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Can a Teenage Girl's Attitude Be Changed?

by Barbie Carpenter , studioD

You ask your teenage daughter to pick up her room, and you get an eye roll. You innocently inquire about her school day, and you get ignored. You bring her to a family event, and she sits in the corner texting her friends. When your teen's attitude is affecting the family and damaging your relationship, it's time for a change. Learn how to improve your teen's attitude for the better with some effective tactics.

Understanding Teen Attitude

Your teen girl has an attitude for a number of reasons. She's trying to assert her independence and, as a result, might be resistant to your rules and expectations for behavior. She might be challenging your rules to establish her own identity -- and an attitude accompanies this rebellion. She might be struggling at school, fighting with a friend or worrying about a boy, and she takes out her troubles on you, the innocent bystander.

Changing Her Mood

Changing your teen's moody behavior is going to be a challenge. Teens come by a little bit of attitude naturally -- adolescents are notorious for behaving unpredictably, according to Psychology Today. One minute, your teen daughter might be laughing with her sibling; the next, she's glaring at you for a completely benign comment. An attitude shift won't happen overnight, but several tactics can help you create a happier, better balanced teen for the long term.

Staying Involved

When your teen daughter is lashing out, your instinct might be to send her to her room or simply avoid her when she's grumpy. However, your presence is essential to successfully change your teen's attitude. Show affection, even when your teen is resistant. A pat on the back, hug or simple "I love you" can help her feel secure in your relationship, which can boost her self-esteem and even improve her attitude. Offer your support during tough times, showing confidence in your teen's ability to get through a rough patch, whether she didn't make the cheerleading squad or lost the student council election.

Establishing Consequences

If supporting your teen isn't enough to nix the bad attitude, establish consequences for her behavior. Psychologist Ruth A. Peters, writing for the Today Show online, recommends connecting behavior to consequences. Show your teen that a poor attitude has a direct impact on what she can and cannot do. When she displays a less-than-pleasant attitude, you may opt to take away the smartphone, keep her at home on a Friday night or ask her to help with extra chores around the house. Connecting her poor attitude with negative results can encourage better behavior in your moody teen.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

Photo Credits

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