Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
My 14-year-old twins, one girl and one boy, think they know everything. It's impossible to try to talk to them about almost anything without them rolling their eyes and saying that they already know about whatever it is I'm trying to explain. It's one thing for them to do this to me but they are now doing it to their grandparents and I don't like it one bit. How do parents get through to their teens and put an end to this mess once and for all?
If you will think back, you will probably remember that you were also a smart aleck around this age. And, for some of us, we still think we basically know it all. However, this doesn't give them the right to disrespect you or their grandparents. When my kids do this to me, I ignore them and make them stay right where they are and listen to whatever it is I'm talking about. They don't like it at all but I don't care; I'm the parent. Try it. - R. W. in Fort Wayne, IN
I know this can be quite frustrating and actually make you want to smack them. But believe me, most parents go through this. Kids see, hear and do a lot more than we did when we were their age, so they think they know what's best or at least think that they do. If the subject happens to be about technology regarding a cell phone or computer, then they probably do... at least for the most part. However, they can give an answer or reply in a more acceptable and mannerly way to you and certainly to their grandparents. The best way to handle it is to write down a consequence for each type of rude reaction that they throw your way. Make sure you give them each a copy. Tell their grandparents what you're doing so that everyone can be on the same page. The next time that they do it, follow through on the consequence. For example, if an adult is talking to them, they cannot be glancing or using their cell phone. If they do, you put it up for two hours. Two hours may not seem like a long time to be without a phone, but it will seem like forever to a teenager. Rules and guidelines are something that they understand. They may not like it, but if you're consistent, they'll get the point.
CAN YOU HELP?
My 15-year-old daughter is asking me questions about things I did when I was around her age like when did I first have a glass of wine, what I did with my boyfriends, when I had sex and with whom, etc. I'm not sure why all of a sudden she is so interested in this, but I really don't know what the best way to answer her is. Should I tell her the truth or keep my past to myself?
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