14 Year Old Very Sassy

Updated on February 21, 2012
J.P. asks from Delmar, MD
12 answers

I have a 14 year old daughter that is my precious girl. She's smart and can have a strong personality. At times I feel she can be disrespectful. I want to encourage her personality, but reign in the disrespectfulness. I have younger children and support my family as a single parent who works full time. I have four. I want her to be helpful and respectful. Last night she was criticizing my driving after I drove 3 hours to take her to a sports tournament. How can I encourage her confidence but reign in this behavior, which I believe is partly due to her age. I want to nurture her personality but for her to understand the need to be respectful to me, as well as others. I need her to be helpful not disrespectful cause Im busy like the rest of you. Thanks Mommas for your feedback.

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answers from Atlanta on

You need to talk to her and be honest with her and let her know you're not going to tolerate disrespectful behavior from her. You also have to realize she's 14! Teenage girls are usually very sassy and enjoy pushing buttons and pushing things to their limits!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Austin on

My mother was divorced and it was just 3 of us ladies..

My mom made us some deals and promises.

"If we treated her with respect, she would do the same with us."

"If we appreciated what we did for each other, it was going to make us closer and make our home a lot nicer. . "

If we "promised to always tell he the truth, she would not be mad, she may be disappointed or her feelings hurt, but she would never be mad.". She has kept this promise to this day.

She also would not tolerate sass talk.
She would say, "you seem upset, I think you should go to your room and calm down."

"I am sorry you seem so frustrated, do you want to tell me what is going on, or would you like to think about it so we can talk later?"

Just let your daughter know you are "doing your best. You are proud of her, but it really is not appreciated when she criticizes" you. That you "notice she is not perfect, but you try your best to not make hurtful comments."

Also "IF she is really concerned about your driving, maybe she needs to consider the alternative.. She will not get to travel to these out of town games."

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Ah, my 15 year old son is at this stage also. He is very critical of my actions - driving, spending, cleaning, opinions, just everything. Since I try and pick my battles and I know that this is part of a teen's development into an independent person - the whole pulling away from the parents thing - I bite my tongue a lot.

But, last night, after picking him up from a friend's house he began to criticize my driving. This from a boy who does not have his learner's permit yet because he cannot remember to pick up the school form to take the test! LOL

I had enough and told him that he is being overly critical and I am tired of it. Period. That it needs to stop. That he needs to think before he speaks and that I am not one of his teen friends and do not expect to be treated as such. He looked abashed and apologized. Eh, he is a good kid.

Long way around the bushes to say - call your daughter on her words. Tell her when she is being overly critical. Do not yell, or say anything to escalate the discussion into an argument. Do not criticize her back.

Just tell her that she is out of line with her words and that you expect to be treated with more respect. Keep reminding her of this.

It is a phase that teens go through - it is not a fun phase. But, I believe, through consistency and patience, that we can teach them to think before speak and to understand the power of their words. And to learn how to use that power in a positive way.

Good Luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My children are much younger but we've had to talk w/ a professional re: one of them (behavior issues) and the one thing that really stuck w/ me was that they are doing it to get a rise out of you and that what you need to do is acknowledge the EMOTION but don't give any apologies, etc.

Acknowledging their emotion diffuses the situation and allows them to not be able to 'build' that up and up and up. Very similar to what Laurie A's mother would do. "I hear/ can see that you're frustrated, and it's OK to feel frustrated or to be upset, etc. but it's not OK to voice it like that. When you can calm down and talk to me in a respectful voice we'll discuss it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I enjoyed reading your question and the answers. I have a 13 year old boy that is really pushing my buttons lately. He can be soooooooo disrespectful, and then he'll claim he has no idea what I'm talking about when I tell him "it's not your words, it's your tone".

I think it's just this phase of life, I hope we both make it through!!!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I have three sons so I am not sure this is identicle but here goes~ First of all, Kids this age have hormones raging. Sassy can be normal and part of growing and testing their independence. I would look right at them and say, Its OK, I love yoiu and when you turn 16 a really nice young man is going to come out on the otherside of this. This tells the child that you love them and understand they are going through a rough time and that it will definately get better. They just cant respond to this negatively. I now have one son with an MBA, one working on a PHD and one graduating jr college and going off to a four year college next fall. None of the kids got into trouble and guess what? They all came out of their raging hormones nice young men. Keep your humor going and don't forget the nice young girl she used to be. I also used to joke that they just had a case of TMS ~ Teenage Mouth Syndrome. KEEP YOUR HUMOR!!!!! They will repond positively and appreciate your kindness..



answers from Chicago on

I know that raising kids are not easy these days they want what everyone else has and they feel they don't get their far share, they think that if they sit in class they are done for the day. But having a child disrespecting a parent is over the line. I have a daughter 32 and a son just turned 15, I am a single parent. I told my kids that when they can , pay the mortgage, the utilities,the cable bill, life insurance, car insurance, food on the table and cook it, work, buy the clothes, clean the house, the yard the animals, then we can talk, until then you will do as I say for you to do, and be respectful of your elders for all they do for you and your sisters and brothers. Don't bite the hand that feeds you, if you can find a better way of life, then go for it.Life doesn't get any better than this, make the best of it.And as far as her telling you your driving was not so good, then maybe she should find another way to get to her games. Sometimes we have to be hard on our kids to get a point across, whether or not they understand it , if you are so terrible, then she should other means to get around because her siblings are needed at home. Don't be afraid to be hard on her she is the oldest and should set the example. My son told me 4 years ago he didn't like living with me and he was mean about it, I said fine, and I threw out his clothes out the back door, with his books and said go live some where else, and hope you are warm tonight, I tried to push him out as well, (but it was like putting a cat in a barrel of water)he had second thoughts and said he was sorry for what he said to me, he never said it again, and he helps me around the house more than ever. I hope this helps you, don't be afraid to be firm with your kids, they are your kids and you have to prepare them for life and it isn't easy, you will not be here for ever, make a lasting impression on them for the good.


answers from Washington DC on

There's a huge difference between personality and disrespect.
You need to lay out your expectations and the consequences while you are both calm. I always told my children that there was one rule that must never ever be broken because if it was they'd regret it: Don't shame your mother. As we walked out the door to whatever event, I'd remind them. That nipped a lot of problems. They knew not to be rude, disrespectful, or nasty towards me or anyone else. If they started to get sassy, I'd give them a look and whisper the rule in their ear. It would stop... instantly.
When we were at home, I called them on disrespect every single time. You need to call her on the disrespect every single time - no matter what. It cannot and should not be tolerated.
As for the driving... I would ask her what she didn't like and why. My daughter just returned home from a school trip that one of the parents drove for. She did not like the way he drove and texted me that while en-route. I asked her what the problem was. She said he was multitasking. I told her to say her prayers, keep her mouth shut, and go to sleep. I told her that his ultimate goal was to get home in one piece. That said, I will bring this up privately with the teacher in charge at another time.
I believe that if children are nervous when we drive, there must be a reason. I often show my children what makes me nervous about other drivers. I'm sure she was thankful that you took her to the sports tournament. Your driving has no bearing on her thankfulness. Linking the two like that is just wrong. (Your driving and her being thankful doesn't connect in her head like that!)
I think you need to sit the children down - all of them - and come up with a set of house rules. Make them figure out what they want their home to be - you'll be pleasantly surprised. If you want them to do chores - have them come up with the chores they are willing to do each day and each week. Don't tie them to an allowance - chores are what come with being part of a family.



answers from Washington DC on

Excuse me?? That was very disrespectful. You hurt my feelings.
Giving her the death stare then just leaving the room, if you are in the house.
Pulling over and just sitting there until she apologizes, after telling her that what she said was disrespectful and hurtful.

Many times what comes out of their mouths is just what is in their heads. THey have no filter. So we have to train them to use a filter, but they have to see that it is really something that hurts us.

Be sure to give her your time and do things with her alone. My 16 yo likes to go to the grocery store with me. It's her time with mom. She actually gripes if the 11 yo or 14 yo wants to come with us.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have twin 15 year-olds. They constantly criticize my driving. I took my girls to an enormous empty parking lot for their first driving experience. Neither of them knew that you needed to use the brake to stop the car.

Teenagers are the back seat drivers of our lives. Consider the source. Don't take driving advice from someone who has never driven. Don't you think that is funny?


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, D:
There is no excuse for inappropriate behavior.
Do you have a written document garnered from all the family
sitting together coming up with what's expected from all family members?

If not, everyone sits around the table and draft the expectations of behaviors.

Next, come up with some consequences for each of the expectations not accomplished.

Now about the incident:

Keep these questions in your pocket and use them when behaviors are inappropriate.

Pull the car over:

Ask her these questions in a form that applies to you.

1. What happened?
2. What were you thinking of at the time?
3. What have you thought about since?
4. Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
5. What do you think you need to do to make things right?

After she answers these questions, you respond to her with these answers.
Tell her:
1) What you thought when you realized what had happened.
2) What impact this incident has had on you and others?
3) What has been the hardest thing for you?
4) What you think needs to happen to make things right?

I use to pull over when I was driving students to school and asked them these questions. I was amazed at their responses.

If you don't nip this behavior in the bud, you may be looking to send her off to military school.

Good luck.
Thanks for asking.


answers from Kansas City on

our rule is that if you can't say something nice, zip it. if you don't zip it, you lose something. figure out what is important to her, what would make it worth it to her to make the effort to curb her bad habit. and be consistent. good luck!

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