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Rude and out of control: How can I help my teen?

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Rude and out of control: How can I help my teen?

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Rude and out of control: How can I help my teen?

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                        Ask a Child and Family Professional

                    Question: How do I support my teen when they are rude and things feel out of control?





Isn’t it frustrating when your teen is being rude and you don’t understand why? It’s helpful to try and remember that during adolescence the brain processes the world through an emotional lens and its ability to rationalise and think about consequences is limited. In fact the brain’s capacity to use these higher functions is not fully developed until the age of 25 years!


What this means for your teen is that their emotions can easily get out of control and they find it really difficult to self-regulate.  You need to light the path that will bring them back to the calm. Although it can be really challenging - try to meet their chaos with calm. This can be really tough to do when your teen is pushing your buttons so think of strategies to keep your own calm and be present for your teen in these out of control moments.


Open up the communication with your teen. Listen to them. Then listen to them some more! Try to understand what is going on in their world. Validate how they are feeling. Remember- you can do this without agreeing with the content of what they say.


Use “I” statements to express how you are feeling. This will role model appropriate expression of feeling to your teen. Maybe it will rub off onto them too!


Finally, know when it’s time to take a break. Research tells us that we can’t have a rational conversation when our bodies are heightened and feeling upset and angry. Know that sometimes walking away and coming back to the conversation later is the best thing to do


 Some things to consider as a parent…

  • How can I show my teen I want to understand how they are feeling?
  • How can I keep my calm so that I can help my teen to be calm?
  • How can I role model appropriate behaviour to my teen?
  • What are the signs that I need to take a break from the conversation with my teen?


CW, Child and Family Professional at The Benevolent Society

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