It is not uncommon to hear stories about parents who are frustrated with their teen’s attitudes.
Their behavior may be irresponsible, and their attitude is just ‘I don’t care’, and it frustrates us.
Some kids may have a dreaming mentality where they believe that things will just land in their laps, however, note that any idea they get like this, any mentality does not come out of nowhere.
It is important to recognize that what they have learned as a child will impact them as they grow.
Some teens will have an attitude because they feel entitled, others may have an attitude because of other things in their lives; desperation to fit in, social issues, tiredness, stress, and so on.
The main thing you must do if your teen is displaying an attitude is to be understanding and try to find the source of this attitude.
Then, remember that you can never make someone do something, even your kid, they have to learn to make mistakes and bounce back from them.
Attitude Never Comes Out Of Nowhere!
If your teen has the mentality that they don’t need a job, or good grades and that they will just get what they want, consider that you or other caregivers in their past may actually be at fault for this.
Yes, this sucks, but if you mollycoddle the child and give them rewards without doing anything to warrant it, this mentality can carry forward into their adolescent years and even into adult life where they feel that the world owes them something.
We know this is not how the world works, but they don’t, remember, we can only make judgements on what we have experienced ourselves.
However, attitude can also come from other things. Maybe your kid does not want to go to school and is snappy.
You know they need to go to school, but do you know if everything is okay at school? Are they struggling? Being bullied? Hurt?
Remember, attitude does not come out of thin air, it will come from their own experiences and what they have been taught as well as the environment they are in.
Remember You Can’t Make Your Kid Have A Better Attitude
You will likely be in a power struggle with your child, you have probably lectured them about hard work, attitude and being responsible god knows how many times. You hope they will listen, but they don’t.
The truth is, you cannot fix them, you can’t make them do anything. It is impossible to force something onto someone, and in fact, forcing it can often make the situation worse.
You cannot force your world view onto your child, they can only view the world the way they have experienced it.
You will never see the world the way your parents did, and your child will never see the world the way you do.
You must also remember that your teen will be dismissive or apathetic to anything other than what interests them, in many ways this is just natural for humans.
If you have no interest in LEGO, will you sit and listen to someone talk about it for ages?
No one can force interest upon anyone, if they aren’t interested, they simply won’t be. So, to try and force it will just frustrate you.
Remember: Your child is not a mini you, they are their own person with unique passions, interests, feelings, and experiences.
Focus On Behavior, Not Attitude
If they are being really crude, rude, or irresponsible, do not focus on their attitude but their behavior instead.
Consider that a person can have a bad attitude towards something but still maintain good behavior.
Ignore their apathy and self-importance of your teen and inform them of what they should be doing.
If your child does not want to do their math homework, maybe they hate the subject, then you should integrate the age-old reinforcement techniques.
Positive reinforcement is when you receive a reward for doing something, negative reinforcement is when you receive something bad, or do not receive something good as a result of bad behavior.
Inform your child that if they do their math homework they can watch TV, or play games, or maybe they can have ice cream after dinner.
Give them something that rewards them, and over time this will build up the association that completing homework will bring a reward.
If you implement rules around this it will also help. The more their behavior improves, their attitude will improve too.
You Can’t Force Someone To Want Something
Remember you can never force a person to want something either. You cannot make your child want good grades or a job.
To Conclude: They Are Their Own Person, And They Are Learning
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