Few parenting situations are more frustrating than dealing with a teen that is rude and disrespectful. Whether his behavior is mainly directed at you, or extends to peers and authority figures, it can leave you feeling as though you are at the end of your rope. Because the adolescent years are typically a time of defiance and experimentation, it can be tricky to determine whether your son is normal or truly out of bounds.
One of the ways you can differentiate between chronic disrespect and more typical (if frustrating) rudeness is to define what you actually consider “disrespect” as well as the intention behind it. Teens that do not know how to communicate effectively with others may resort to behavior that allows them to feel as though they are in control. Door slamming and eye rolling are more likely an expression of frustration on his part than a desire to hurt you. However, when you are fairly confident that your teen is consciously and deliberately being defiant, then you have a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. Here are a few ways that you can encourage your teen to show more respect to you and others:
- Define Your Expectations – There are certain ground rules that your son should be aware of. Aggressive behavior, personal attacks, talking back to authority figures and interrupting should not be tolerated. Teens sometimes experiment with different reactions as they try to find their emotional footing in different situations, and letting him know specifically what kind of behavior you expect can leave less room for argument.
- Hold Him Accountable – Almost as important as defining your expectations, is following through on your son’s negative behavior. It is crucial to be consistent and firm when dealing with a troubled teen, since he needs to be able to predict his own consequences before he can make any positive changes.
- Give Respect – Model the kind of behavior you want to see from him. You can’t treat others with disrespect and then expect him to act differently. When he arguing with you, make sure that you respond in a rational and reasonable way. Show him that it is alright to be angry and frustrated, but it is not acceptable to be rude and disrespectful.
- Be Flexible – Remember that your son is navigating the transition between childhood and becoming an adult and he needs a certain amount of wiggle room in order to do that. If you are too reactive to every aspect of his behavior, he will lose confidence in his own ability to self-regulate. Determine which aspects of respect are most important and then go from there. It is your job to teach him how to become a kind and productive adult, not dictate his every action.
While these tips are all effective ways that you can help your son improve, some boys are too far gone with negative behavioral issues to get the intensive help they need at home. In such cases, boarding schools for troubled teens are an ideal way to give your child the immersive environment he needs to return to the path that leads to a healthier future.
Liahona Academy is a therapeutic boarding school located in southern Utah. We specialize in helping troubled teen boys overcome their issues through highly successful behavior modification techniques. For questions about our program, or a free consultation, please call us today at 1-855-587-1416.