By their very definition and age, teens tend to be self-centred and when they are in this phase, they tend to be rude and curt to people around them, including parents and this, in turn, makes people think, they are being disrespectful. But this a phase, which they outgrow once they become older and thus, more mature and learn to navigate the pitfalls of social conversations.
While I won’t say BB & GG are outright disrespectful, they do, at times, push as many buttons as they can, to see how much they can get away with. I looked and searched online for ideas I can implement at home to nip this in the bud and at the same time, teach them life skills.
We have to understand that this is happening to pretty much every child who enters the teenage years and so as parents and rational adults, we need to tackle this calmly without really reacting to their rude behaviour. They will try and push boundaries, it’s in their blood, but remember, we do not stoop to their level and react and act like them.
Focus on the behaviour and not on the person behaving and set clear rules on what constitutes good behaviour. Also, make sure your teen knows the consequences of bad behaviour and make sure you go through on those consequences when rules are broken.
Be a role model to your child, model the same behaviour you want to see in your child
Ignore mild forms of disrespect. It’s best to ignore mild forms of disrespect like rolling eyes, not replying to questions, shrugging shoulders etc. Ignoring such behaviour will let them know that you don’t give importance to such behaviour and hopefully, this kind of behaviour will peter off gradually.
Speak to them, often and even when they are uncommunicative. I always ask GG & BB how their day was and more often than not, the response I get is either, ‘the usual’ or ‘nothing much’. I don’t give up and sit and ask them in detail and with this try to open communication channels between us. It’s easier with GG (maybe because she is a girl) than BB, but I am not giving up and hope there will be a day when he is as much a chatty Kathy as GG is.
Hope these tips are useful for you when you are dealing with an uncommunicative and unresponsive teen. Do comment below on how you deal with your teen!