Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Dealing with an Argumentative Teen

Most teenagers seem to go through a phase when every discussion ends up in an argument. This can be incredibly frustrating for parents. It can also be frustrating for teens, and this double frustration can lead to — you guessed it — more arguing.

If you find yourself arguing more frequently with your teen, here are some simple tips that may help make your home more peaceful:

  • Walk away. It takes two to argue, so if you don't engage, your teen will be left with no one with whom they can argue. This can be difficult to do, but it ​really works.
  • If the argument is over something your teen did wrong, simply state the infraction and issue the consequences. For example, "Since you failed your math test, you are not allowed any video game time this week." Think of yourself as a dispassionate cop issuing a speeding ticket.
  • Anticipate your teen's button-pushing techniques and change your response. If walking away is not an option, then responding in a way your teen doesn't expect can throw him/her off in an argument. This doesn't always work, but it's worth a try.
  • At a neutral time, when tempers aren't flaring, present your teen with a list of expectations for how he/she should behave. You should also list the negative consequences for not meeting these expectations. That way, everything has been spelled out, leaving no room for arguments.
  • When communicating expectations, make sure your teen understands them. You are not asking for his/her approval — only his/her understanding.
    Untitled 1