The disrespectful behavior of teenage daughters can try the most patient of parents at times. It can be hard to know what behavior is really something to worry about and what is just part of growing up and should be ignored. How can you know when your child is being truly disrespectful?
Types of Disrespectful Behavior of Teenage Daughters
Teenage girl behavior tends to fall into two categories of disrespect. The first is just a normal part of growing up. The second can be more serious.
Typical Disrespectful Attitudes
About the time young girls hit nine or 10 years of age, you may start to see some behaviors that you feel are a bit disrespectful. Some of these behaviors are due to changing hormones in a young girl's body. Some are picked up from television shows, music, friends at school or a desire to begin separating from parents and becoming more independent.
- Rolling eyes
- Crossing arms
- Huge heartfelt sighs
- Slamming bedroom door
- Playing music loudly
- Talking back
- Mumbling under breath
While these disrespectful behaviors can get on a parent's last nerve, this really is an area where it is best to pick your battles. According to Dr. Robert Needlman, back talk can be one of the hardest behaviors a parent has to deal with, because it creates emotions that make it hard to remain calm. He recommends taking a minute to think through your response, giving the child feedback on why their behavior is unacceptable and giving clear consequences for repeated behavior. On the other hand, a child that gives a sigh may just be tired. There are times to ignore minor behaviors and times to correct your teen. Outright defiance should never be tolerated and there should be clear and immediate consequences for defiance, such as no friends over that weekend.
When You Should Worry
There are some defiant behaviors that are pretty serious in nature and for which you may want to seek professional help from a counselor or medical professional. These include:
- Staying out all night
- Hitting parents
- Getting drunk or high
- Being promiscuous
- Terrorizing younger siblings
- Failing in school
- Lack of friends and social life
A teen that is spending a lot of time alone and withdraws from family and friends may be depressed. You should seek medical help for this type of behavior. Teen suicide can be a real problem with teens that are depressed, so this type of behavior should be taken seriously.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
If parents are consistent in giving consequences for blatant disrespect, most daughters will outgrow minor disrespectful behavior by the time they hit about fifteen or sixteen years of age. The age range for this behavior can vary from teen to teen, depending upon what age adolescence begins. Also, some girls seem to experience deeper emotions during this time than others. Personality also plays a role. A docile child may be a more docile teenager than one who is more prone to temper tantrums and arguing.
Remember when you are facing the disrespectful behavior of teenage daughters that this will eventually pass. During this troubled time, your daughter needs to know that you love her and it is simply her behavior that you don't care for. When you are truly aggravated with your daughter, take heart in the fact that she'll likely have a teen daughter one day as well. At that point, you'll be a grandparent and can offer her some truly useful advice on how to deal with a daughter who is disrespectful.