For those of you who have teenagers you’re most likely experiencing a change in the way they relate to you. They often act as though they have no regard for anyone or anything but themselves and things that belong to them. Manners they might have had when they were younger seem to have gone out the window and back-talk is an everyday occurrence. It’s likely as well you have said to yourself more than once that you don’t like who he/she has become. It can be heart breaking especially when we reflect back at their innocence during the early years.

We know that adolescents are going through hormonal changes and much of this is normal but we still have to find a way to deal with it in a way that keeps our relationship with our teens intact. They may act like they don’t need us anymore but it’s important to remember that we are still their parents and play a vital role in their lives. Often we hear of parents going back to work full-time because their kids are now teenagers and can look after themselves. The truth is they need us more than ever.

So how do we deal with the moods, the back-talk and the attitude? Don’t be fooled into thinking because it’s classic adolescent behavior you have to accept it. Remember to keep your boundaries clear. You have a right to establish guidelines and ensure they’re followed. For example you can say: “I will not tolerate the “f” word to be used in this house,” If you’ve driven your teen somewhere and they walk out of the car without thanking you, you can say: “When I drive you places, I expect you to say thank-you.” Or, if they’re being blatantly rude and disrespectful you can say: “If you continue to talk to me that way, you may not go out tonight.” You also have the right to say: “I don’t like the way you’re talking to me right now and if you continue, I will not drive you anywhere tonight.” Our teens will gain respect for us when we show respect for ourselves. Allowing rude and disrespectful behavior doesn’t demonstrate self-respect. Teenagers will try most anything once if they think they can get away with it.

Teenagers also have a right to expect respect from their parents. It’s important we remember to demonstrate courtesy when we’re around them. If we lead by example they are likely to pick up our habits. Say things like: “Thank you for remembering to feed the dog, or empty the dish-washer, or put your things away.” Remember to knock if you want to enter their bedroom if they’re there with the door closed. We need to role model the kind of behavior we expect from them.

Author's Bio: 

Barbara Desmarais is a parenting and life coach and mother to four, youg adults, including twin, step-sons. She has been in the field of family life education for over 20 years. Barb has been coaching parents privately, primarily over the telephone for 6 years. Visit her website at