7 Ways to Fix Rude Tween Behavior
Tips to deal with your child's attitude as she grows into a teenager
Choose a Tween-Appropriate Punishment for Infractions When your child was a toddler or preschooler -- or maybe even as recently as a year ago -- you could pretty much get her to do what you wanted with positive reinforcement (praising her for being good, showering her with stickers) and the occasional time-out. With a tween, however, most parents find they have to bring out the big guns; very few older kids are likely to change their behavior based on, say, the promise of an ice cream cone if they can go a week without stomping around the house.
"I find that taking away a favorite activity, like their Xbox or cell phone, is the best punishment when my kids talk back or mumble something rude under their breath," says San Diego mom Dana Hess, who has a 10- and a 14-year-old. Whatever you do decide, she warns, follow through. "Once you don't do what you say, they'll take total advantage, and you'll lose your upper hand again."
Linda McGivern, a mom of three in Rollinsford, NH, often has to play the heavy with her son, 12-year-old Elias. Recently, they were at a restaurant with family, talking about who was going with him to a movie later, a group of pals or a girlfriend.
"We're going together," Elias said.
"Everyone or just you and Rebecca?" his mom asked.
"Who's going to the movie?"
"Why don't you talk so I can understand you? No habla ingles? " Elias snarled. With that, McGivern sent him to sit out the rest of lunch in the car.
"Elias knows that he needs to speak to me respectfully or else he's going to suffer the consequences," says McGivern. "It's exhausting, but if I don't insist on this now, I'll be doing him a disservice. Can you imagine him talking to his wife that way?"