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Parenting Predicament: “But All My Friends . . . “

by Jane Wangersky | March 22nd, 2012 | Parenting Predicament

(This is the first article of a new series at Your Parenting Info — Parenting Predicament. With the help of experts, and our readers, we’ll take on the parenting problems you can’t seem to find a solution for.

Every second and fourth week, we’ll post a question. Readers will have two weeks to comment and share their ideas, and then we’ll post an expert’s answer. We hope you’ll find Parenting Predicament helpful and informative.)

When I object to my son (age 13) talking disrespectfully to me, he says that’s just the way his friends always talk. I tell him they probably don’t usually talk to their parents that way, but as he never sees them with their parents, he doesn’t believe me. How do I set him straight?

  1. Michele says:

    It is true that he won’t be able to see his friends with their parents to know whether you are correct. I would suggest that rather than use his friends as an example, you use the way that you speak to other adults. Let him know that as he is growing up and wants more freedoms and adult treatment, he needs to act mature in order to earn these privileges. When you are out in public together and see a friend or coworker, make sure to point out to him the manner in which you interacted afterward. It all comes down to the golden rule. If he treats you respectfully, you will treat him as such.

  2. Lori S. says:

    Also remind him that he doesn’t talk to his teachers that way. Or if he’s in sports, I’m sure he doesn’t talk to his coaches that way. You are right…give him respect, and add you deserve respect as well.

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