Teenagers: Talking Back
Some talking back is normal. We want our teenagers to express their anger through talking rather than tantrums. We want them to challenge our decisions and opinions in a logical way. We need to listen. Expect your teenager to present his case passionately, even unreasonably. But, let the small stuff go, it's only words. On the other hand, don't accept screaming, being rude, or swearing.
- First: If your teen screams his argument, simply reply, "We don't scream in this house. Either talk in a calm voice, or our discussion is over." Walk away if necessary.
- Second: If your teenager makes rude comments about you, such as calling you stupid or a jerk, give him an I-message. Say, "I feel hurt when you say rude things like that or when you put me down." Try to say this in a non-angry way.
- Third: If his argument turns into a string of profanity, simply state, "No swearing in this house. Get back to me when you want to talk civilized."
In summary: Teach your teenager that everyone has the right to disagree and even to express anger, but that screaming and rudeness are not the way. Some of your best teaching will come from being a good role model, yourself, whenever you disagree politely or apologize.
If you have any questions about your teenager's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.