When your tween acts entitled and stops helping out around the house with chores or starts talking back, you will want to stop it. Your child is slowly going from a child to an adult and the transition can be difficult for them (and you).
We asked parents of tweens, as well as parents of teenage boys and girls how they would handle this situation. They had some great suggestions. Talking back, disrespect and entitlement seem to happen to most kids at some point, starting around age 10 or 11. It can be stopped before it gets worse and you can have your respectful child back.
When Your Tween Acts Entitled
Here are some great tips that just might help:
- Try giving him more positive attention and praise him when he is good rather than yelling at him when he is bad. He will strive for positive attention instead.
- If you have younger siblings, be sure to still spend one-on-one time with your tween. This is a hard time for him and he may not be sure where he fits in.
- Give him his own space when you feel like he is becoming frustrated or overwhelmed.
- Be consistent and set rules. Be firm and stick to them. If he is disrespectful, remove privileges.
- Remind him that he is in charge of his own outcome. If he misbehaves, he is responsible for the consequences.
- Concentrate on the things you like and love about him. At this age, they test you a lot. Talk about why you love him so much and why you love to be with him.
- Try taking him out to eat or on a walk and simply TALK to him about how he has been acting. Explain what has been bothering you and WHY it bothers you. Talk to him like the adult that he wants to be.
- Try to resist yelling. It will make him feel very child-like and will not get the results like talking to him.
- Remember that this is the time of puberty and kids to have mood changes. It is normal and should be expected.
- Have dinner together every night (or breakfast). It isn’t the meal or the time that really matters- it is the quality time to connect.
- Set reasonable limits, such as no electronics after 8:00 pm.
- Be empathetic if he breaks the rules. Stick to them, but show him that you are sorry that he made the decision to lose his privileges.
- Your tween doesn’t understand his mood swings anymore than you do, so help him by asking him if he needs space, etc… “Should I leave the room while you calm down?”
- Keep an eye on what THEY are keeping an eye on! Don’t let them watch or hear things that are inappropriate. They are relying on you to keep them safe (even if they don’t know it).
- Have him start earning money that he needs. If he wants something, he needs to work around your house to earn money. He is old enough to learn that money does not grow on trees and if he wants things, he must help out.
- Be consistent! If you want your child to unload the dishwasher every day, it needs to be done every day. Don’t give in today or he will not want to unload it tomorrow.
- Show respect and you get respect. Talk to your child in a tone that doesn’t diminish their feelings. Explain that you need their help around the house because they are an important part of the family.
- LISTEN to your child. Listening to your child is one of the greatest gifts that you can give and it will earn you the most respect by your child.
- Swap Chores for Screentime. Give him chores that he has to do every day in order to earn his privileges, like electronics. Let him earn EXTRA electronic time by doing more of these chores.
It can be hard, but simply listening and talking to your teen or tween will help. This is your chance to develop that bond that will last while teaching your child the important qualities that an adult should have for a successful life.
I hope that this helped! We would love to hear what you are trying and what is working or not working. Stop by our Facebook page, where we talk about these types of parenting topics on a daily basis.