Is anyone interested in a thread about rudeness?

(28 Posts)
mamateur Sun 05-May-13 11:40:25

I'm trying to work out how much rudeness other people take. I've been on the receiving end of what I think is fairly outrageous rudeness and I have tried several responses but nothing seems to stop it.

For example, yesterday evening I was making dinner for friends who were about to arrive, he was stomping around the kitchen complaining he was hungry and dinner was going to be ages (I had offered him a meal earlier with DS which was something he likes) and then he started kicking the cushions from the garden furniture around the kitchen. I said don't do that, very firmly. He said why are they here, who cares if they get dirty. I was very calm and said it mattered to me. So he replied well then you're a loser.

I know there is much worse out there than this. We have had worse. But just on this topic of rudeness, what do other people do?

My natural instinct is to take a hard line. Not zero tolerance, but request a reasonable standard of behaviour. Am I just really old-fashioned?

I've tried sanctions withholding money/treat etc. but I find this messy and difficult to enforce.
I've tried saying, how rude, stalking off and then refusing to do the next thing they ask until an apology is forthcoming. THis is quite successful but not always possible.
I've tried talking in quieter moments and explaining that I don't want to live in a house where anyone speaks to me like that. And that I don't want little DS hearing it (they are 3 and 15).

When everything is going his way he is nice. If thinks they are not going his way, he is casually rude instantly.

What does everyone else do?

I do zero tolerance.

Don't speak to me like that. Apologise now or get to your room.

I tried being reasonable and nice it didn't work.

membershipcard Sun 05-May-13 11:44:55

I have zero tolerance and always have had. Not sure hw you could begin to use ZT tho'.
Can you think of sanctions that are easier to stick to?

mamateur Sun 05-May-13 11:46:30

THanks Freddie, what ages are we talking about? I used to send him to his room but now he's 16 this year and taller than me.

Lifeisontheup Sun 05-May-13 11:48:07

I've always had zero tolerance for rudeness with my three (16,19 and 21). I will not listen unless spoken to politely. It seems to have worked so far....

mamateur Sun 05-May-13 11:50:31

I do take quite a hard line and he often does apologise. But it never stops him doing it again. It's like he expects to speak to me the same way he talks to his mates at school.

I do need a sanction. I suppose it will have to be money again. It's just that he saves all his money to go out with friends, tickets, etc. and for various reasons, I would hate to cut back his social life. He doesn't go to parties or anything like that.

I didn't bring him up. He is my DH's DN, he was badly brought up, no parents, indulgent granny, came to us when he was 12, nearly 13.

I'm talking ages 23 to 11

The choice is you behave and treat me properly or go to your room. DD sometimes says no - in that case I just ignore her and the next time she wants something I say no to her.

mamateur Sun 05-May-13 12:18:23

Freddie, that's what I want, and what I planned to do. But it has been hard and I'm not really making headway. I can send him out, take his money, his computer cable, withdraw treats etc. and then he's sorry but it always happens again and again. I've talked to him about self-control, asked him why he feels he can't refrain from such rudeness.

Mamateur I think you have done wonders with him in 3 years but it's hard to undo the basics which were embedded in the first 12 years.
I agree ZT, however inconvenient.
My DS2 is 15 and 6' tall but he would quiver in his boots if I was angry with him, but I didn't start with a troubled 12 year old.
Just a thought have you looked on the fostering board? There might be some expertise there.

mamateur Sun 05-May-13 13:17:28

Thanks scwirrels. The eternal problem with DN's behaviour is that DH doesn't back me up unless I make a huge fuss and then I don't like the way he handles it. I find his methods draconian. But then he was brought up by the same bloody woman.

noddyholder Sun 05-May-13 13:20:41

I took endless tbh between 15 and 17. My friends who had already been through it told me it would pass and at times I just couldn't believe it would and thought maybe my ds was just worse than others! But he was 19 this week and life is sweet again smile. I think they try to alienate you to assert their own self yet half the time they need you too. It is very hard to turn a blind eye but I often did (and I used to unplug the modem and stick it in my bag and go out which would ensure about a week of reasonable behaviour once I had re instated it)

mamateur Sun 05-May-13 13:22:14

I will check out the foster board. My Dbro and SIL are foster carers, so I do get support from them. They are fairly strict. At least I think my brother did the strict stuff and SIL was the listening ear.

noddyholder Sun 05-May-13 13:25:12

You do need to be united because I think that way they back down faster! If they see a chink in eithers armour they are in there playing you off against each other.

mamateur Sun 05-May-13 13:34:30

Thanks Noddy, good to know they come out of it the other end smile. Taking away the modem is a great trick although sadly in this house DH needs it for work. I used to take his computer cable but I feel like I need to move on a bit.

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 17:40:29

One of the bits of advice I found most useful is that even when you can't control what they do/don't do, you continue to have influence. I have challenged pretty much every bit of rudeness, and although I haven't actually managed to stop it, it does mean my boys both know when they're being rude, know how to be polite and generally apologise when they've calmed down. DS1 (18) who was unbelievably rude on a daily basis a couple of years ago is now only very occasionally rude, when stressed about something else.

My 'challenges' vary from just saying "Please don't talk to me like that, it's not OK to be so rude", to pulling over while driving and leaving him at a bus stop...

I don't sanction for rudeness any more (I used to) because it simply doesn't work, and usually leads to more rudeness, and a twisted sense of self-justification. For example, he'd call me a bitch, I'd say "Right, you've lost £x from this week's allowance" and he'd shout something like "See?! You're a TOTAL bitch!" hmm But I see consequences as different from sanctions: I'm simply not going to give a lift to someone who isn't being polite to me... That's not punishment, that's self-respect! smile

cory Mon 06-May-13 19:39:04

flow said more or less what I wanted to

I don't really have many sanctions for rudeness either, but I don't stop marking my displeasure: I live in the hope that one day something will actually sink in

actually, it probably has: other people tell me that ds is very polite so it seems he can do it

Weegiemum Mon 06-May-13 19:47:38

We've been getting a fair bit of muttering and swearing under her breath from dd1 (13) - its very clearly hormonal!

I do ZT too, but with her I'm usually still able to use a bit of humor if I catch it early enough (before she works herself up too much) - eg like Catherine Tate's Lauren Cooper ("Are you disrespecting me? Are you disrespecting my family?") which can raise a laugh.

But it still very often escalates to her being made to go to her room until she is prepared to be civil.

flossieraptor Tue 07-May-13 14:57:39

Thanks Flow4, i agree with you on trying to avoid the cycle of punishments and bad feeling. I have to say that often my response depends on what is happening in my own life. If I'm already cross and tired I find it harder to make a joke. Although humour is always the best and most effective method of getting dn to behave well.

I also agree they need to know the boundaries even if they don't always stick to them. DN seems to talk to him like I'm in year 10 which was never the case 'back in my day'.

Orianne Wed 08-May-13 12:21:44

Am so glad this thread is here. My Dd has spent the last few days pushing it culminating in an argument this morning where she called me 'a piece of crap'. This was In front of her older sister and two kids that I take to school in the morning. I was wavering on 'zero' tolerance but have changed my mind due to reading this thread.

mamateur Wed 08-May-13 13:40:59

Hi Orianne, I'm still suffering the rudeness and still internally debating whether ZT is going to work for us, particularly since he isn't 'ours'. That said, I would have ZT on name-calling of that type. Really out of order. I would really advise MaryZ's advice of not issuing a punishment at the time, but instead saying, there will be consequences for what you just said. I will have a think about it and let you know what it is. This has helped me not issue a sanction I then find it hard or inconvenient to impose. What do you think you're going to do?

chocoluvva Wed 08-May-13 14:52:41

My 16 and 14yos are often grumpy and rude in that they mutter and grumble.

If it's unacceptable I just tell them not to speak to me like that and I don't make a big deal of it. The 14YO took to calling me 'mate', in a misguided attempt at humour and the 16YO occasionally tries to address me as 'hen'! I just told them it's not acceptable to call me that.

Recently, the 14YO has taken to making sarcastic replies to innocent questions. I tell him off for that too.

I'd be horrified and upset if they swore at me. I'm not smug though - this is one of my few parenting successes so far, (along with battling so much that I've turned them into very un-fussy eaters).

In your situation I think I'd just say, 'That's not an acceptable way to speak to me' and walk away. If it's very bad or constant I'd withdraw things like lifts/extras, very matter-of-factly explaining that you've told him not to speak to you like that, nevertheless he did and consequently you are not feeling like being kind to him and doing him any favours at the moment.

Outside the home that would be the consequence of his bad manners (or verbal retaliation, which you wouldn't do obviously) and you're making the point that you have your limits/you're entitled to respect just like everybody else and his rudeness has the effect of people not wanting to help him.

I think there's a big difference between teenage huffing and puffing, eye-rolling etc and out and out aggressive rudeness.

Orianne Wed 08-May-13 15:45:42

Well she's upstairs in the huff. I did ask her how her day was but didn't chat normally as I'm still mad and she is obviously still blaming me. Unfortunately, I hadn't read MaryZ's thread on holding off on punishment until later. So I grounded her for life this morning blush. As her sister left the car she gave me a hug and said later her sister was so out of line and had been so rude she thought I might need a hug. I just need to remember I'm the adult and be able to stop myself reacting straight away but it's bloody Hard! I cried all the way home this morning. Need to get a grip really.

ivykaty44 Wed 08-May-13 15:51:08

I tell the teen to remove themselves from the room or house until they can be pleasant and then engage no further or repeat they need to leave the room or house.

i find it similar to a two year old tantrum and there is no point trying to even engage as they are in a differnet space - later I alway get a sorry I shouldn't have behaved like that and I agree and let them know that that sort of bahaviour is not acceptable.

I try to keep it as low key as possible as it can escalate very quickly

This way I feel it is not ignored but not leading to all out battle which can often happen over very small things

mamateur Wed 08-May-13 16:23:36

Orianne, sorry you're having such a bad day. On the positive side, things change very quickly with teens, you may find very soon that she comes to make up with you and everything goes back to normal. Some of our nicest evenings have followed some of our worst rows.

Is there something she's really looking forward to? If so you could ask her to sit down with you and her DF and discuss 'the way we talk to each other' and say that if she apologises and agrees to the rules you make she can still go to x.

Our problem with DN is that he will be really sorry but then do it again and again. He's basically lovely when he's getting his own way.

Orianne Wed 08-May-13 16:52:47

Hi mamateur, I guess we all like getting our own way smile. I think it hurts more because most of the time they are lovely. Thank God! She's asleep already and I suspect may be due her period. Hormones have a lot to answer for and still do for me at forty. Thanks for replying it really helps talking here x

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