Teens' Bad Attitudes Explained – Parenting – Moms

Teenagers are notorious for having bad attitudes and putting their parents through a lot of dismay.
Teenagers are notorious for having bad attitudes and putting their parents through a lot of dismay. Teens can have outbursts of emotion much like toddlers but can be even more difficult to rationalize. They can also talk back and be extremely rude. Another common trait of teens is thinking that they know everything without having any life experience as well as not wanting to complete homework or chores the first time they are asked.
Raising teens can be tough and this is a learning curve for all parents when they get to this last stage before their kids reach adulthood. It's especially hard when your teen develops a bad attitude, and you become the victim of it. It's certainly hard to keep your cool when your teen loses theirs on a regular basis. Know that you're not alone and teens being a bit rebellious and defiant is normal.
While Psychology Today does agree that teens with a bad attitude are normal, there is a point where it all goes too far and active steps need to be taken to fix this attitude. If you have a teen who is almost always disrespectful, refuses to help around the house at all, and doesn't have many good moments, their bad attitude has reached a new low. The whole family can feel the pain of a teen's bad attitude, but there is a reason for it.
It's very easy to get annoyed and be done with your teen's attitude. It can leave you exasperated and at a loss of what to do. Just a few years ago, your child was much more agreeable, and suddenly they don't want to be in the same room as you. It's hard.
Both teen boys and teen girls can exhibit what we would call attitude problems, but it really isn't about your teen hating you at all. When teens have such bad attitudes there's usually a reason for it. Most commonly a teen is feeling big emotions or is unhappy or uncomfortable about something and doesn't know how to express it.
Teens are going through a surplus of hormonal changes and their brains just can't keep up with processing all of their emotions and thoughts. According to Science Direct, the limbic system of the brain is responsible for emotional responses. Our prefrontal cortex takes care of reasoning and logic. In a teen's brain, their limbic system is working overtime while their prefrontal cortex is struggling to keep up. This is what causes frequent emotional outbursts. It really is part of their age.
As a result, teens will test their boundaries much like they did when they were younger. However now, the stakes are higher. It's natural for teens and their parents to disagree while their teen is finding their own voice and wanting to be heard. The issue comes with their expression and how they control their emotions.
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When parents have teens with bad attitudes who aren't willing to do what they need, many of us start preaching about the importance of hard work and doing what is right. This is a go-to lecture for many parents, but it will most likely backfire. That isn't a lecture that teens want to hear, but it's been given to them for centuries.
Parents like to talk, but we need to do more listening. Ask them how they are and if anything is bothering them. Assure your teenager that you will always be there for them and if anything is causing them anger or annoyance or stress, they can tell you, and you can help.
Mutual respect is so important in a parent/teen relationship. When your teen is being disrespectful to you, of course, it makes you very unhappy, but you can't take it too personally. Parents must stay calm, cool, and collected no matter how hard it is. It will also help to keep a sense of humor about your teen's bad attitude. It's not only developmentally normal, but you very likely did the exact same to your parents.
Now that you're on the other side of it, it should be easier to laugh at your own misfortune of raising a teen. Having a sense of humor over their behavior and knowing that it isn't forever should help. Smile at your teens and don't choose to argue with them when you could have discussions instead. You can tease them gently over their behavior but definitely don't laugh at them. The goal is to get your teen to see how their behavior might be just a little over the top.
The teenage years don't last forever and when they end, your child will one day look back as an adult and hopefully apologize for any behavior issues they may have had.
Source: Psychology Today, Empowering Parents, Science Direct
Larissa Marulli is a mom to two young school-aged kids. She received a degree in journalism shortly before having her first child and is a news and features writer for Moms. The proud mom of two is from Colorado and loves the mountains. changing seasons, and hot coffee all year round. Larissa has seen it all and has struggled with the challenges of motherhood. She is getting better with age and prides herself in using the written word to entertain others as well as educate. Larissa loves books, napping, people in small doses, and her family.


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