The Four Attitudes of Teenagers

Written by Mark Gregston.

Nothing brings down the mood of your household any quicker than a teen whose outlook has gone south.  A bad attitude.  Stinkin’ thinkin’ can ruin anybody’s day. At some point, every teen drives every parent crazy over a bad attitude.  The symptoms include (but aren’t limited to) the classic eye-roll, the angry outburst, the sarcastic retort, the very loud and long sigh, the cold shoulder, the hot temper, or the look your child gives you that declares, I think everything you’re saying right now is totally ridiculous. Some teens grow into their brash behaviors and wear them like a badge of honor.  Others pull a Jekyll and Hyde trick—one minute a sweet and caring child, the next an angry and arrogant teen.  You’re never quite sure which teen is going to show up. Over the years, we’ve accommodated more than 2,500 kids at the Heartlight residential program.  I’ve definitely witnessed all the physical and verbal manifestations of a bad attitude.  While each child is unique, you can generally categorize the teenage mindset in one of four ways.  Recognizing which attitude our teen exhibits will help us address the behavior and find a peaceable resolution in our homes.
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