They say that dealing with rude teenagers and their snide remarks is a rite of passage for all parents. That you’ve only ‘made it’ as a parent if you make it out of those teenage years with your sanity intact. So, how exactly do you do that? How do you learn to deal with the negative behaviour? And how do you do you stop letting it get to you to the extent where you feel as though you can’t do anything right? Here are our tips for coping with tactless teens who are almost young adults.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You will quickly become immune to harsh, uncalled for comments – and so you should. Unless your teen is being blatantly disrespectful, it is a lot better to simply ignore their rude behaviour. Often, your teen is just looking for a reaction from you. If they don’t get one, they will likely change their behaviour on their own.
It is so tempting to return the nasty attitude threefold when your young teen-adult is rude to you. You’re only human, after all. However, it is important for parents to set a good example. If you are respectful to your teen even when they are mean to you, they may begin to model the behaviour subconsciously. Also be very careful about any comments that you make – even if you don’t intend to insult them when you comment on their spiky hairstyle or ripped jeans, they may hear the comment very differently.
Have an Honest Chat
Without attacking them, sit down and express how their negative comments make you feel. Communicate that you feel hurt and let them know exactly how their words affect your day. It might also be a good time to set some boundaries and tell your young teen-adult precisely what behaviours you find unacceptable and are unwilling to tolerate going forward.
If you notice that your youngster is actively trying to be nicer or more positive, praise them openly – without gushing and embarrassing them, of course! We know, it’s a pretty fine line, isn’t it? Try to do so in private and don’t be afraid to reward them by doing or saying something nice in return. Positive reinforcement works wonders!
Don’t Take it to Heart
If all else fails, try to remember that this is a phase that almost every teen will go through between the ages of 13 and 19! You are not the only parent who feels this way! The best thing you can do for your own sanity is not to take any comments or general rudeness to heart.
If the rude behaviour really starts getting out of hand or happens too frequently for your liking, it might be time to look outwards for help, guidance and advice. Perhaps visiting a counsellor together is a solution? Or maybe it will be enough to chat to other parents who have ‘been there and done that’ like, say, your own parents! Try not to stress too much about the situation. You turned out alright, after all.
At the end of the day, teens will be teens. Trust in the fact that this too shall pass.