Took a group of middle school students to Hershey Park.Â During the day the students were free to roam the facility; however, had mandatory check-in times.Â When one girl arrived late I asked her for a reason and all I got in return was attitude.Â It was a little unexpected and at first I didnâ€™t know how to respond.Â I wanted to call her parents and send her home, but then I learned that there was more to the story.Â In the end she apologized and the rest of the day was fine.
Has a teenager ever copped an attitude with you before?Â Itâ€™s alarming and sometimes unexpected.Â When caught off guard itâ€™s easy to want to shoot back and go even lower.Â Or, maybe you just donâ€™t know how to overcome the disappointment and let it slide.Â No matter what you feel, when a teenager shows you a little attitude you need to respond.Â But, how do you respond without hurting, rejecting or blowing off the situation?Â First, you:
Listen â€“ No matter what they say let it sit out there.Â Sometimes the teenager just needs a little bit of time to think about what they said.Â If their response was in a moment of passion you are giving them an opportunity to hear their mistake.Â You respond immediately and you might escalate the situation down the wrong path.
Respond With â€œIâ€ Statements â€“ When someone offends us the tendency is to immediately shoot blame.Â Instead make your first response a description of how you are feeling like, â€œIâ€™m a little hurt.â€ Or â€œIâ€™m surprised by that.â€Â Not only are you being authentic, but also you are allowing the offender to know the immediate consequences of their actions.
Offer To Go Deeper â€“ This doesnâ€™t mean to pry and fix whatâ€™s going on in their life; however, an off colored comment can sometimes be a shout out for help.Â All you need to do is simply ask them, â€œIs there something we need to talk about?â€Â If they trust you theyâ€™ll let you know the truth.Â If they do want to talk about it, just listen and if they donâ€™t assure them that you are available.
Follow Up With Discipline â€“ If a student makes a rude comment towards you, another adult or their parent, be sure to address their action.Â Dishonoring parents and being rude to your elders isnâ€™t right.Â What is that disciplinary action?Â Well that depends on your situation.Â It can be as simple as asking them to apologize to who theyâ€™ve offended, to removing a certain privilege or responsibility.Â No matter what the disciplinary action is, deliver it in love.
When a teen cops an attitude it can be anything from a cry for help to unresolved conflict.Â Donâ€™t brush it off, overlook it or over react, if anything slow down the pace, listen and show them Godâ€™s love
How do you deal with a teenagerâ€™s attitude?