How to Deal With A Disrespectful Teenager

How to deal with a disrespectful teenager can be overwhelming in these stressful times.


The teen attitude can be extremely challenging, frustrating and completely maddening to parents. Teens can be verbally impulsive, however that doesn’t mean they should get a free pass to talk back and behave disrespectfully.  It can be infuriating when your teenager yells at you, “I don’t have to listen to you,” or “You’re so mean,” or even more distasteful language to express their displeasure and anger.


Does this sound familiar:

PexelParentTeen-Does your teen backtalk you?
-Are they rude to you?
Do they swear at you?
-Roll their eyes at you?
-Do they interrupt you?
-Do they slam doors, especially if you’re talking to them?


It’s imperative to teach your teen how to deal with anger without talking back, slamming doors, punching holes in the wall or other aggressive behavior since research shows that rude teens are likely to develop into rude adults.


5 Ways to Deal with Teenage Disrespect


No matter what type of things your teen says, the way you respond to disrespect is important, because the type of discipline you use influences how likely it is for the behavior to continue.  Try these responses when your teen behaves disrespectfully:


1. Remain Calm


Since we (the parent) can be ready to explode when our teen is expressing themselves disrespectfully, this can probably be the hardest thing to do – but very necessary. Engaging with your teen by yelling at them can only escalate the situation. Take a breathe, literally walk away or develop a mantra to repeat over and over in your head until you can calm down. It’s important for you to do whatever it takes to prevent your temper from flaring.


2. Attempt to Ignore Nasty Behavior


Teens will act-out negatively with the belief it will break a parent down to get what they want. They believe the longer they can get you to engage in an argument, it will finally break you down to have things their way.

If you take the bait and engage in an argument, you may soon find yourself caving into their wants out of frustration and exhaustion. So sometimes, ignoring a behavior, whether it’s an eye-roll or mumbling under the breath, may be the best course of action.

When you don’t make eye contact, argue back, or pay attention to the behavior, it will likely stop. And you can get back on track toward ensuring your teen follows through with your directions.


3. One Warning


Offer one warning if your teen refuses to follow through with directions you gave them or is badgering you about something you have told them “no” to over and over again.

Don’t repeat the warning over and over again. Instead, give a single warning and follow through with the consequence if they don’t change their behavior.


4. Stand Firm


It’s important that parents not give in, and stand firm when your teen behaves disrespectfully. Teenagers actually believe acting with this nasty and rude attitude will change their parents minds – hoping it will break them down to get what they want.

Don’t allow your teen to guilt you into changing your mind once you’ve said no. Even if your teen says you’re the worst parent in the world, or tries to convince you that you’re ruining their life, stick to your rules.


5. Follow-through


This is so crucial in all areas of parenting, following through with your consequences. If your teen breaks house rules by outright calling you a name or destructive behavior and doesn’t change once you have giving them a warning, follow through with a consequence. Whether it’s removing privileges or giving them additional chores at home.

In conclusion, one of the best ways to decrease disrespectful teen behavior it so develop a meaningful and mutually respectful relationship. Family conflict can be common, however if you realize you’re nagging often or approaching them with the expectation of arguments — the disrespectful behavior will continue. It’s time to focus on enjoying your teen and learning about bettering your communication skills. It will make a difference.


Read: 5 Benefits of Boarding Schools.

Read: Why Therapeutic Boarding Schools Are Effective.



If you are struggling with your disrespectful teenager that’s causing family conflict and you have exhausted your local resources, learn more about how residential treatment can help your troubled teen. Contact us today for  a free consultation.


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