What to do when your teens are rude?

With six kids, I’ve heard my share of rudeness! Some phrases that got under my skin the most were those dismissive comments like, “Mom, stop” in a snarky tone. Or, “Bye, Mom” when I’m being dismissed from their room.

What to do? 

Here’s something to experiment with: If you don’t like how you typically respond to your kids, do the opposite. If you tend to act like a cat getting its tail twisted with voice raised and claws bared, practice dropping your voice. Slow down your response. Say something limit-setting like,  “It doesn’t feel good when you talk to me like that. I’d like to talk about this later.” This only works if you say it in a calm voice, BTW. 😉 

Later, when you’re both in a good state of mind, ask if it’s a good time to revisit that interaction. You can say something like, “Are you game to share what was going on for you? And to hear how that was for me?”  Then listen and be curious. Next, if your kid is able to listen, share in a short, non-blamey way what that interaction was like for you. 

It’s not about having a perfect conversation. When your teens are rude it’s about sending the message that rude interactions call for a loving follow-up to repair and revisit. This sends a message that in our family, we don’t condone speaking to each other in rude or dismissive ways.

If you don’t tend to respond like a cat with a yowl and your claws bared, and instead you’re overly passive or permissive about being treated poorly, then try the opposite of THAT and speak up. Be ready with a boundary-setting phrase like, “Ouch. It hurts when you talk to me like that.”  

You might want to add something like, You know, I’m not cool with being talked to that way. I need to do something about it, but not right now. I need to think about it first.” Or you might say something like, “It’s not like you to talk to me that way. Is there something hard going on for you that you want to share?”  While setting limits is helpful, it’s also good to remember that our kids are still learners and haven’t mastered the art of recognizing how they feel or how to communicate it well.

Bottom line: if you don’t like your default response when your teens are rude, try mixing it up by experimenting with the opposite of your norm. 

Keywords to keep in mind are: calm, strong, loving, and not tolerating poor treatment.

Good luck.

Share:

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
.
On Key

Related Posts

Mom holding toddler during a tantrum

What Vexes Parents

A friend and talk show host asked me this week what 5 issues vex most parents. That’s a pretty big question! I’m going to share

Mom with kids walking in the woods

Self-care, self-love, and the art of parenting.

Chances are you have found that parenting stretches you in ways you didn’t see coming. I’m betting that you want your children to feel absolutely loved, cherished, and adored by you, down to their core.

Let's Get Together

Please request a free Discovery Call with one of us.

Kerry Stutzman MSW, LMFT

My passion is helping my clients develop close, connected families and healthy relationships. For the past 20 years I have been helping people discover the best version of themselves.  Learn more

Brett King LPCC NCC, MFT

My specialty is couples therapy with parents. I also have expertise in parenting, betrayal recovery, and addiction.  Learn more

Amy Cobb - Parent Coach

Amy Cobb MS Family/Human Development

I specialize in working with parents and caregivers with children from cradle to college, with special focus from birth – 10 years old. Learn more

Session Request with Debbie

I look forward to meeting with you.

Discovery Call Request with Kerry

My practice is quite full, however I am accepting new clients if I feel there is a good fit and I can be helpful.  Please share what brings you to seek therapy at this time.

I look forward to discovering if we are a good fit.

Discovery Call Request with Brett

I look forward to discovering if we are a good fit.

Welcome Back

If you are an established client, please click on your therapist/parent coach to access their online booking portal.