Consequences for Disrespectful Teens

There are few things as embarrassing and frustrating as the moments when your teen is disrespectful. You alternately want to send him straight to his room and keep him there until he learns to behave respectfully and hide your face in shame; especially if someone else witnesses your teenager’s bout of disrespect. While you cannot lock him in his room until he’s 30 or hide in shame for the rest of your life, you have to discipline him for him behavior 2. One way to do this is to enforce consequences that are sure to make him think twice about disrespecting you in the future.

Removing Privileges

Driving, using her cell phone, watching her favorite television programs and going out with her friends are all privileges; they are not rights. That means that you can take one of these away from her when she’s disrespectful, according to the Children’s Trust Fund of Massachusetts, a program designed to support families and provide help and programs to help families grow stronger 1. For example, if she disrespects you by telling you to shut up when she’s on the phone, take the phone away from her for the rest of the day or weekend. This will help teach her that disrespecting you does not pay off.


According to WebMD, you can ground your teen for being disrespectful. For example, if you set a curfew for him on the weekends and he disrespects your rules by not coming home in time to meet his curfew and not calling you to at least let you know he will be late or that he’s all right, ground him. Inform him that by disrespecting your rules he will not be permitted to leave the house the following weekend. He won’t be happy about this, but he’s a lot less likely to break curfew again once he knows what it feels like to be confined to his bedroom while everyone else is having a good time.


Restitution is a form of paying someone back for doing something wrong. According to the Children’s Trust Fund of Massachusetts, your teen can pay restitution as a consequence for being disrespectful 1. For example, if your teen sits through her younger sister’s piano recital mumbling about how stupid this is or how stupid you are for making her attend this program, make her pay restitution for her disrespectful behavior by driving her sister to her piano practices and sitting in the room listening to her play for the next week or two 2.


The consequences you choose to enforce when your teen is disrespectful are entirely up to you and your personal situation. However, if you are not consistent in disciplining your teen for his disrespect, he won’t learn to stop. Being consistent is the key to changing his behavior. For example, if he’s allowed to get away with disrespecting you when you’re in a hurry or when no one else is around, he’s not going to stop.

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