Just as there are all kinds of adults, there are all kinds of teenagers. Some are trustworthy and respectful to their peers and to adults, but some are not. Dealing with a disrespectful teenager can be difficult, especially for the parents or other guardians. But, with patience and time, handling a teen who shows lack of respect is possible with these tips.
Boundaries for teenagers
To many teens, boundaries and limits are bad. They want to be able to do what they want on their own time; however, not all boundaries should be bad. Overprotective parents can set boundaries that are just going to increase the teen’s sense of rebellion. In general, teens are not disrespectful because they are teenagers. They might feel like they are trapped by the boundaries set on them so they answer ill-manneredly. Instead of making the teenager feel increasingly trapped, the parents or guardians could instead give limitations that appear to give them more freedom. For example, instead of giving immediate answers to requests (such as going to parties), the parents could talk about the request with the teen. That way, the teen feels like he or she has some control in the situation.
Consequences for disrespectful teenager
A disrespectful teen is only slightly different from a rambunctious toddler, except that most teenagers should know the difference between right and wrong, respectful and disrespectful. Teenagers should know how to treat other people correctly, and that must include their parents or guardians. If you set consequences for the teen’s negative actions and follow through on those repercussions, then he or she will know that you are serious. If you give a consequence but you don’t enforce it, then the teen will continue to act out. Similarly, you must also follow through on the rewards that you set for good behaviour. This ties in to setting sensible boundaries, because loosening some of those limitations could be a doable reward.
Some situations require extreme consequences. If your teen is disrespectful to the point that he or she becomes physically violent (either to others or to him or herself), then the repercussion should match the deed. If the action does not require intervention from authorities, then you can set consequences yourself.
Communicate and teach communication
Teens who show lack of respect for everybody, especially for adults, should learn how to communicate their feelings so that they could handle them in other ways. Sometimes, being disrespectful is a result of another problem or conflict. It could just be a by-product, and the cause might be a deep emotional problem. So, take the time to talk with your teen. If he or she does not want to talk about his or her problems, then you might ask the teen to write them down or talk to a therapist. Keep in mind that not all disrespectful teens need therapy, but it could help for severe situations. Teach your teen the value of communication and the positive results they could reap from it.
The best way to get your teenager to respect you is to try to find out why the teenager has lack of respect in the first place. To whom does he or she show disrespect? Is it to everybody, or just to authority figures? Teen rebellion is common, but teenagers should also know what their boundaries are, and how they must deal with them.