Disrespect in 13 Yr Old

Updated on February 11, 2011
A.P. asks from Gainesville, FL
14 answers

My 13 year old is very disrespectful! She has a cell phone and is supposed to answer it when I call. Last night she was at a friends apartment (upstairs from ours) i had called her and told her to come home for dinner at 7. 7:15 she is not home I call, no answer, I text no answer, I call her friends cell, friend answers right away and tells my daughter to come home. My daughter then calls me to see if she could stay longer and to ask what is for dinner (its something she doesn't like) i tell her that she just has to come home right now. she comes home and asks if she can go right back and I tell her no becasue she didn't come home when i told her to and she didn't anser her phone. she proceeds to tell me that is not fair she can't always hear her phone she had it on vibrate, she can't always remember to turn volume up. She wants to back to her friends house , I didn't tell her to come home, She is not going to tell me anything now, (like if she dates a boy) if I punish her, i can't control her, its unreasonable to ask her to answer her phone etc.... I tell her she will not make me change my mind and she is now grounded from hanging out with her friends for the rest of the weekend.. So she eats dinner, I put sisters to bed. and she goes to get in shower looks at her razor and wants to "check her sisters legs to see if they used her razor" i tell her she cannot check their legs and to just go get new refill, she says no she wants to knwo, I tell her she can ask them but that is it. (which was msitake) she then asks and thry of course say no. she starts to tell them she doens't be leive them ec. i tell her to stop and leave them alone and she yells at me mom. Stop its none of your business ! My fiance then can't take it and starts telling her she needs to stop and grow up and she tehn says she hates him

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So What Happened?

I tried to edit spelling errors and had trouble and then couldn't get to finish story. So later MY fiance said I let her walk all over me and I need to stop b/c I have 2 more little ones and he can't deal with how rude she is to me. (it makes him very upset and uncomfortable for her to be rude to me and he has told her and me that many times, normally they have a good relationship she talks to him about boys and asks for him to say goodnight to her etc.) he told me that maybe i like her to treat me that way b/c I haven't dome anything about it or maybe I feel guilty over divorce, I told him I did feel guilty but I don't like to be treated that way. We decided We may need to go to group counseling to get a handle on this now while she is only 13. I then told my daughter I felt like I had been giving her to much freedom and was being taken advantage of. My question is what to do? How can i get her to really understand respect. And why do I feel guilty still? I always feel bad punishing my kids for their behavior...

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answers from Minneapolis on

Get the book "How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk" by Faber & Mazlish. Teens FEEL all grown up and able to make all their own decisions. Adults know that's not true, but there isn't a way a teen will become convinced of this.

The dynamic of giving them an order (can't think of a better word, I know you don't bark them out or anything and that you're using common sense) and having them obey is hard to keep up now. The best way is to give them questions and lead them into drawing the right conclusions.

As you get practiced with it, it doesn't take long and when it's their idea, they do it, so you're avoiding all the negative stuff that would happen after they don't listen.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Biloxi on

I have a 14 year old boy who has the same attitude. While I do believe that teens are going through a lot - hormones, high school, unrealistic views generated from popular TV shows - I do not tolerate disrespect from my son.

So, if he is horrid there are consequences. He has a cell phone - he is to answer it if I call. If he does not, I take the phone away. AND, I answer it when his friends call and text back to them telling them I took the phone. Guess what, I only had to do this once. He also knows that it only takes me one phone call to disconnect his phone service and he knows that I will do it if crosses the line. Cellular phones are privileges, not a right.

If he is disrespectful I don't argue, cajole, or try to talk him out of it anymore. I very pleasantly remove privileges. TV, Computer, PS3 until he apologizes and behaves respectfully. I have literally pulled the power plug on his PS3 while he is playing on it.

I do control what he watches on TV and what websites he can visit. I use parental blocks and most TV watching is done in the family room. In fact, all major electronics are in the family room. When he is in huge trouble I disconnect the TV in his room.

I have been known to take doorknobs off bedroom doors when they are locked against me and once threatened to remove the door completely after he slammed it in anger. He no longer locks nor slams his bedroom door.

Does you daughter have defined chores? My son does. As I tell him he is a contributing member of this household, and while homework comes first, once that is completed he does dishes, his own laundry, etc.

You must have rules, and one should be to always speak in respectful tones to the other members of the household. The other should be that whatever you (and your Fiancee) say is the rule. You must have consequences and you must be consistent with them. The same consequence every time for the same violation.

Sit down and calmly outline the rules and consequences to your daughter. Put it in writing and post it on the fridge. Live by it.

Do I like coming down hard on my son sometimes? No, it hurts me to punish him. BUT, it is my responsibility to raise a respectful, contributing member of society; to teach him that he is not entitled to anything just because he exits, and to teach him how to be a member of a family.

And you know what - he is a nice, helpful boy. Well, about 90% of the time. LOL

Good Luck and stay strong.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

I know exactly what you're going through. I have a 13 year old and a 12 year old.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is thinking they have no control and being afraid of "losing" their teenagers. You need to make a decision that you don't care if she hates you, you're going to be her mother.
Take her cell phone away (since she "can't remember" to answer when you call), don't allow her to go anywhere but school and home until she starts to act like a young lady. She will not be dating behind your back if you are by her side every moment. Talk to her teachers and ask them to call you RIGHT AWAY if she's not in class.
Bottom line is, get drastic. Make her realize that you care about her enough to do whatever it takes. She won't get away with anything because she's got a good mom. Stop negotiating with her. If she yells at you send her to her room, if she yells at her sisters give her extra chores, always have a consequence for her bad behavior.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My son is 12.5, so I have some idea of how emotional they can get and how they can get offended by anything you say or do. But, I think she needs a reality check. She can't be expected to answer her phone?! Well then I guess she doesn't need to have it with her, does she? Take it. Don't let her have unlimited time outside the house upstairs with her friend where you just call her when you want her home: tell her before she goes what time she is expected to be home. Period. If she doesn't show, she doesn't get to go at all the next time. She doesn't like what's for dinner? Have her make tomorrow night's dinner. She can plan it, shop for it, make it and clean it up. She's old enough.
You already know you erred with letting her ask her sisters about the razor.

Yes she is hormonal and trying to spread her wings and become independent. That is what growing adolescents do. But she can do it with more respect towards you. Tell her when she is being rude. Tell her that she must treat you with respect. Kids usually only live up to our expectations... do you just expect that she is going to be that way to you and so it fulfills your expectation and so you let it go? Don't. EXPECT that you deserve REspect. You do! Tell her "That is disrespectful. Figure out a better way to talk to me." or "You don't sound respectful when you use that tone with me - try it again." Etc.

She is growing and maturing and spreading her wings, and you don't want to clip her wings. But you DO still need to set limits so that you can guide her. She still needs them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A disrespectful 13 year old? How unique! LOL! Be assured this is normal 13 year old behavior and tell your fiance.....she is trying to grow up, and please don't make matters worse by jumping in with such sage remarks!

This is normal, and telling your daughter she could not go back because she didn't answer the phone is reasonable. Do your best to toughen up and know this is 13 year old behavior. Next do your best not to get hooked into her arguments. Sweetly tell her the consequence of her actions, even be sympathetic that you know it is hard........ but tell her once what the consequence is and stick to it....... which sounds like what you did! I think the problem came in when her crummy teen attitude pulled you in and it all kept going.

I would not ground her all weekend. Cranky teens are normal. I would just stick with a consequence for the original infraction and try to ignore the mood. Don't yell, don't argue..... that's when the everything deteriorates.

With the "crazed" gotta confront the sisters behavior. You did fine. You were trying to compromise. Now you know that might work with this kid and you will find a better way.

When she yells at you, don't yell back. Either walk away or keep a calm and quiet voice. Tell her when she speaks in a reasonably calm tone, like you are, then you will be glad to discuss things. If she can't..... walk away. If she follows you, close a door.

Teens are so fun, aren't they!?

You sound like your instincts are there A.. It hurts when they reach this age and suddenly seem to turn on you. Patience will help you get through it.


oops..... just read your edit. You probably do feel guilty because of the divorce but don't let that stop you from being a consistent parent. It will be best for you and your kids. Your fiance is sweet, but this is typical 13 year old stuff and if you try to demand too much....... well, I just believe you demand they follow certain reasonable rules, but you do have to let some of their grumpy remarks, etc.... go or else you will be in battle 24/7. Family counseling sounds great. Why not gain a few tools to help?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm pretty clear with my teens on how they are to treat their dad, their siblings and me. I started having problems with disrespect at that age. It's better now that they're 15 and 17 but there are still moments. I don't engage in arguing. It's clear cut. You didn't come home like you were suppose to. You didn't answer your phone. It's no ones fault but your own. You're not going back, you're grounded because of your attitude and no, you can't check your sisters legs. Go to your room. Stay firm until she does what she's suppose to do. No reason for her to totally disrupt and upset the entire family with her attitude. She had a privelege to hang out with her friends and SHE blew it. Why is SHE the one punishing the rest of the family? It's because she's a teen and testing the waters of independence. But there is a better way around it and you can guide her to have a more pleasant attitude. Good luck! =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well, their certainly sounds as if there is alot going on here, but really it can be quite simple. With kids (teens included) the less words more action seems to work. I'm assuming you pay for her cell phone service and pay for phone. The only thing that worked with my son is turned off his phone. When he asked what happened (edited version) I sweetly sad, "this is a real bummer I pay for phone services for kids who respond when I call". (Ka Boom). Only had to use this technique twice he gets it. When you get hit with all the excuses and I won't do it again, and how will I get in touch with you? Just be neutral keep saying I know, I know, I know.......don't engage, call a friend turn up the TV. When you punish ie. grounding the kid will focus on the anger they feel for you and not on what they did to create the sad situation for them. Please do yourself a favor don't consequence things you can't control such as were she goes who's she's with, unless you want to spend your time following her or playing detective. You can do the same thing with internet service works like a charm. Remember our job as parents is to prepare them for real life....Ps. If she gets really angry that's a good sign just means you're loving firm limit setting technique is working. Loving Authority figures is what all kids desire. My experience is you can't teach kids respect, they will respect you when you demonstrate you respect yourself. Kids will only treat you as well as you treat yourself! When we consequence our kids effectively it does feel bad for us however, that does not stop me from loving my kid enough so that I set some limits so he can have a chance at a productive happy life in the future and I can enjoy the relationship I have with him and stop threatening, lecturing, scolding.

When we treat our kids like an honored guest in our home, it doesn't work out well for us or the kid. What family contributions (chores) is she responsible for?

Hang in there pal, teenage years do not have to be constant arguing.

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answers from New York on

Sounds like a typical 13 year old pushing the boundaries to see where they stop. Deep down inside she wants you to take control. She's 13 and in a way wants to be a grown up but knows she's not quite ready. This age is all about learning to be a responsible adult one day. We tend to coddle our teenagers - but for thousands of years teenagers were y oung adults in the family and helped out alot. It's only in the last 50ish years or so that we've encouraged teens to be big children.

I tell my 14 year old that she and all her friends have their adult training wheels on - they need to learn how to handle friendships, dating, family, money, chores, etc. My job as parent is to guide her, correct her, get her back on track, and discipline her when neccesary. It's far better for her to learn the tough life lessons at home when she's surrounded by people who love her than to learn them later in life when others areound here don't care one way or the other.

You pay the cell phone bills so it's your phone and you get to make the decisions about it. If she loses the cell phone for a weekend she'll learn to answer it next time.

Do not take her answers and fresh responses to you personally. If she's fresh there's a consequence. (another day of cell phone loss?, clean the bathroom?) Understand that she wants you to help her control her emotional outbursts and responses - even though she may not even realize it.

These teen years are tougher than I ever imagined. My kids are 11 and 14 - so I still have a long way to go and I'm just realizing how much help I need from the almighty to get through this without losing my mind or locking them in thier rooms until they're 20. But from what I've experiened so far, the more they act out the more control they need and they more positively the eventually respond. You nee dto communicate - and listen. My kids' biggest complaints are that we don't listen to htme and don't hear what they ahve to say. So I try to make a conscious effort to hear what they have to say and their opinions. I've even aksed them how they think they should be disciplined and their responses are sometimes more strict than mine. ;o)

trial and error - all i know is that they seem to rise to my expectations - so I try to set them high - but attainable and tell them how proud I am when they do the right things, tell htem that I expect good things from them and that I'm confident they can do it - and the only reason I discipline them - like taking away their phone - is that I want them to grow up to be likable, responsbiel, good people who can take care of themselves and the people they love.

good luck mama. This parenting stuff doesn't seem to get any easier does it?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think Lesley B has some great ideas for you. That is pretty close to how we handle our 13 year old son as well. He used to be able to come home from school and have some relax time before homework and chores but when he started taking advantage and not getting things done then being disrespectful when he was told to get it done he lost that priveledge. He now comes right home, does homework then chores before he can play games, go outside with friends etc.

The minute he begins talking back and/or being nasty to me I calmly tell him to go to his room and not come out until he feels he can be a respectful part of this family. His cell phone stays with me until he does and apologizes.

Tweens/teens go through these rough points as they try to find themselves, assert themselves etc. But it DOES NOT give them the right to disrespect you. If I had been in your shoes and she didnt answer my call I would have been upstairs at that door taking her home! My son knows if he isn't home when he is told then he loses the priveledge of being out for 3 days. You have to teach them respect & responsibility at this age before it gets out of control.

With all that said it does sound like she is acting out. When was the divorce? How soon after was your fiance introduced? Even though she seemed to have a great relationship with him before things change for her at this age. My parents divorced when I was 7 and it didn't seem to be a big deal to me at that time. i thought it was cool I got 2 easter baskets, 2 christmas' etc. But right about 12-14 I started to realize what had really happened and how I felt about it. I had some major issues with it. Angry at my father, angry with anyone my mom tried to date etc. I went to counseling myself and with her and it really helped. She is growing up and having a better understanding about grown up situations....that can be very overwhelming for teens as they are really still kids.

I would get you and her into some counseling. She needs to help sort out why she is feeling angry towards you and how to better handle her emotions when she gets to feeling this way.

Good luck!

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answers from St. Louis on

Oh man. All I can say is hang in there! I was a BAD 13 year old, and probably didnt respect my mom until I moved out when I was 19. She may be resentful to your finace, and really, at this point, he needs to stay out of it. Hes not even her step dad yet. I do suggest counseling- just you and her. There may be things she will always keep inside if your finace is around. Of course you are going to feel guilty, all moms do. If it wasnt the divorce it would be something else. Dont get me wrong, Im sure its tragic on the kids. But, take some time, get some help on how to handle her. Try to have good communication without always punishment. I would tell her shes really been disappointing you, and you dont want to punish her all the time but she needs to shape up. She is probably hormonal too and is dealing with that. That makes everyone very difficult. Good luck!

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answers from Milwaukee on

I go through this all the time with my teens. It is hard for me because Iove kids and just want to be treated with respect. If they treated me how I want to be treated their lives would be grand. Their chores are dishes or garbage each night (they flip flop). We expect help with the shoveling once in awhile since my husband works late hours. When they act out we like to disconnect the Y-FI so the Ipods and video games can't be played. That sends them right out of their rooms to see what the problem is. My daughter will usually try to get hers back right away while my son will just rebel and complain about how strict we are. My husband usually is the one to do this because he says I let them get away with too much. It's our house and if they aren't helping us then he has the right to do that. I do think it is a smart idea but hate their complaining. My son was complaining every day and it was getting really horrible for awhile. We had a talk with him and he's gotten better the last week but I feel he's doing this because his driving test is approaching fast. We tell him as soon as he is acting responsible we will let him start driving our cars. He still only gets by with his minimal chore (when he feels like it) and doesn't try to do many extras. We want him to earn his privilage and know what to do when he's out on his own soon. A friend of mine told me teenagers and even 20 year olds don't know how to change the trash or throw in a load of whites(towels) where she works. That reflects on the parents. We need to be the ones to teach them the things they need to do to get by in life or they will keep coming back to us. My daughter does her laundry most of the time and my son complains when something wasn't thrown in the dryer the night before. I told him it is his responsibility to check the night before so he knows if his clothes are ready or not. My son keeps going to the teen center after school and then calling me for rides at night. He goes even when I tell him to come straight home. This happened last night and then he said his ride left and he couldn't get a ride until closing time. I need to figure out what I am going to do about it because he just does not care. I'm thinking of canceling his membership this weekend when I go in there but it won't end until the end of the month and he will still go. His job is barely giving him any hours and I thought that would keep him in line. My daughter wants to do things and I tell her not until she does what I ask of her first and she works well with that. It's a struggle but we get through it. If you want to talk email me. My daughter is the same age and we go through some of the same issues. Good luck mom. Sorry this is so long:)

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answers from Norfolk on

i think its time she had a reality check from someone older and not her parent, no offense, i just know i couldnt talk to my mom ever, im 20 and still cant. see if your community has a big brothers big sisters program. meet the counselor and explain to them the situation, make sure that the person you have around your daughter is someone you would personally be ok with.
another thing you need to look at is her friends and their relationships with their parents, i had a friend when i was 13 who never did anything but scream and swear at her mom, while i would never do that to my mom when i lived with her, ive done it a lot now that i moved out, and her friends could be effecting how she thinks and feels and reacts. just a few things to keep in mind.

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answers from Modesto on

your daughter sounds like she is acting out because she's from a broken home and feels displaced. she needs attention. she doesnt feel valued. you would probably benefit from some counseling with you and her together so you can learn to communicate.



answers from Los Angeles on

i feel as if you should take her electronics she uses alot and keep her in the house. send her to a counselor and or therapy.

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