The University of Iowa defines disrespectful behavior as:
“Behavior that is rude, unpleasant, inappropriate, and unprofessional. Behavior that causes hurt feelings and distresses, disturbs, and/or offends others.”
If you have a tween or full-blown teen living in your home, you may have encountered this “bad” behavior definition at one point. You might be wondering what happened, where things went wrong, why all this angst came about, and how to fix it. Don’t worry; you are not alone. All parents get to deal with their misbehaving teen when it’s time.
If your time is now, continue reading.
We’ll discuss why teenagers behave as they do and how to manage the situation.
First, You Need to Understand the Teenage Brain
The brain develops at a blistering pace during childhood. If you have a six-year-old child, her brain is already 95% formed, and all the wiring is ready to receive connections. The problem is, the brain’s wiring takes some time to get connected to other essential parts, such as the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls most of our core functions so we can:
- Form judgments.
- Control impulses.
- Weigh outcomes.
- Regulate emotions.
In a teenager’s brain, the prefrontal cortex isn’t wired and appropriately connected yet, which is why teens get easily frustrated with either themselves or with external situations. This imbalance, coupled with hormonal changes, is a cocktail that makes them moody and impulsive, emotional wrecks.
The Second Part: Knowing is Half the Battle
Not all teenagers misbehave or are rude, and some disrespect thrown a parent’s way is a normal part of growing up. This behavior is all part of your child’s growth and development into a young adult.
Remember, your child is learning to cultivate his ideas and express them, so there will be times when you disagree with each other.
When you understand that there’s a biological reason why your teenager is acting up, the situation becomes a little easier to deal with. Your child is NOT difficult on purpose, so you need to focus on the behavior rather than on the person.
Correcting Bad Behavior Immediately
The teenage years are the most challenging for both parents and kids alike. Teens lack impulse control and will try anything, from drugs, sex to alcohol. It’s not surprising to see teenagers getting arrested these days for disorderly conduct or worse. It doesn’t need to reach this point, though.
Parents need to identify and manage their teen’s misconduct early on or face a harsh future of their kid behind bars. Although the search arrest records of a minor aren’t available to the public, there are a handful of people who can gain access to it. The last thing you and your teen needs is this information falling into the wrong hands. An arrest record can be damaging to your child’s future university and employment prospects.
Teenage Life is Equal Parts Development and Risk
Developing independence is a crucial phase of growth. It is also an excellent sign that your child is trying to be more responsible. However, your teen’s brain is still developing. She doesn’t yet have the emotional capacity to handle disagreements or differences in opinion. This situation could lead to your teen becoming rude, grumpy, and abrasive.
Bad behavior may also be a sign that your teen feeling stressed out, worried, or anxious. As your child grows, there will be a sudden influx of information coming at her from all sides. Teens are subject to many thoughts and feelings that they’ve never experienced before.
Suicide attempts are serious among teens, which is why your child needs your guidance now, more than ever, whether she/he likes it or not.
If your teen’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, don’t hesitate to get therapeutic support.
Managing Bad Behavior with Discipline
Gone are the days when you could tell your toddler to face the wall for disobedience. Teenagers are walking time bombs that you need to handle with the utmost care and sensitivity.
According to WebMD’s Parenting Guide, you can curb your teen’s bad behavior by:
- Setting clear rules.
- Putting everything in writing.
- Being firm and consistent.
- Being a good role model.
- Knowing which house rules are important to you.
- Teaching your teen responsibility.
- Staying involved in your teen’s life.
- Understanding the situation.
Discipline spells out clear instructions on how you would want your teen to behave. Teenagers need structure in their lives, and these guidelines provide a solid foundation that can help them. One of the key takeaways here is that you always need to understand what your teen is going through. Take a look back at how you were as a young adult, what shenanigans you did and how you reacted to certain situations. Never be quick to pass judgment, and let your child know that you will always be there for him/her no matter what.
Guest Author: Ben is a Digital Overlord at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber. Enjoys sharing the best practices and does it the right way!
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