Are you frustrated with your teenager, who seems to have everything one can possibly have, but still acts as though he/she is the most suffering person in the world? Is your teen keeps acting out and doesn’t even talk to you on polite terms? Then, my dear friend, hold yourself tight, as you might be raising a spoiled teenager. These are one of the few signs a spoiled bratty teenager exhibits and welcome to the world of adolescence.
Adolescence is a period of immense growth and transformation, where teenagers navigate the intricate web of emotions, relationships, and self-discovery. According to the reports published by various psychologists, the human brain keeps developing till the age of 25 years.
Understanding teenager’s Behavior
Studies have proved that teenagers’ logical brains are still developing, but their emotional brains have already developed. So they tend to rely on their emotional brain for solving problems or making decisions. Hence, their decisions seem to be more spontaneous, racy, aggressive, or fear-based rather than logical. When asked about the rationale of their decisions, they couldn’t explain it to anyone.
In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, social media and the digital world have become integral to teenagers’ lives. While these platforms offer numerous benefits and opportunities for connectivity, they also shape teenage behavior, including the potential for fostering spoiled tendencies. From the constant connectivity to the influence of curated online personas, there are several factors at play that can potentially shape their attitudes, values, and expectations.
When we were teens, digital media didn’t invade or overtake our personal lives. And we had to work to earn our pocket money, and nothing was handed on a plate to us. But whereas, the current generation tends to rely on digital media and is under a lot of misinformation and false beliefs about everything in life.
The digital media feeds them many false beliefs, driving them toward narcissistic and materialistic behaviors. They think their self-worth is mainly driven by their appearance and what they own. Hence whatever you do or give them will not satisfy them, as the next best thing is already available in the market. That’s the main reason for the entitled behavior of teenagers, which makes them appear to be spoiled and bratty. That’s the reason for their rude behavior as well.
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Signs of a spoiled bratty teenager
Now that we understand the underlying reasons for our teen’s troubled behavior. The following are the behavioral traits exhibited by a spoiled bratty teenager.
- Sense of entitlement: Spoiled teenager often strongly believes they deserve special treatment or privileges without earning them. They may expect things to be handed to them without putting in the necessary effort.
- Demands attention: They constantly seek attention and become upset if they are not the center of focus. They want at least one person to continuously provide attention to them, no matter what they do.
- Lack of gratitude: They may fail to express appreciation for the efforts or sacrifices made by others on their behalf. They may take things for granted and not acknowledge the contributions of others.
- Manipulative behavior: They use emotional manipulation or tantrums to get what they want. They don’t mind creating a scene in public if they think their demands would be met that way.
- They compare themselves to others: These kids always tend to compare themselves with others and crib about what others have. Their “it’s not fair” or “why only me” attitude clearly displays what they think are the parameters for comparison.
- Impulsive behavior: They often act without considering the consequences of their actions. They can do any daredevil stunts also, without any hesitation, to gain attention. They just can’t take NO for an answer and would resort to emotional blackmailing to get a YES.
- Materialistic focus: These teenagers prioritize material possessions and place undue importance on having the latest gadgets, fashion items, or expensive items. They may become fixated on acquiring material things to validate their status or worth.
- Lack of empathy: They may show little concern for the feelings or experiences of others. They may have difficulty understanding or relating to the emotions of their peers or family members.
- Disrespectful attitude: Bratty teenagers may show disrespect towards authority figures, such as parents, teachers, or elders. They may talk back, use disrespectful language, or disregard rules and boundaries. They use abusive language and display bad manners.
- Self-centredness: They tend to be overly focused on their own needs and desires, often neglecting the feelings or needs of others. Their actions and decisions revolve primarily around themselves. They don’t like spending time with family. This social media also feeds into narcissistic feelings in them.
- Blaming others: These teenagers may struggle to take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they may shift blame onto others or make excuses for their behavior. Their lack of responsibility develops a detached outlook in them, because of which they don’t even know how a home or community works.
- Unrealistic expectations: They have unrealistic demands or expectations from their parents or others. Their expectations have no end, and they can never be satisfied. They don’t care how and who is meeting their wants/needs.
- Difficulty handling disappointment: They have difficulty accepting when things don’t go their way and may react with anger or frustration.
- Lack of independence: They rely heavily on others to solve problems or care for their needs. They are not problem solvers and then give up when they encounter a problem. They can’t even take care of their own personal needs, like making a sandwich or preparing dinner for themselves.
- Poor work ethic: They may resist or avoid responsibilities such as schoolwork or household chores. You may observe poor performance in their work (studies, sports, hobbies). They prefer spending time on gadgets rather than working or learning something new.
If your teenager exhibits some or all the above signs, then yes, you are raising a spoiled bratty teenager. But my dear friends, you are not alone. This is the reality of today’s teenagers.
You must wonder when your sweet little kid has turned into this bratty teenager, with whom living under one roof might sound like walking on thin eggshells. I went to bed for so many days, crying to myself about what had happened to my sweet little champ and where I had gone wrong. But later only, when I wore my coaching hat, I realized that the problem lies more with the current generation and their exposure. And that’s the reason why this generation exhibits the signs of a spoiled and bratty teenager.
Additional Read: How to take care of Yourself when your child breaks your heart
How to convert the Spoiled teenager into an amazing adult?
If you are like me, tired of your child’s “whatever” attitude or the eye-rolls, then the following tips, which worked for me, will definitely help you.
Let me warn you that it will not be easy to unlearn being a spoilt and entitled teenager. It’s a tough journey for you and your teenager. But luckily, the good news is that you have help available to convert your spoiled and bratty teenager into an amazing adult.
Set clear boundaries and expectations:
- Establish clear and consistent rules and expectations for behavior, responsibilities, and privileges.
- Discuss with your teenager and clearly communicate the boundaries and consequences if they disregard them. Let the consequences be gentle in nature to start with, and progressively you can tighten them.
- Consistency is key in helping them understand the importance of accountability and respect for rules.
Limit the Screen time.
- Set clear and specific guidelines regarding screen time usage. Determine the daily or weekly limits and communicate them to your teenager.
- Ensure they understand the reasons behind these guidelines, such as promoting a healthy balance between digital engagement and other activities.
- Collaboratively establish specific times during the day when screens are allowed and times when they are off-limits, such as during meals or before bedtime. Also, finalize the range of alternative activities that they can engage in instead of excessive screen time.
Encourage empathy and gratitude:
- Foster empathy by encouraging your teenager to consider the feelings and perspectives of others.
- Encourage them to express gratitude for the efforts made by others and to acknowledge the privileges they have.
- Remember that your behavior and attitude are powerful models for your teenager. Hence, teach them how to show appreciation for acts of kindness or support.
Teach responsibility and the importance of hard work:
- Assign your teenager age-appropriate household chores and obligations. This helps instill a sense of responsibility and accountability. It will teach them important life skills.
- Ensure they understand the importance of contributing to the family unit and the satisfaction of fulfilling their obligations.
- Help them set goals to achieve what they want and help them stay accountable. Reward them for their hard work or reaching their milestones. Express your pride in them for sticking to the difficult tasks.
Encourage independence and decision-making:
- Allow your teenager to make age-appropriate decisions and take responsibility for the outcomes.
- Encourage them to think critically, weigh options, and make informed choices.
- Let them fail and face the consequences due to their decisions. At that point in time, don’t criticize them, and be ready to help/guide them if required. This promotes a sense of autonomy and self-reliance in them.
Foster healthy coping mechanisms:
- Help your teenager develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress, frustration, and disappointment.
- Encourage them to engage in activities such as exercise, creative outlets, or spending time in nature. Let them observe you and learn from your self-care rituals.
- Teach them strategies like deep breathing, mindfulness, or journaling to manage their emotions effectively.
Want to fill your teen’s life with positivity: Manifestation Journaling Prompts to fill your life with Positivity.
Foster open communication:
- Create a safe and non-judgmental environment where your teenager feels comfortable expressing their thoughts, concerns, and emotions.
- Engage in active listening and avoid being dismissive or judgmental.
- This will help build trust and encourage open communication, allowing you to address any underlying issues effectively.
I hope these seven parenting tips will help you to cure your teenager of the signs of a spoiled and bratty teenager. These are simple yet practical, as I use most of them on my son. The only point to remember is that consistency is the key to bringing in any behavioral changes in an adult or a child.
The days when you are frustrated with your child, do remember your teenage days and how you became a better person. Then you will be filled with positivity that, yes, your bratty teenager will also change into an amazing adult sooner. There is always scope for your teenager to blossom into a fine and amazing adult, as you – the caring and loving parent is there behind their back. Trust in yourself and also in the process.
QOTD: Please ask your child, What it means to be respectful and considerate of others, and how do you think spoiled or bratty behavior can impact relationships and interactions?
Suhasini, IP, is the Author of the book “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health.” As a certified kids and parents life coach, she helps/guides you toward a happy family life for your kids. She firmly believes, that “Emotionally Happy Kids of today are the Mentally Strong and Happy Citizens of tomorrow.” Let’s make the world a happy and beautiful place for our kids to thrive.