this point it may seem as if all they do is wrong, resist the urge to recount all their short comings and just try to offer advice because putting them down will cause resentment and have the opposite effect of or desires result.
When to be concerned about teenage disrespect
If after taking all the suggested steps and there are no changes or improvements in your child’s attitude, then it may be an indication on a bigger problem then you could see a child psychologist for any possibility of problems other than the normal teenagers disrespect phase.
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I am a proud mother of two, a lover and home builder. My love for children gave birth to the bestofmotherearth.com with the aim to cover topics from child health, pregnancy, parenting, family, relationship, struggles in families and also food.