Staying calm and dealing with attitude with your tween and teen

Staying calm and dealing with attitude with your tween and teen

April 4, 2024

When you have a baby and watch them grow up, it is fair to say that as a parent you always expect to see and feel that loving bond. The cuddles, the little love notes, the quality time you get to spend together, it all feels so special. But as they grow up you notice that these things start to change.

It is all part of the natural progression of life as they become more aware of who they want to be and how they want to act. However, with their body changing, you will also notice mental changes and one of the most difficult things to overcome is the sudden development of an attitude and a bad one at that.

Attitude is often a choice, and as adults, we know that how we choose to react to something can make a difference in a positive or negative way. But for your tween and teen, this is a little harder to do, as their body changes, their reactions are sometimes not in their control. So how do you handle it? Here is a little more information on attitude and how you can stay calm when dealing with your tween and teen. 

Staying calm and dealing with attitude with your tween and teen

What causes the bad attitude?

When it comes to a bad attitude, the best way to handle the situation is to accept that in most cases it isn’t a personal attack on you. It can feel like it at the time, but a change in attitude often occurs because your child is changing. But that doesn’t mean you ignore it, because even though in some cases it is a natural reaction for them, it can still show disrespect. You do need to have a thick skin when it comes to parenting teens and tweens and recognise that it is more about what your child is experiencing internally than anting else. Here are some of the reasons why your tween and teen develops a bad attitude:

  • They are feeling a strong need for separation and independence from their parents. 
  • An increase in hormones
  • A subconscious need to test limits and push boundaries
  • Become consumed by their own feelings and changes and think less about the emotions and feelings of the people around them. 

What will you notice?

As a parent of a tween and teen, you will notice some of the following behaviours and changes within them when it comes to their attitude:

  • Sighs
  • Eye rolls
  • Back chat
  • Huffs and puffs
  • Questioning you 
  • Challenging you
  • Overreacting 
  • Criticising 
  • Complaining 

If any of these things have started to occur you are entering a new phase of attitude with your teen and tween and while it is, in most cases, unacceptable, you do need to think about how you react. 

Staying calm and dealing with attitude with your tween and teen

Dealing with attitude from tweens and teens – how to handle it

So now that you are aware of what the attitude is and how your tween and teen is reacting to things you might be more concerned about how you handle it. Here are some of the best ways to stay calm when dealing with attitude with your tween and teen. 

Don’t react straight away

One of the more difficult things to do in this situation is to stop your immediate response and reaction. Especially if what you have witnessed and heard has been particularly hurtful. It is important to not react straight away as this avoids you saying something you might regret later. 

Keep in mind it is a phase

Be mindful that this is just a phase. It can seem like you have created a monster at times, but remember what it was like for you at there age. Be aware that this is just a phase that your tween and teen will go through as their body changes. Hormones are surging around their body and it can be hard for them to completely understand how they feel. If you need a helpful reminder, and it is possible, speak with your own parents about how you were at that age. You will be able to see how much you may have changed. 

Recognise it is not a personal attack

It is, in the majority of cases, not a personal attack when your tween and teen react to you in a bad way. It can feel like it, but keep in mind that it isn’t. This will help you to stay calm and not react badly yourself. Which can often just add fuel to the fire and make things worse. 

Staying calm and dealing with attitude with your tween and teen

Remove yourself from the situation 

Another important thing to do would be to remove yourself from the situation. Especially if you are not great at stopping your own reactions. Walking away, if possible, gives you both space that you might need to rethink what has happened and come back to a discussion in a calmer and more predictive way. 

Breathing exercises 

Breathing exercises are a great way to help you remain calm, especially in a hostile situation. Take time to count your breath, breathe deeply, and focus on each one. Or, you might benefit from counting to ten. Take a moment to slowly count to ten so that you can start to feel calmer, rather than having an instant reaction. The more you focus on your breathing, the calmer you will become. 

What is the trigger?

It is also a good idea to understand if there is a trigger causing the sudden attitude. Is it where you are, who you are with, or what you are doing? Often knowing what the trigger is can help you to diffuse the situation. It will help you to avoid certain situations in the future. 

Could you be the problem?

Lastly, could you be the problem? Is your reaction making first worse or are you doing something that isn’t working for your tween and teen? Sometimes it is hard to face the facts that you might be the rigger or issue. But identifying the reasons can help you to improve things. 

Hopefully, these tips will help you to stay calm when dealing with attitude from your tween and teen.

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