Rude tween responses & how to change them

by | Dec 22, 2020 | Blog, Family, Parenting

Familiar with any of these rude teen responses?

  • “It’s whatever”
  • [Big Sigh]
  • “I am fine”
  • “I don’t care”
  • [Eye roll]

Desperate to see more of your sweet kid again? These 5 tips will help you reconnect with your tween and respond to their rude attitude without adding fuel to the fire!

Help them feel understood

Almost every tween we work with expresses feeling misunderstood. They desperately want to be understood, but they have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings. So it is important to ask the right questions

Validate Feelings

Their feelings have them on a roller coaster, it is where a lot of those rude tween responses come from. Let your tween know that whatever they are feeling is okay. You can use a phrase that gives them the words they can’t quite articulate in the moment, such as “I hear that you are frustrated”. When your tween comes at you with that rude response, first validate that the feelings are intense and overwhelming.

Stay Curious when they mess up

When something occurs, it is easy to place blame before asking what happened. If a blaming statement is said, naturally your child will become defensive and frustrated. When a person asks for information, like a detective, in a non-blaming way, a dialog is established that can help solve a problem in a positive manner.

Don’t take their attitude personally

We know they can be mean. But, even when they are rude, impatient, and easily frustrated try to remember that it is not about you. Focus on keeping yourself regulated and calm to give them all the patience they need to make the complex journey from childhood to adulthood.

Offer do-overs to rude tween responses

Giving them patience and grace doesn’t mean you have to let them be cruel. Just that you can correct the behavior and make them re-do the way they talk to you without letting yourself get upset. Offer a casual, “oops, try that again!” and give them a chance to re-do.

Give them lots of empathy

Have empathy for how hard this age is. Junior high was rough for most of us. We felt awkward and uncomfortable in our changing bodies, our friends could be mean, the feelings were big. Offering an, “I am so sorry, that really is hard” without advice or judgement can go a long way with your tween.

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