It seems sometimes like your child goes to bed one night as your precious little angel and wakes up the next morning as an alien being. It's the only explanation for the rude behavior of a teenager, right? An alien invaded your child's body when you weren't looking.
In a way, it's true...but it's not aliens, it's hormones. When puberty strikes, your teen's rude behavior does too. There are so many different emotions and conflicts going on inside your teen that it can be difficult to cope. There are strategies you can use to help curtail your teen's rude behavior and keep your sanity at the same time.
Whether your teen's rude behavior comes in the form of abusive words and rude language or the sometimes more frustrating behavior of ignoring you, arguing, or talking back the first step to cutting the behavior short is to immediately address it - and not by being rude back or raising your voice or getting frustrated.
The best way to chill teen behavior is to remain calm and speak in an almost business-like manner. Tell your teen that the words or behavior they are using is unacceptable, that choosing to behave that way will result in consequences, and then follow through.
The follow through is the most important thing. If your teen's rude behavior comes from something like using the cell phone at the table when it's time for family dinner, take the phone. If your teen tries to keep you from getting the phone, don't get physical; simply call the cell phone company and suspend the service for a day or two. Most teens will get the point rather quickly that the way they choose to behave will have direct and immediate consequences.
It's important that you understand that even well behaved teens will have a bad day, say something smart, or talk back occasionally. You have to be willing to have balance. Let your teen grow and stretch his or her wings, finding his or her voice, but keep your teen from crossing the line.
As with a lot of parenting tips, the best place to begin is with the parents serving as role models for the behavior that they would like to see in children. In and out of the home, if your teen sees you using rude behavior, he or she will most likely repeat it. When you have made it clear what you consider as rude behavior then you can set the consequence that makes the most sense, either taking away the cell phone, the computer, nights out with friends, or video games.
Rude behavior and teenager sometimes seem synonymous, but they don't have to be. You can make it clear to your teen that their own behavior dictates what privileges they will have and what level of trust you will have in them. Teenagers don't have to be rude; set the right tone, tolerate the occasional emotional outburst, and teach them coping tools to get through one of the most tumultuous times of their lives.