Bringing a baby girl into the world is a beautiful experience. Dressing her up, playing dolls with her, doing her hair, smiling when she has her first crush, crying when she has her first school dance, teaching her to apply makeup and enjoying your time with her is precious, and it’s sometimes short-lived. Your darling little girl is now a teenager, who seems to find being disrespectful to you and everyone around her far more enjoyable than talking to you about her crush or letting you help with her hair. It’s a sad realization for parents, but for most teenage girls it is inevitable. It may help you and your daughter if you understand what causes her disrespectful behavior.
According to Dr. Ruth Peters, teenage girls face an excruciating amount of peer pressure on a daily basis. They feel pressured about what they wear, what they eat, how they wear their hair, how they look, how much they weigh and how they behave. This kind of pressure makes it difficult for girls to make good decisions. Everything she does is being judged. You are judging her for her disrespectful behavior when she recoils from you when you try to hug her in the mornings or when she rolls her eyes at you when you talk in front of her friends. Her peers, on the other hand, are judging her for just about everything else.
Most teenage girls are menstruating, which means their bodies are going through significant changes every month. Think about how much that affects your mood, despite the fact that your teenage years are long behind you, and you will begin to understand your daughter’s disrespectful behavior a little more. She’s not yet old enough, mature enough or experienced enough to control her emotions during puberty. In fact, according to Kids Health, girls are still going through puberty when they enter their teenage years -- and since all girls develop at a different rate -- some girls may continue to go through puberty well into their teen years. Growth spurts, extra hormones and changes in her body are likely to cause her behavior to take a nosedive.
Your teenage daughter’s disrespect could stem from the fact that she now views herself as more mature and more independent, but she doesn’t know exactly how to approach that in terms of behavior. She may want to assert her independence and maturity, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. This may cause her sudden defiant and disrespectful behavior. She may think that she can talk to you and other adults with disrespect because she views herself as an adult.
What You Can Do
Your daughter’s disrespectful behavior is not appreciated, which means you need to take a stance as her parent and put an end to it. One way to do this is to sit her down and come up with a list of rules you both agree on. You want to ensure that her behavior is good and she is safe and healthy. She wants to be independent, happy and she wants to have some freedom and privacy. Figure out rules that you both think are fair and consequences you both think are fair for breaking the rules. If you want your daughter to treat you with respect, you need to treat her with the same respect unless she does something to have that respect taken away. Be consistent with enforcing the rules and the consequences. She’ll learn to behave and be respectful if she is reprimanded for her behavior on a consistent basis.