How to Make Your Rude Teenager Behave Well

Parenting is often a challenge, even for parents with the best-behaved children. However, if you are the parent of a teen whose behavior is nothing short of rude on a regular basis, you know firsthand how difficult it can be. Teens are often sulky and impolite, trying to get away with whatever they can as they leave childhood behind and begin to enter that awkward stage between childhood and adulthood. However, you do not have to put up with a rude teenager 1. As the parent, you do have the power to make your teen behave.

Make the rules in your household known. When dealing with a rude teenager, it helps to pull her aside when you are both calm -- not in the middle of an argument -- and clearly define the rules that you as the parent have set for your teen. Define them for your child in a way that makes them crystal clear, and let her know that there will be consequences if she continues to behave rudely to you, another adult or anyone else in the family.

Create a set of consequences for your teen when he is rude to you. Inform him of what he is facing if he chooses to be disrespectful. For example, you can tell him that when his behavior is inappropriate, he will face consequences such as losing his cell phone, Internet access, driving privileges or be required to do extra chores for a day, two days, a week or whatever time frame you find appropriate for the nature of his behavior.

Enforce the consequences you've laid out. When your teen is rude, do not give her a warning or a second chance. Do not use empty threats such as, “If you are rude to me one more time, you are not going to the dance this weekend.” Simply look her in the eye and say that because she disobeyed your clearly stated rule on rude behavior, she will suffer the also clearly defined consequences and lose the privilege of going to the dance this weekend because of her rudeness.

Be conscious of what comes out of your own mouth. If you are rude to your teen, your spouse or those around you, you're teaching your child that this type of behavior is acceptable. You don't want to add to his attitude problem by setting a poor example yourself.

Set aside time to talk to your teen about her behavior, the rules and the consequences. As she gets older, you may need to adjust the rules and/or consequences to better relate to her current age. Let her weigh in on the discussion, so that you can both come up with mutually agreeable terms. She wants her freedom and to have fun, and you want her to behave appropriately and respect family members. By working together, you stand a better chance at improving the situation.


Don't expect results overnight. Sometimes it takes a few missed dances or a few days without the ability to text, socialize or use the Internet before a teen learns that the consequences of rude behavior are not worth copping an attitude.