Parenting My Teen

The Parenting My Teen Podcast is a show all about you and your teens.

How To Deal With Rude Teens

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen

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It seems sometimes like your child goes to bed one night as your precious little angel and wakes up the next morning as an alien being. It’s the only explanation for the rude behavior of a teenager, right? An alien invaded your child’s body when you weren’t looking.

In a way, it’s true ¦but it’s not aliens, it’s hormones. When puberty strikes, your teen’s rude behavior does too. There are so many different emotions and conflicts going on inside your teen that it can be difficult to cope. There are strategies you can use to help curtail your teen’s rude behavior and keep your sanity at the same time.

Whether your teen’s rude behavior comes in the form of abusive words and rude language or the sometimes more frustrating behavior of ignoring you, arguing, or talking back the first step to cutting the behavior short is to immediately address it and not by being rude back or raising your voice or getting frustrated.

Keep Calm and Follow Through

The best way to chill teen behavior is to remain calm and speak in an almost business-like manner. Tell your teen that the words or behavior they are using is unacceptable, that choosing to behave that way will result in consequences, and then follow through.

The follow through is the most important thing. If your teen’s rude behavior comes from something like using the cell phone at the table when it’s time for family dinner, take the phone. If your teen tries to keep you from getting the phone, don’t get physical; simply call the cell phone company and suspend the service for a day or two. Most teens will get the point rather quickly that the way they choose to behave will have direct and immediate consequences.

It’s important that you understand that even well behaved teens will have a bad day, say something smart, or talk back occasionally. You have to be willing to have balance. Let your teen grow and stretch his or her wings, finding his or her voice, but keep your teen from crossing the line.

As with a lot of parenting tips, the best place to begin is with the parents serving as role models for the behavior that they would like to see in children. In and out of the home, if your teen sees you using rude behavior, he or she will most likely repeat it. When you have made it clear what you consider as rude behavior then you can set the consequence that makes the most sense, either taking away the cell phone, the computer, nights out with friends, or video games.

Rude behavior and teenager sometimes seem synonymous, but they don’t have to be. You can make it clear to your teen that their own behavior dictates what privileges they will have and what level of trust you will have in them. Teenagers don’t have to be rude; set the right tone, tolerate the occasional emotional outburst, and teach them coping tools to get through one of the most tumultuous times of their lives.

It seems sometimes like your child goes to bed one night as your precious little angel and wakes up the next morning as an alien being. It’s the only explanation for the rude behavior of a teenager, right? An alien invaded your child’s body when you weren’t looking.

Check out My Out Of Control Teen:  A online parent-program for those who are struggling with their out-of-control teenagers. learn cut-to-the-chase parenting strategies that work immediately rather than months or years down the road.

5 Comments to “How To Deal With Rude Teens”

  1. Rachel says:

    I don’t know. I chose not to have children because of the simple reason I’m no good with them. I certainly don’t like teenagers. Unfortunately, my new partner has a rude teen daughter and I’m already fed up. ‘Tumultuous time in their lives?’ Oh, save me the trouble!!!…They are teenagers, not old people in wheelchairs abandoned in old people’s homes! I can see the good advice given in the article, as what else to do? I understand they are under hormone pressure, but no excuse to rudeness. So, what? Are they so incapacitated and so at the mercy of their hormones that they don’t know what they are doing or saying? Do their brains shut off completely in their teens? Is adolescence a disease? A mental one, I suppose. Because I can’t remember being like this. My parents would not allow me to be hormone-slaved, even if I tried. And there was no such a thing of ‘consequence-filled’ chats with calm voices…my Dad simply said NO and that was it! In a calm manner or not, usually the latter, without my own outburst in the first place.
    Only a parent to love a teen, the average one. As a stepmother, I feel like throwing her out of the window with so much rudeness from her, so much arrogance and presumptioness, when we always try to please her. No more! As for me, I’d love to pretend she doesn’t exist! Even not being full time with us.

  2. So YOU were a well brought up teen. And, really, that’s great. But that was your life. You can’t speak for the behavior of any other teenagers just because you didn’t act that way at their age. (And just maybe you did. Do you know how often people say exactly that and seem to coveniently forget their own sour moments as kids?) Sure, it’s easy to look down on them and feel that they should just flat out know how to handle themselves and life in general: because you’re an adult. You’ve been through it all. You’ve already /learned/ to cope with conflict. They haven’t, and you can’t always expect it of them. Kids = humans without a bunch of life experience. No, their brains don’t shut off. They’re learning. And guess what? Eventually they will get a grip on things!

    As for your stepdaughter, she might resent you for any number of reasons. You’re a new addition and drastic change to her family and her life. (Yes, she has a life like everyone else, which isn’t something to ignore or degrade, especially because you’re now a part of it.) How much does anyone like having big changes made in their lives without their control or consent? I’m sure she’d absolutely love to throw you out a window, too. 😉

    You say you always try to please her, but do you also ensure that you treat her with kindness and respect while you’re doing things for her? Or are you doing things with the attitude of, “I’m doing YOU a favor. You should be thankful that I’M spending MY precious time and energy doing such and such for YOU.” That is condescending and arrogant, and it will not make anyone, big or small, feel thankful for anything. A coworker at a job would never appreciate that kind of attitude, and neither do kids. So your parents could just give you orders, and you knew to obey and follow them. Well you’re dealing with a totally different person, and unfortunately what worked for you and your parents will not work with this girl. You HAVE to try another approach. Pretending she doesn’t exist won’t solve a solitary thing. Matter of fact, you could count on it making life worse for all of you. If absolutely nothing else, give her respect. Even when she doesn’t seem to respect you. (That’s the hard part, huh? 😉 You don’t think so, but she absolutely IS deserving of that from you. Don’t turn up your nose at the thought of it: do it.

  3. What a a great conversation here. I hope that Rachel is still around and can give us an update on her situation

  4. Horse crap. Teens should have been trained at a much younger age how to act, if you wait until the teen years good luck. Much easier to set the tone with toddlers and elementary age kiddos. Set boundaries, stick to them like super glue, no ifs ands or buts, except the butt that gets popped when they don’t behave properly. This results in more teens who do behave acceptably. I blame the parents of the unruly kids, doesn’t make dealing with the teens any easier, but I know who to blame and it’s not the kid, still I understand Rachel’s feeling of wanting to toss the offensive little so and so out the window! Resist the urge…not worth the trouble it would bring.

  5. I am happy that I discovered this website, exactly the right info that I was looking for!


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