Why Are Some Teens so Disrespectful?


Quick Answer

Teens are often disrespectful because they face an uncertain future and alternate between being excited and terrified about it. In the midst of this emotional turmoil, and as they try to figure out who they are, they test their limits and push people away out of fear. In addition, many teens have not seen respectful behavior modeled by their parents and other adults.

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Full Answer

According to Empowering Parents, many Baby Boomer and Generation X parents are unwilling to say no to their children and do not treat their children with respect. When children do not learn respectful behavior from their parents and are not treated with respect, they learn to treat others with disrespect. In addition, many movies, TV shows and websites glorify treating others with disrespect, making it popular behavior for teens to emulate.

Disrespectful behavior is, to a certain extent, normal during the teenage years. As they try to individuate, they feel compelled to push away people imposing limits, which usually includes parents. As teens are faced with the problems of growing up, they often find they do not yet have the problem-solving skills they need. If respectful behavior has not been deeply ingrained in them, they are likely to respond with disrespect out of fear and insecurity.

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