Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Disrespectful 16-Year-Old Son


I have a 16-year-old son who has become very mouthy and disrespectful. My husband and I have not been as consistent as we have needed to be these past few years. I don’t want to see our son head down the wrong path, but I don’t know what to do.


Parenting teenagers is different than parenting younger children. Manners we thought they have learned and social skills you have seen them use are all of a sudden no longer part of their behavior patterns.

You and your husband need to go back to square one. Write down a few basic house rules. Set clear expectations that you have for your son’s responsibilities and social skills. List the privileges available to him should he meet your expectations. Let him know that his current behavior is not acceptable and immediate changes are required. 
Show him the rules, expectations and consequences. Ask if he understands, NOT if he agrees. Let him know that these are in place effective immediately, and they will continue because they apply to anyone who lives in your home. 

Teenagers, unfortunately, test all the time to see if things apply to them. Make sure he knows that these do apply, and that both of his parents agree and will enforce ​them.