Teenagers who are about to turn into adults often expect to be treated like adults. However, they still cannot do everything an adult can. As a result, they often feel frustrated and disappointed. They might react with sarcasm when a parent or an adult tells them to do something or prohibits them from doing something. Though you might feel like scolding them or replying with sarcasm at that stage, you should understand that your teen might be angry and might not know how to deal with their feelings. A smarter move would be to follow one of the tips below on how to deal with sarcastic teens.
- Don’t Use Sarcasm
You might want to reply to your sarcastic teen with some sarcasm of your own, but you shouldn’t. Doing so will only make them feel that using sarcasm is okay. A good practice is to refrain from using sarcasm when you are around your teen.
- Stay Calm
Another common reaction adults have to teens’ sarcasm is anger. If you feel angry about your teen’s sarcasm, you may need to calm yourself. Sit down and take a few deep breaths to calm your mind. Don’t use anger to reply to your teen’s sarcasm, as it might worsen things.
- Show Disapproval Calmly
If you don’t like your teen using sarcasm, tell them that you disapprove in a calm voice. Look them in the eye and tell them that you won’t allow them to use sarcasm. Be mindful of the tonality of your voice.
- Explain Why Sarcasm is Offensive
Teens often don’t realize that sarcasm or sarcastic words can be offensive. If you are triggered by their sarcasm, you should talk to your teen and explain why you think sarcasm is offensive and how you feel (hurt, sad, angry, etc.) when your teen reacts with sarcasm.
- Share the Consequences
If your teen is using sarcasm too often and you want to stop it, you may need to connect with them and explain the consequences of using sarcasm in front of you. The consequences might vary from grounding them for a week or banning the use of video games or social media for a period of time.
- Don’t Negotiate the Consequences
In case your teen tries to negotiate on the consequences, like reducing the period of the punishment by a couple of days, focus on staying firm and help them realize that you are serious about the matter and that sarcasm won’t be tolerated.
- Talk About Feelings
If you suspect that your teen uses sarcasm to hide their feelings or are confused about how they feel, you should talk to them about their feelings. Request them to open up and tell them it’s okay to feel frustrated or angry for no reason during their teenage years. If possible, offer some tips on how they can deal with the feelings. Request them to not suppress their feelings as that may lead to negative consequences.
- Give Some Independence
At times, teenagers may use sarcasm when they think you are not giving them enough independence. If you can trust your teen to be adults, you need to give them some independence. It will make them feel good and boost their self-confidence. It might also enhance your communication and relationship with one another.
- Ask for Trust
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your teen trusts you enough to tell you everything they think or feel. However, many teens may feel secretive. If your teen is being secretive, you need to ask them to trust you to keep their secrets safe. Once they start trusting you, they will open up about how they feel, probably won’t feel frustrated, and might use less sarcasm.
- Seek Expert Advice
If everything you try seems to backfire, you might need an expert assistance to understand the reason for your teen’s sarcasm at a deeper level. You can trust me, Michelle Mehta, a certified professional Co-Active Coach, an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, and a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner.
I am passionate about helping teenagers feel authentic, empowered, worthy, loved and helping them create a sense of belonging and believe that the world needs their talents. If you feel inspired to have your teenager work with me, let’s set up a time to talk and connect. I look forward to Empowering Your Teenager to Shine with Confidence. To know more, click here.