Teens not qualified to talk back

EDGEWATER -- Teenagers are not qualified to talk back. Experience of life is the true qualifier to have any spoken word allowed. I deal with teens on a daily basis and find their insolence far from cute.

They can be abrasive, inhumane, and downright rude all the while believing they are right. I find it amusing and is never flustered by their behavior. How interesting the exchanges can become.

One exchange was as such: I will call her Keisha. Keisha proceeded to tell me, “I hate my mother sometimes. She can be such a B@#$%. She gets on my last nerves. she always wants to me to do so much while she does nothing. That is so unfair”

Does this sound familiar to anyone? What should your response be as a parent? Do you think you should go into a tirade and tell her how ungrateful she is being? Do you think you should tell her to “shut up”? Should Keisha be grounded for her insolence?

Those responses from you would be crude and uncalled for. Her momentary lapse of stupidity should not relegate her to a series of cruel and unusual punishment. She should be shown the error of her ways and given the opportunity to correct those errors.

Just as you would like a second chance with your boss, your spouse, your ex-best friend, then find the grace and mercy to extend it to someone else. Nevertheless, that is one of the reasons teens should not be allowed to talk back.

Their over exaggeration is hilarious. Does she really hate her mother? How many nerves does this child have, if her mother was to agitate that last one, what will become of poor Keisha with no nerves left? Here Keisha goes overboard in exaggeration and says her mother does nothing while she has to do "everything."

My response was simple. I laughed out loud, at her momentary lapse of stupidity of course, just as you should. I shook my head and started my polite tirade.

It started like this: Me: Keisha are you telling me your mom is a pain in your behind? Do you believe she does not have the right to tell you what to do?

Keisha: Yeah, she should… but she can be so rude. Why can’t she learn to wait?

Me: How many times has she told you to wash the dishes in the same day? Is it more than once?

Keisha: Yes, but… (she was cut off. The answer told me she is not qualified to continue. She is wrong)

Me: Then what was the problem? She told you to do something and you chose to be rude and disrespectful by completely acting like she never said a thing.

Keisha: She knew I heard her. Why couldn’t she wait?

Me: why couldn’t you just do as you were told when you were told… (Now my tirade began!) You want respect and trust but you are not willing to give it. I’m sure you were saying everything with an attitude as if she has no right to tell you to do something to earn your keep. If you were my child, you would be scrubbing the floor too with that attitude. Why should she have to wash the dishes too, doesn’t she work? Do you work at all?

Keisha shakes her head "no."

Me: Do you even go food shopping? Do you help her cook? (Keisha replied no)

Me: Then why should she have to wait for you to get ready to do something. Do you want her to stop harassing you?

Keisha: (perked up) and said Hell, yes! She needs to stop annoying me

Me: Do you want her to stop annoying you? I can tell you exactly what to do.

Keisha looked at me and eagerly awaiting the answer. It was simple. It was clear. It is the reason why she should not be allowed to talk back.

I looked at Keisha and said… THEN…DO AS YOU ARE TOLD… then you won’t have any problems. Trust me it works for me at work, at school, with me shopping at Wal-Mart. If I do not open the packages before I pay, then I won’t be kicked out or cops called. If my boss asks me to stay for another 15 minutes for a meeting, I do it, or I get fired.

Keisha, did not like the answer, but understood the concept.

Three weeks later, she liked her mother; her mother wasn’t such a B#$%@$ after all, and low and behold. She stopped talking back.

Remember, screaming is not necessary. If you understand they are not qualified to talk back then you have already won.

Editor's Note: This was the third in a series by Kerry-Anne Purkiss on dealing with teenagers. Next segment: Unconditional love and authoritative discipline is key.

NSB News is a 24/7 Internet newspaper in New Smyrna Beach accessed through NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net, launched April 7, 2008, by award-winning breaking news and investigative reporter Henry Frederick and award-winning blogger Peter Mallory. It is the first fully-online newspaper in Florida and among the few in the nation with continuous editorial content picked up by Google News Directories.

About the Blogger

Kerry-Anne Purkiss's picture

Kerry Anne-Purkiss lives in Edgewater with her husband, Wayne, and their
four children. She is executive director and founder of KC Society, a
community teen organization. She has a master's degree in reading State
University of New York at Courtland. The blog, "Sound of Silence" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher. NSBNews.net, VolusiaNews.net and HeadlineSurfer.com are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.

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