How Do I Deal With My Teenager's Attitude?

Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2021
It's challenging to parent a teenager, especially one who has an attitude.
It's challenging to parent a teenager, especially one who has an attitude.

Teenage years are very delicate years. This is the phase where children are transitioning to adulthood. The phase is riddled with the need for freedom that comes with adulthood, however, it is also full of hormones that might lead to many internal conflicts. A spike in hormones might be the overall reason why most teenagers tend to get attitudes towards their parents and authority.

Understanding teenagers with attitude

Parenting teenager attitudes might be hectic. Attitudes may arise from the fact that children view themselves as adults while their parents view them as children. It is normal for parents to find the transition challenging. However, there are several solutions that may help you to cope with your teenager’s attitude.

You might sometimes be overprotective of your children. When teenagers feel they are being suffocated by their parents, this may result in conflicts. During the teenage years, children want to enjoy a sense of independence. It is quite normal. If you are an overprotective parent, you should learn how to hold back a little.

Teenagers might also get an attitude because there is a struggle for authority between them and their parents. The conflict may further lead to more negative behaviors. However, it is important  for parents to realize that these negative habits and attitudes fade away as they grow older.

Tips for parenting teenager attitude

As a parent you might find some of these tips useful while parenting teenager attitude:

Give them space to figure things out. It may be difficult for you to accept that your once-dependent child wants to run things on their own. Try letting them handle their own tasks, such as their dressing, and even their peer groups. Also, let your child know that they may enjoy this freedom to choose as long as they remain responsible.

Accept the change.  Although it might be challenging to let go, you have little to no option rather than agreeing they are growing up. Sometimes, reflecting on your teenage years may help to understand what they are going through. You should also ensure they understand right from wrong by setting clear rules on the limits of their newfound freedom.

Try not to impose your opinion. With a teenager, you might find it difficult to agree on certain things because of different opinions. You might find it more practical to listen to them rather than forcing your point-of-view on them. With this, you avoid them rebelling from you.

Be patient. Attitude might provoke you to act on impulse most of the time. Learning how to be patient with them may help you resolve some of the problems you wish to fix. Being patient while clearly stating that you are unhappy with their actions might help you avoid the stubborn behavior which mostly worsens situations.

Do not overreact. Teenagers might not always want to seem rude. As a parent, you may find it better to handle their inappropriate behavior by communicating calmly with them. Lecturing teenagers when upset doesn’t always solve situations.

Use an indirect approach. Sometimes, parents might find actively involving their teenagers in activities that distract them from their bad attitudes to be helpful. Also, teenagers are more likely to learn how to handle things by observing their parents. Parents should therefore lead by example.

Appreciate them often. Appreciate your teenagers when they do the right things. It goes a long way to improve their self-confidence. Appreciating your teenager’s efforts genuinely also shows them you are still proud of them despite their behavior.

Spend quality time. Neglect is one of the many reasons that might trigger your teenagers to react with negative attitudes. Although teenagers often seem distant, you should create special family time to bond with them.

Use humor. Rather than getting upset over your teenager's attitude, change the mood by using humor to lighten up the situation. Remember not to use humor against your teenager’s situation.

Professional help. Some parents might notice their teenagers' attitude as too excessive. If you can't get through to them you might consider outsourcing help. Some teenagers might find it difficult to talk directly about their problems, especially with their parents. Where this is the case with your teenager, you should encourage them to talk to someone they are more comfortable with.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2021

Finally Family Homes: "Entitled Teenagers – How to Deal with Them Effectively."

HelpGuide: "Help for Parents of Troubled Teens."

KidsHealth: "A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Teen Years."

National Health Service: "Coping with your teenager."

Parent Help: "5 tips for when teens have a difficult attitude."