[IF], when your teenager is unkind, unpleasant, sarcastic, rebellious, even belligerent or totally self-focused - Why do they do that?
Because they can.
Because somewhere along the line, someone – even you - has failed to administer or deliver the consequences for crappy behaviors. They “got away with it” – sometimes multiple times.
Why do they do that?
Because they're crying out inside.
Because inside their head, there’s turmoil, pain, inadequacy, poor or weak self-esteem.
And the cause is so undiscernible, they're trying to reach out and accuse everybody and everything for it and you're their primary target.
So the big question becomes - what will you and can you do?
Here are some options to seriously consider - even if they’re painful and extremely unlike you?!
If you’ve lost control, it’s been coming for some time. It didn’t happen overnight, and won’ fix it overnight.
Don’t give them what they want – usually an emotional reply from you. Reply in a quiet, unemotional manner.
Ask them why they’d speak to you that way - quiet, unemotional.
Do not reward the behavior by complying with their request
Offer one or more options – either reducing their request or delaying it, or even rejecting it completely – again – WITHOUT EMOTION.
Reply emphatically, strongly, without emotion.
In an hour or more or even day or more, come back and – gently re-surface the request or the way in which it was said.
Don’t be afraid to allow the consequences of their [bad] choices occur. Learning is IMPERATIVE – help it or allow it to occur.
Without sermonizing, when you see/ hear pleasant replies or actions, compliment them, specifically.
When the time is right [could be days or more], discuss [dialogue, not monologue] – (o) why they reacted or replied like that, (o) how it made you feel, (o) how it made them look, and that, (o) in the future, “there’s a better way.”
STAY CALM, PERSISTENT, PATIENT, LOVING.