When tweens are with the people they trust the most — their family — they tend to act out in the worst ways possible. As a parent, it can be challenging to figure out how to deal with rude tween behavior, especially when your child is adjusting to new surroundings and new experiences.
During the tween years, your children may suddenly begin to test limits. Snarky comments, eye-rolling, backtalk, abrupt outbursts, door slamming, and sullen silences are all typical of tweens.
Have a conversation with your preteen.
Involving preteens and teens in formulating household norms and expectations for conduct has proven beneficial for many families. Have a family meeting to discuss how you want to treat each other and what actions are acceptable. Talk about what you both expect from one another and what the consequences will be if you disappoint the other.
Make a contract outlining the expectations for everyone in the household and get everyone to sign it. Tweens feel like their voices are being heard and their concerns are taken seriously when they are included in the process of creating behavior expectations. They are more likely to stick to the rules and exhibit less negative behavior because of this.
Determine the norms and penalties:
Pick consequences that make sense for tweens.
Though it may be challenging, families should take the time to discuss and agree upon the repercussions of rule-breaking. In contrast to younger children, many preteens and teenagers don’t put much stock in minor praise or criticism. Most parents of tweens have found that taking away a favorite activity, such as using a cell phone or visiting a friend’s house, is a practical consequence of bad behavior.
Be trustworthy and follow through on your commitments.
Don’t give your tween empty threats like “you’re grounded for life.” Tweens will learn that being disrespectful has negative repercussions if the rules and punishments you set for them are fair and consistent.
In order to foster respect in your tween, you must model it.
Your kid looks up to you because you’re the one who exemplifies adulthood to him or her. Your tween will learn how to communicate the way you interact with them, so try to avoid interrupting them and being condescending. Teaching your children the value of respect is a priceless gift.
Be calm and remind your tween that disrespectful behavior is not tolerated, even if you are met with a disrespectful tween attitude. You could also point out to him that you share his humanity and are, therefore, susceptible to experiencing hurt emotions.
It’s healthy to give your tween (and yourself) a breather when emotions run high. A brief break to different rooms, even for 15 minutes, can help everyone relax and hear each other more clearly. Make sure to wrap up the conversation and tackle the behavior issues after tempers have calmed down.
Make plans to meet in person.
Having one-on-one time with your tween is the best way to determine whether a change in behavior is short-term or long-term. It may be necessary to find new ways to spend time with your child now that they are older (and more occupied with friends and school activities). Engage your preteen in simple activities such as going for a drive, walking the dog, or shopping with you.
This small action, repeated often, will go a long way toward reassuring him that he can rely on you in the future. Furthermore, putting down your phone, asking questions, and listening when he speaks is essential. When faced with issues typical of adolescents, adults can easily overlook the obvious.
Develop close ties with one another as a family.
The value of spending time together goes beyond just one-on-one interactions. It is also strongly suggested that family members spend quality time with one another. Engage in regular activities that encourage interaction and enjoyment without distractions like phones or guests. Put together a meal, play a board game, or check out a local attraction every week.
Fixing the Problem of Rude Adolescents
While outlining expectations and consequences can go a long way toward encouraging your tween to make good decisions, it won’t always work. How can you keep the peace in your home despite your tween’s erratic emotional state? You can get your tween to recognize and stop his rude tween behavior by implementing the following guidelines, which aim to encourage clear respectful communication.
Establish firm limits suitable for the child’s age.
Prioritize your own needs and wants. Then, let your newfound priorities direct your subsequent actions. As soon as you’ve settled on your top priority, it’s best to ignore the rest. You can ignore your tween’s eye rolls and sighs whenever you give instructions, for instance.
Take care of the rudeness of preteens.
Let’s say your tween acts inappropriately, such as by storming out of the room in the middle of a conversation or being rude to a member of the family. To correct your child’s rudeness, you should speak to them calmly and firmly about how unacceptable it is. Avoid putting off dealing with an issue until later; instead, bring it up as soon as it arises so that you can both work to resolve it.
You should always keep in mind that you are the parent.
The tween in your life does not consider you a friend. Even if your tween is yelling and slamming doors, it is your responsibility as a parent to maintain composure. Even if your reactions sometimes frustrate your tweens, your actions and guidance should make them better people.
Charts of Adolescent Behavior
If your tween seems to be struggling to follow the household rules, a tween behavior chart tailored to his needs may help. Using a behavior chart can help you keep track of your tween’s compliance with household rules.
A simple star system for behavior may be the best solution for some families. Some families find it helpful to include tween chores, daily schedules, and other responsibilities on a behavior chart for tweens. In some homes, adolescents can earn rewards like extended free time or increased screen time by performing chores or adhering to other rules and regulations.
You Can Do This
It’s tough to raise a tween, but try to set an example of open, non-threatening dialogue. You won’t be stuck in the tween years forever. Stay calm and know that you are giving your child the tools he will need to grow into a responsible adult.
Keep in mind that you can rely on others for assistance. Reach out to your loved ones if you’re struggling to cope, or call the Texas Youth Helpline at 1-800-989-6884 for professional assistance.
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