How to Have a Better Attitude for Teens

By Kay Ireland
Refuse to respond to a bad attitude, period.
Refuse to respond to a bad attitude, period.

Face it: teens can be downright unpleasant at times. Even if you enjoy a positive relationship with your teen, his attitude toward things like school, chores and family life can drag down the atmosphere in your home. A positive attitude can help your teen look on the bright side, but you may need to set a positive precedent in your home for a better attitude to take hold and stick.

Encourage gratitude in your home, suggests the Disney Family website. A bad attitude often comes from your teen not being appreciative or not recognizing the positive parts of his life. When you hear him whine about homework, remind him to be grateful he lives in a country where education is so readily available. If he's cranky about washing up after dinner, let him hear your gratitude toward having enough to eat. Alternatively, you could ask him to write down the things for which he's most grateful in a journal or blog to help him have a more positive attitude.

Provide meaningful experiences for your teen that help to adjust his attitude, learn about the world and see things from a different point of view. Travel, volunteer work or joining community programs can all help your teen think about more than just himself, which can result in a more positive attitude overall.

Refuse to respond to your teen when he's in a bad mood, whiny or negative. When you hear him start to whine or use a bad attitude toward you, simply say something like, "It seems like you're in a bad mood. You can come talk to me when you have a better attitude." Simply refusing to respond to a bad attitude teaches your teen that it's unacceptable in your home and that he'll get a better response if he tries a more positive approach.

Offer positive reinforcement when your teen uses proper manners, a positive attitude and respectful words toward you and other people in his life. Taking the time to listen to your teen and give him kudos for a good attitude helps him feel valued and respected, notes the University of Alabama Parenting Assistance Line. Praise your teen for a positive attitude and he'll be more likely to try the same behavior again in the future.

Check your own attitude. If you have a surly point of view, you're constantly complaining and nagging or have a generally negative attitude, it's only natural that your teen follow suit. If you hear yourself being negative, apologize to your teen and try and restate your opinion with a more positive point of view so you're setting a good example for your child.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.