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Disrespectful teenagers can turn a household upside down.

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How do YOU handle disrespectful teenagers?

Mothering (or fathering) a disrespectful teenager can be exhausting.

Does this describe how you feel as a parent? Then take a fresh look at these guidelines and see if you can customize them for your homelife.

Turn your speakers UP!

Handle disrespectful teenagers by setting firm boundaries.

Part of dealing with disrespect is setting up a respectful home overall. You, as Mom or Dad, are in a great position to evaluate the "respect temperature" in your home. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this one point. Set clear and age-appropriate boundaries with your teen. Explain you will do your part - food, shelter, etc. - and your teen will need to do his part.

Explain the consequences of ignoring the boundaries and remember - don't set up any consequences you aren't willing to follow through on. Following through is everything, whether you are parenting preschoolers, middle schoolers, or teenagers.

One more part to this parenting point. Your disrespectful teenagers WILL test your stated boundaries, so be prepared.

Disrespectful teenagers need tough love.

What is tough love? Here's my definition.

Tough love means doing what is best and right for the other person. Even when doing so is hard or painful.

The key parenting points to consider here are
  1. doing what IS right.
  2. NOT "doing what feels right."
Do you see the difference? This can be tricky, I know. Write out some thoughts, words and actions that you can use to stay focused during tense times with your teen. If you aren't sure what to do or say in these moments you are trying to handle a disrespectful teenager, use a clear parenting resource to help you. Make sure such a resource aligns with your values and offers you clear instructions.

Working with troubled teenagers is tricky, but it can also be rewarding. The clearer you get on the results you want to see in your family, the more you can guide your teen.

When talking with disrespectful teenagers, keep your tone businesslike.

Even matter-of-fact. A defiant teen is looking for power and to get yours, she has learned to push your buttons, probably with great success. Keeping your voice calm and businesslike lets your teen know you are in complete control.

Even if you don't feel like you are.

Doing this is simply a matter of unlearning behavior that's not helping you parent well and learning a few new skills. I know it might sound overwhelming, but don't give up! If you are willing to learn new relationship skills, your teen will see that and be forced to make a decision about how he will respond in turn. Bottom line; keep your parenting power and in the process, help your teen.

Need more help on this topic? See this very helpful article. Gut Check: Do You Tiptoe around Your Child?

Handle disrespectful teenagers by getting help for yourself.

Are you running in circles trying to manage your disrespectful teenager? Are you walking on eggshells in your own home? This is no way to live.

Find a parenting mentor. Today.

Besides using clear parenting resources designed to give you specific help in changing specific behaviors, do yourself a HUGE favor and find a parenting mentor you can trust


Well, find another adult, either a parent themselves or an adult who went through a tumultuous and disrespectful time themself (and came out the other end successfully) and ask them to mentor you through this season in your life. This will keep your own head and heart clear and give you the perspective to deal with the disrespect and defiance on your own home.

This is not an option, in my experience. You need this!

Educate yourself about parenting disrespectful teenagers and the specific dynamics between you and your teen. This will help you stay calmer and make wiser decisions, even when you have to handle a disrespectful teenager!

Most importantly, hang in there. Parenting can be tough, but unbelievably rewarding. You already know that fact in your heart; now do yourself a favor and start exploring proven options that can help your family move forward starting today.

If you want to know what parenting program I can recommend that helps parents with disrespectful teenagers, that would be The Total Transformation program, hands down. Part of why this program works is because it supports parents extremely well.

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More parenting articles for you...

Dealing with Disrespectful Children
What To Do With a Disrespectful Kid

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