Teenage is a confusing age where children experience a glimpse of adulthood and the perks and freedom that may come along. With changes in their hormones and other exposure, some children begin to develop a negative attitude towards their elders. At his juncture, many parents may wonder how to deal with teenage attitudes. They may have a newfound sense of independence, and your child, who is usually well-behaved, might now begin doing things in a rebellious way. They may begin keeping secrets from you and may not like your interference or involvement in certain matters of their lives. While for all their lives, you have been their anchor and their go-to person in happiness or despair, now they may begin to consider only their friends to be their trusted advisors and may want to spend more time with them. It can be emotionally draining for parents to handle and come to terms with the behavioral changes in teenagers. So read on to know some tips on handling teenage attitude problems.
Why Do Parents Face Problems With Teenagers?
When parents treat teenagers as kids and kids look at themselves as adults, it can lead to friction. For a teenager, everything is different and new. Your teenager now has emotions and feelings that they never experienced before. They are constantly trying to experiment with their new-found independence.
As for parents, they would want their precious babies to be with them and listen to them forever. They do not want to let go of their bond with them. Sometimes, they might resort to parenting that becomes overprotective, which can lead them to go overboard and try to run their children’s lives.
This struggle for freedom and authority between parents and teenagers can lead to teenage attitude problems. Although in some extreme cases, an adolescent’s behavior can go 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, understanding, and patience.
Ways To Deal With Teenage Attitude Problems
The communication gap is one of the root causes of all the problems between adolescents and parents. Using the right approach can help parents deal with attitude problems in teenagers in a relatively mature way. Here are a few solutions to teenage attitude problems.
1. Give advice, but do not overdo it
This may sound harsh, but to your teenager, your advice may not matter at all times. Most teenagers face problems when their parents try to push things forcefully. You may be looking out for your children, but crossing boundaries and enforcing discipline can cause attitude problems.
- Learn to face rejections. As a parent, you may advise your child on something, but they might reject it outright and follow their own way.
- Do not be disappointed because they now have their preferences and likings. This behavior is perfectly normal.
- If you feel your teenager is going wrong, sit and communicate clearly.
2. Let them figure out their lives
You were once the only important part of your children’s lives. They were completely dependent on you for their food, clothing, activities, and even friends. Today, they want to take control of their own lives and steer it in a direction that they think is best for them, encouraging them to take responsibility for their choices.
- Yes, this can be a little difficult to accept initially. But even you grew into a responsible, independent individual years ago. Now it’s your teenager’s turn. Respect and accept this fact (1).
- Be frank and honest to both yourself and your teenager. Sit and talk things out.
3. Respect and welcome change
All this while, all that your child did was play around the house with you. Now, suddenly, they want to stay out for parties and hang out till late. You even see your teenager wanting to try their hand at drinking.
- While you must give them all the freedom, you must also set clear rules and be clear about the consequences of their actions.
- Set a limit for late-night outings; tell them they can wait a little more before they start drinking (even after reaching the legal age for drinking).
- You, too, went through this phase in life. Let them enjoy their teenage years while you tell them the good from the bad.
4. Make your point, but do not force
This situation can feel a little overwhelming. You try hard to make your teenager see your point and stop them from doing something wrong. If you restrain them from doing something, they feel disrespected. They want to do things their way, which in your opinion, is not the right way. Get into a healthy negotiation and sort it out in a positive manner.
- Accept the fact that your teenager’s opinion may differ from yours. What may be wrong for you might seem right for them.
- You two may have contrasting views about certain things. You may even have different personalities from each other. Instead of forcing your opinion onto them, try to listen and have meaningful conversations. Active listening can do wonders for your relationship with your teenager.
5. Wait, but do not ignore
As parents, you try to instill certain values in your child, and rightly so, since parents are a child’s first teachers. But if your teenager shrugs or rolls their eyes at you, it can offend you or make you angry.
- Do not get frustrated and start an argument with them, as this will make them even more stubborn.
- Put your point across, and tell them this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Try to employ the method of conflict resolution in this case.
- Give them time to resolve their negative behavior, have patience, and wait. While you do so, do not ignore them or stop talking to them.
- Be the usual with them, but try to remind them how hurt you are because of their behavior.
6. Handle misbehavior calmly
You have lectured your teen several times not to answer back rudely, but still, nothing seems to change. You have to use a little bit of tact in this situation. Emotional regulation on your part is needed, which you can also teach your teen how to make use of.
- Instead of lecturing them, let them know that you will not tolerate their misbehavior. Do not resort to confrontation.
- Sometimes, children don’t mean to be rude, but they just get carried away. Once you let them know that you do not like it, they might stop repeating it.
- If they still misbehave, you may discuss the situation with your partner and take the necessary action.
- It is essential to maintain a calm demeanor and tone while handling tricky conversations despite the urge to shout or scold to get your point across.
7. Change your approach
If you find your teen often crossing a line, try to make them realize their mistake. However, don’t give them the regular punishments, such as grounding them or taking away their mobiles, as these will only make them rebel even more. You may try positive reinforcement in these situations.
- Teach them valuable lessons through examples and indulge them in things that will distract them from bad behavior. How you behave and react is an invaluable way of teaching the same to your child.
- Make them help you with the household chores or involve them in a few projects.
Tim Dahi, a father of teenagers, faced challenges connecting with his teenagers. Sharing his approach to building a healthy bond with his teens, he says, “In my experience, sharing some of my own adolescent experiences helped create a safe space for them to be authentic. Even though I may not completely comprehend every aspect of their lives, they know I care, and I’m willing to learn (i).” Using such strategies and keeping the lines of communication open can help parents deal with their teenagers’ attitude issues and strengthen their relationships.
8. Use humor
Things can heat up when you have a teenager with an attitude at home. But, anger will only cause more damage and create bitter feelings in your teen’s mind. Anger management is crucial in such scenarios. So, restrain from getting angry unless it is the only option left.
- Any situation can be lightened when you inject some humor into it.
- Use humor to break a very intense argument. It will help you look at the problem from each other’s perspective.
- This will help you build trust, and they might actually listen to what you are saying.
- It might also help you both cool off. But be careful not to mock or ridicule, as it can backfire and make things even worse.
9. Show appreciation
Even adults need appreciation at regular intervals to boost morale and self-esteem. Appreciate them often; It will help build self-confidence and create a positive bond between you and your child. Words have the power to impact lives, so use them to teach some good values to your teenager (3).
- Whenever your child performs well in any task, be it sports or academic performance, appreciate them genuinely.
- This will let them know that you don’t constantly nag but appreciate their efforts.
- If your child achieves something, don’t just say, “congrats” and leave it at that. Enquire about how they came about achieving it and praise their effort.
- Do not overdo it, though, because that might again create friction.
10. Spend time with them
Your teenager might develop an attitude problem when subjected to neglect. If both of you are often busy with office work, it becomes even harder for your child to get access to you. As a result, they may turn to friends or others for advice and guidance. Time management can save your relationship with your teen.
- Spend quality time with your teenager, no matter how busy you are. Take out some time each day to enquire about their life.
- Be there for them during their football matches or science day fares.
- If you find them sad or disturbed, take them out for a walk and casually enquire.
- Make sure you spend time together as a family.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do teenagers develop an attitude?
Teenagers might develop attitudes for several reasons, including hormone surges, physical changes, identity crises, peer pressure, and a growing sense of independence (4).
2. What attitudes do teenagers have?
Teenagers can display a variety of attitudes, including sighing, complaining, questioning, challenging parents’ beliefs, overreacting, and quickly becoming irritated or nervous (7).
3. What role does setting boundaries play in managing teenage attitudes?
Setting boundaries to manage teenage attitudes is beneficial in making them acknowledge their responsibilities and the consequences that could arise from their particular action. In this way, they learn that any behavior they exhibit may not work their way, and they need to behave in a socially acceptable manner (8).
4. What are some signs that a teenager’s attitude is a cause for concern and may require professional help?
Certain signs like feeling sad or moody, usage of verbal or physical violence against family members, not going to school, running away from home, or attempting it are a cause of concern. You should seek professional help or with a family member. You could also connect with other parents who may have had a similar situation (6).
5. What should parents do if their child’s teenager’s attitude affects their relationships with friends or family?
If your child is experiencing worsening equations with their friends or family members, you can begin by having an open-hearted conversation with them. Try listening to their point of view and understand why they are showing attitude. You can try and help them with suggestions on how they can change their attitude and mend spoilt relationships. If you are still struggling to deal with their attitude, there is no harm in seeking support from professionals who might help you deal with it better (6).
6. Can parents maintain a positive relationship with their teenagers even during heightened stress and conflict?
It may be very helpful if parents can empathize with their children even during heightened stress and conflict. Parents may place themselves in their children’s shoes and deal with them with empathy instead of judgment (9). This may take a toll on parents, but it benefits the teen and the family’s peace in the long run. You can look up online or local support groups if you find it too difficult.
Most parents might face problems with their teenager’s behavior, leaving them wondering how to deal with teenage attitudes. This difference in mentality is usually seen in teens due to the myriad new transformations they could be undergoing in life. As a parent, you must understand that teenage is a confusing and turbulent phase and try to implement some practical ways that can help deal with your teenager’s attitude. Every teen is different, and so is the solution to their issues. Spend some quality time with your child, hear them out, be calm and patient to let things sort out with time.
Infographic: Ways To Deal With Teenage Attitude Problems
Teenagers can often be moody, rebellious, and challenging to communicate with. However, by using a few strategies and techniques, parents and caregivers can create a safe and comfortable environment where they are more likely to be open and receptive to guidance. Give the infographic below a read to learn more about them.
- Teenagers experience hormonal changes and newfound independence that can lead to rebellious behavior.
- Parents should understand and avoid becoming overprotective when dealing with difficult teens.
- Parents should give advice without forcing their wishes and remain calm when handling unruly children.
- Parents should use humor and a friendly approach to diffuse tense situations with their teenage children.
Watch this informative video and learn how to handle your teen’s disrespectful behavior with these key tips. Get the guidance you need to help your teen become more respectful.
Personal Experience: Source
- Three Ways to Change Your Parenting in the Teenage Years.
- Turning down tween attitudes.
- The importance of helping teens discover self-worth.
- Coping with your teenager.
- Friends and friendships: pre-teens and teenagers.
- Disrespectful behaviour in pre-teens and teenagers.
- Turning down tween attitudes.
- Setting boundaries for teenagers
- How to avoid power struggles with your children