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Disrespectful with Attitude?

Most parents are shocked by a child that goes from sweet and compliant to a virtual monster filled with attitude and disrespect. Not too long ago, you couldn't wait for your child to learn to talk, and today, as a tween, you cringe at what is coming out of her mouth. Time to get it under control!

Addressing the Disrespectful Attitude

Tweens and teens love to speak their mind, especially to their parents. This is one way they exert their independence. But, they may not always do it in the nicest way! While your child may be trying to see how far she can push the limits, her attitude and disrespect is not likely to be appreciated by those on the receiving end. Many kids go through a phase of testing their parents, and other adults, by being disrespectful and having an attitude, but parents can help to nip it in the bud before the behavior becomes a habit.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when tackling disrespectful kids:

  • Have a discussion with your child. Let her know what it is that you don't care for, why it is not appropriate, and how she should behave.
  • Call her on it when you hear her doing it. Just point it out; make her aware that you sense her attitude or disrespect. And never give in to a child who behaves in a disrespectful way. Now is the time to ignore what she wants until she can be more respectful.
  • Monitor who she hangs out with and the media influences she's exposed to. Sometimes kids pick up on attitudes and disrespectful behavior from a friend, television show, or even the music they're listening to. If this is the case, steer her in a different direction.
  • Use a positive reinforcement system to end the attitudes and disrespectful behavior. There are many parenting behavior tools at your disposal to help with this, ranging from behavior charts to behavior contracts. All these tools can be helpful in addressing and improving undesirable behavior.
  • Set a good example for your child. Even when you are unhappy about someone, address people with respect. At times, even parents can display bad behaviors, and kids are watching and will copy them.

Raising Respectful Kids

Raising kids to be respectful can be trying. But if you maintain high expectations, clarify right and wrong, and hold her accountable for her behavior, your child will grow into a respectful adult. Consistency is the key!