As much as you love your teenager, sometimes raising a teen can be heartbreaking. This can be a difficult time in your child's life, as she is trying to find her own identity and form her own opinions, which can cause you both to disagree on a variety of subjects. However, these disagreements don't give your teenager the right to be disrespectful to you. There are some things a parent can do to encourage respect in a teen.
Show your teenager respect. In order to get respect, you have to show respect. This doesn't mean you have to give into everything she demands, but that you stay calm when things get heated and don't threaten her. Small children learn from what their parents model; this is true for teens as well. Take her feelings into account and work together on solutions.
Be firm with your teen about family rules and limitations. Teenagers need established rules, so they know what is expected of them. When rules are broken, there must be consequences but avoid empty threats and losing your temper with him. This will make him feel like you don't care and have little respect for him.
Talk with your teenager about respect and her attitude. Explain to her what respect means to you and how important it is in life. Tell her that respect involves caring for another person and showing that through actions. It also means listening to you and your opinions without judging. Recommend ways that she can show respect to others. She can be kind to others less fortunate or helpful to those in need, for instance.
Call your child out when you see him showing disrespect to someone, whether it is you, another family member, a friend or stranger. On the other hand, praise him when you see him being respectful.
Show patience and understanding. The teenage years are tough on a kid, with all of the changes happening to her body and emotions. Patience and understanding will help both of you survive these difficult years.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images