Tips to Handle a Teenager Who Isn’t Nice To You

Teenagers; they can be so tough.   It’s not uncommon to see teens in today’s society not so kind, well-behaved or respectful. That’s not to say all teens are not very nice to their parents, but many can be a bit abrasive. If you have a teen that’s not very nice to you, you’re going to handle that situation, stat. Here are a few quick tips to get you going and demand a little respect.

Take a Deep Breath

When your teen is rude or disrespectful and not nice, take a deep breath. Don’t respond right away. Defense and anger are two things that teens do not respond well to. Instead, wait a few seconds and reply calmly. When their behavior fails to get a rise out of you, teens consider it non-effective and not worth their time.

Set Consequences

Look your teen right in the eye and tell her that you want to see her in the kitchen in one hour and don’t give her any wiggle room to negotiate. During that hour, you will sit down and create a list of appropriate behavior rules. When that hour is up, she will join you and you will discuss the rules and the consequences of said rules. Make it clear. Post a list where she can see it. Ask her if there is anything she’d like to add to the list that will make your household easier as far as rules are concerned. And then tell her that she will not receive a warning the next time she’s rude or disrespectful; she will receive a consequence. End your discussion there.

Enforce Consequences

The most important thing you can do to handle a teen that isn’t nice to you is enforce the rules immediately. They’ve been established, so he knows what’s going to happen the next time he chooses to ignore you or speak with disrespect to you. No warning; just a consequence. It might be taking the phone away, grounding him for the evening on Friday or providing him with extra things to do around the house. Enforce them immediately, each time. When teens know you’re not kidding, they’ll learn a lot faster.

Set a Good Example

Teens tend to go through phases that make them less than awesome at times. However, they do learn by example. It’s easier for a teen to be nice to you if you’re nice to them. If you model respectful, kind behavior at home, chances are really good that you will handle rude or inappropriate behavior before it happens by modeling appropriate behavior.

Pick Your Battles

Instead of flipping out when your teen rolls her eyes when you ask her to clean her room, ignore her and pretend it didn’t happen. Instead, save your lecture or punishment for when she does something more offensive. This isn’t letting it go or accepting poor behavior. It’s choosing your battles. If you jump on her case for the littlest things every single time, she’s less likely to hear you or care when you fight her on the big things, too. She might decide you’re just always angry with her or that you feel she’s a disappointment if all you do is yell at her or punish her for every tiny little infraction. You can say something to her, but stay calm and matter-of-fact. Instead, save your real anger and punishment for the big deals.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


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