babydollcak... asks:

My 14yr old daughter speaks to everyone, including her dad and I with disdain and disrespect.  How do I make it stop?

All of the parenting books and advise online say that we shouldn't be tolerating disrespectful behavior out of our 14yr old daughter, but none of them say what to try.  We can talk to her about how we feel when she treats us that way and why it isn't ok to talk to anyone like that, but we might as well just hold our breaths because nothing works.  Sometimes I don't even want to look at her anymore.  When I walk into a room she says "eew" and leaves.  When I tell her to do something, like a predetermined chore, she says, "I KNOW!  And I'll do it when I want to!"  Then I tell her, "no, you must do it now.  It is no surprise that you have to do it.  Get it done."  Then I get unintelligible screaming, which makes me angry, and then nothing is accomplished.  She either does the chore after a huge fight with her to do it, or she hurts my feelings enough that she gets away with it because if I continue, my anger will take over in the situation.  How can I get her to stop talking to people with disrespect and disdain?  Help me, please.
In Topics: Teen issues, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 15, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Dealing with a disrespectful 14-year-old is enough to make anyone lose their temper; we're sorry to hear you're in this situation.  You're doing a good job, though, by continuing to confront her and expecting her to do her chores.  The last thing you want to do is give up.

So far, you've done a great job of trying to explain things.  You've told her how you feel about the way she treats you, and you've explained which chores you expect from her.  You've put that into black and white terms.  Let's keep putting things into black and white:

Write down what you expect of her and post it where she can see it.  Then, write down what the consequences are when she doesn't meet your expectations.  You don't have to be 100% totalitarian -- kids are always going to roll their eyes for instance.  But angry, hurtful back-talk should definitely be against the rules.  If she breaks the rule, make sure the consequence for it is in writing (for example, she has to do the dishes next time if she backsasses.)

Is she going to be enraged when she sees all this in writing?  Yes, but it will wear off eventually.  Just remember to stick to your guns.  If she earns a negative consequence, make sure she gets it.

Also, don't forget positive consequences.  If you see her helping out when you didn't ask, take a chore off her list for the week or give her back some of the privileges she might have lost as a negative consequence.  (For instance, if she lost the privelege to go out with friends tonight, maybe you could let her go out for an hour.)

These are just a couple tips amongst many that might work.  If you'd like to talk about this further, give us a call: 1-800-448-3000.  We're here 24/7, and we'd be happy to talk!

Good luck!

MKM, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
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