How to handle my12 year old daughter being outright disrespectful and defiant behavior

by Jordan
(Kansas City )

My 12 year old daughter (2nd oldest of my 4 children), has always had a “battitude”, but never like this. She raises her eyebrows in a disrespectful way when I’m talking to her and back talks when I’m disciplining her! She will blankly ignor me, and straight up nor do what she’s asked to do. When I ask her why, I get the nasty “I don’t know!” Reply with the “I don’t care attitude”! She treats her siblings like trash and could care less about ruining everyone’s morning or day! I would really like some advice on how to handle this in a way that works and makes her think about the way she is treating others.

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12 and Tough!
by: Sara

Hey Jordan!

Thanks for the question! I recommend a few things here:

1. In a time when nothing particular is going on, privately speak with her from a place of concern. Is anything going on at home, at school, etc. You have noticed that she has moved from a person who cares about others, to someone who is no longer kind, and you are concerned. Does she have new friends, is she feeling left out, are hormones giving her difficulty, etc. Assure her that you love her, you are here for her, and together you have to get to the bottom of this because this cannot continue.

2. Set the rules. What will and won't be tolerated, and what the punishment will be when the non-tolerated shows up. Ask her what she thinks should happen when she is disrespectful and/or hurts others.

3. Help her to find appropriate ways to express her feelings. And give her lots of love and reinforcement when she follows direction and is kind. You might say, "Thank you for taking out the trash when I asked. I really appreciate that."

This isn't going to be easy...but it will be so worth it!

My best!

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