24 answers

Need Help with Disrespectful Teen

What to do with disrespectful teen? I have a 15 year old DD that I don’t know what to do about when it comes to her disrespect of me and her mouth. She is a good kid in all other areas but this one. All weekend I have been sick with bronchitis. I have a 9 month old baby this is also sick. My husband had to work today so it is just me. My daughter is suppose to go to a dance practice for her dance team at school this evening. She wanted one of her friends to come over and practice beforehand. I told her that her friend would have to have her mom drive her over here because I don’t want to be running around all day. I also told her to tell her friend that we are a sicky household this weekend and her mom might not want her to come over. So, my daughter comes to get my cell phone. She has her own but likes to use mine. I told her I did not know where it was and to use the home phone. She doesn’t want to do that because she wants to text. I tell her its probably in my purse. She looks in my purse but does not see it so I told her to check the car. She comes back in and says its not there. I told her its probably in the bottom of my purse then. She says, well great I will have to dump out your purse to find it. I said do not dump everything out. Reach in there and feel for it. She does not do that and dumps everything out on the kitchen table all the while telling me how disorganized I am and how I can’t keep up with anything. My phone was not in there. So I go look in the car and lo and behold it is on the seat. She said, well I didn’t look on the seat I just looked in the cup holder. For the record I am organized and I do keep up with my stuff. I have 3 kids so my purse is kind of a free for all at times but beside that I am very organized. I told her I am very sick and could care less where my cell phone was this weekend. I also told her that I did not appreciate her dumping out my purse when I specifically told her not to do that. She used her famous line that she uses quite often: “well, I did not hear you.”

I then went on to tell her that she was being disrespectful and that is not going to tell me I am disorganized and that I should keep up with my stuff. She said, well if you would listen to me. Another one of her famous lines.

She proceeds to go back to her room. I told her that her chores need to be done before her friend comes over. She says to me, I know Mom geez.

I told her not to talk to me like that or her friend would not be coming over. I then walk back into the living room and get the baby to take and change her diaper. When I walk back to the bedrooms she has shut the door that separates all the bedrooms from the rest of the house. I open and the door and said please do not close this door during the day. It prevents the heat from getting to that part of the house and I don’t want to have to open it every time I to back there.

I go back to the living room and then I need another baby shirt. I walk back to the back and she has closed the door again. I open it and I said, I told you not to close this door. And she said, well I wanted to be alone. I said you can close your bedroom door then. She said, I don’t see why I can’t close the hallway door. I said, because I want it open and I told you that already and you go and close it again not five minutes after I told you to leave it open. And she gave me her famous line again: well, I didn’t hear you. I said yes you did you were standing right in front of me. She said, well did I respond to you, if I did not respond to you then I did not hear you. I told her then that she was being disrespectful to me again and to let her friend know she could not come over.

Any thoughts or ideas on how to nip this in the bud?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Honestly, this sound quite normal for 15 (my 4 year old can have a sassy mouth at times). And I remember being *much* ruder to my mom at that age.

My advice would be to keep a cool, level tone when talking to her and if you threaten a consequence if she continues with the sass, then you MUST follow through - every time. I would have told her to use her *own* phone, that if she doesn't like using it then it can be taken away.

Try not to let it bug you too much. Don't respond if she's being disrespectful. And remember, she is a good kid in all other areas :)

3 moms found this helpful

Love the book "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk" by Faber. There are great practical tips on how to communicate to get through to kids.

More Answers

Do you mind if I laugh while reading this?

This sounds like a typical parent-teen interaction. It's happening every day with almost every parent of teens.

Take a time out, breathe, and then let her friend come over to practice for her dance team. Her dance team is an important and healthy activity.

Your daughter actually sounds like a pretty good girl, even though she's a normal, annoying, argumentative teen.

Breathe again. And laugh. Reread your post. It really is pretty funny.

5 moms found this helpful

Sounds about right for a 15 year old (yep, I have one two). Consequences usually work well for a moment or too. Keeping a calm voice and not yelling (easier said than done) works best. Tell her your phone is off limits and that if hers is not good enough, save her money and upgrade.
If you are like me, 90% of your conversations with her are correction or condemning her behavior. I am really working on trying to have real, regular conversations way more often. A lot of times, they just want you to listen without commenting much. It's so hard...and it won't get easier for a long time unfortunately. Best wishes!

4 moms found this helpful

I have a 15 also. A change in plans seems to throw them for a loop, and having sick mom and a baby sibling meant there wasn't someone to drive her around - and at this age, socialization and friends is what it's all about. Being stuck at home with a sick mom and a baby is dullsville for a teen. I don't know if you are describing a typical day or just one bad day, but it seems like everything snowballed. Teens sometimes really do think they know better about everything, and not knowing where your cellphone was was inconvenient to HER. I'd have put an end to the cellphone drama and told her she could text her friend when she found her own phone. Having to tell her to do something more than once would result in no plans. Don't let things snowball, let her have it in an authoritative way as soon as the first disrespectful thing comes out of her mouth. Telling her she is being disrespectful is not a consequence, it's pointing out what she already knows, she was intending to be disrespectful and almost daring you to do something about it. A consequence would be taking away her phone and not allowing the friend over. Good luck and feel better soon!

3 moms found this helpful

It seems that most of the responses only told you that "this is normal teen behavior" or "if this is all she is doing you are lucky", I personally say you need to reel her in a bit more before these "little" bouts of being disrespectful don't turn into bigger bouts.

1st: write down things you will not tolerate anymore & sit her down to discuss them. Also give her the opportunity to tell you how she feels about anything that may be upsetting her around the home, school, etc and if there is anything she would like to see changed....and remember to respect her feelings and desires too.

2nd: Whatever you ask of her she MUST repeat to you, so she can no longer use her excuses that are soooo frustrating

3rd: Door comes off

4th: If she couldn't find your cell phone but she had 2 other options (her cell & the house phone) then why on earth would you go look for it for her. I would have left it on the car seat.

5th: Ask her in what ways she feels you are disorganized & let her know that she will now be helping you organize those areas; great mother daughter bonding time!!!

6th: good for you for not letting the friend come over after she disrespected you again.

It's important to be proactive instead of letting it go because the 'attitude fits the age', thats not teaching her anything!!!

My daughter is 20 & when she was that age we talked regularly about ways we both could change to help our relationship.....hope my input helps & good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

See Loveandlogic.com when you are feeling better.
Hormones and Wheels is a great audio book.

In the meantime; 1) As you replay the conversations you have had, I think you are talking and explaining too much. She is drawing you into long conversations and arguments to play/ manipulate you.
Keep it brief and to the point. BAM! That's it.

2) You are sick and are spending time helping her solve the problem of the phone, etc....
a 15 year old should be able to figure out a little of life on her own. And she could have, but she is used to drawing you into her problems and getting YOU to solve them. My 17 yr. old has a lazy streak and every time he can't find something or go get something or think of an answer, etc... I say, "wow, that sounds like quite a problem you have."

3) When someone in the house is sick, others should jump in to help. Try to turn that ship around so that she can be empathic and helpful to her parents. It's tough and takes persistence.....teens think they are the center of the universe, and it takes time and patience to get them to help out.

and finally 4) You need a consequence for every time she says I didn't hear you. Every single time. And it has to be something to get her attention. Our 17 yr. old used to walk out of the room when we were still talking. It drove us crazy until we realized there was no consequence to him except yelling. What teen can't tolerate a minute of yelling from his parents??? So he lost his iPod for 24 hours every time he did it. So if he did that 3 times in a weekend, he was without beloved iPod until Wed.

3 moms found this helpful

Honestly, this sound quite normal for 15 (my 4 year old can have a sassy mouth at times). And I remember being *much* ruder to my mom at that age.

My advice would be to keep a cool, level tone when talking to her and if you threaten a consequence if she continues with the sass, then you MUST follow through - every time. I would have told her to use her *own* phone, that if she doesn't like using it then it can be taken away.

Try not to let it bug you too much. Don't respond if she's being disrespectful. And remember, she is a good kid in all other areas :)

3 moms found this helpful

1. if these are your biggest issues with your 15yo- then I just want to say you are doing a GREAT JOB and this is compleeeeeeeetely normal! I bet you are very frustrated but she is on the verge of hormonal combustion (she's 15) and so all 'reason' has gone out the window for her and according to her brain- she knows everything. so seriously, if this is the hardship you face, I have to say you are doing one heck of a job mom and way to go!

2. don't entertain her with arguing or explaining yourself. you're only getting her satisfaction. she doesnt need you to explain that you ARE organized or that you DID tell her not to close the door and how you KNOW she heard you. going into long winded explanations is only tiresome for you and satisfactory for her. Don't hand her the trophy and let her win bc that's what you're doing. Immediately begin stripping her of rights (phone, friends, allowance, makeup... BAM! she'll hear you next time)

3. someone please tell me how I can keep the next 10 years from happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?????? bless my innocent 5yo who already has "plans" for when she turns 15 (according to her this is the magic age she gets to go to the carnival and get married)

3 moms found this helpful

I am sorry you and the baby are sick...that always seems to make everything seem so much worse. I work with teenagers and I know how frustrating they can be. Sounds to me like she is just pushing for a little respect herself. She feels like her needs are being pushed aside and is using passive aggressive tactics to get your goat. What works for me is stopping the power struggle and really listening to her frustrations and point of view. When she feels like she is being heard, the disrespect will probably disappear. Hang in there! She is an angel compared to many of the students I work with! It could be so much worse.

3 moms found this helpful

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