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My nephew is plain rude

He can’t even say “thank you” and I think that’s unacceptable.

I’m not a fan of rudeness, says our elder. But he’s not your child to discipline.

Dear EWC

I have a 13-year-old nephew who refuses to give direct answers (such as “yes”, “no”, “OK”, etc). He even refuses to say “I’m sorry” or “Thank you”. He keeps saying he doesn’t like answering people. He’s currently failing school too, which is another problem, and never does his chores. I don’t think this is acceptable. I don’t think the whole “He’s being a teenager”, “He’s just at that stage” thing is a good excuse to act unreasonably.

JensPen replies

I am so glad that you have written for some advice regarding your nephew and his behavior. I totally understand your frustration and concern about his lack of communication and overall attitude.
As you know, teenagers are a breed unto themselves. Especially in this day and age when the amount of face to face, eye to eye communication time is so curtailed by all of the online texting, email, I’m and the rest. There have been many studies that show all of this screen time is greatly impacting the ability of young people to communicate directly with other people. Many teens and young adults prefer the screen to talk on the phone or in person.
That being said, your nephew’s behavior isn’t “acceptable” to you nor would I be a big fan of it. However, he isn’t our child and is not ours to discipline or to correct. Where are his parents in all this? They are the ones who have the responsibility to guide and teach him. The issue with his performance at school is also one that his parents should be on top of.
You can certainly voice your opinions but I don’t think you are in a position to make him change his ways. Hopefully, he is “just at that stage” and will grow out of it as he matures. Either way you can contribute by being a good role model and demonstrating by using your communication skills what adult communication looks like. Hopefully, his parents will join you and impress upon him in a warm yet firm way the proper way to communicate.
I hope I have given you some valuable advice to think about and act on. Good luck to you and your nephew!!

Letter #: 453976
Category: Children

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2 Comments

  1. i just wanted to add something. i totally understand the unacceptable behaviour of children especially at this age. This stage commences peak puberty and children goes through a lot of mixed emotions and identity crises. Sometimes its very difficult for them to express themselves. so they act rude and are unable to perform at their optimum level. I would suggest that don’t take his rude and unacceptable personally but rather try to be kind towards him and understand his perspective. There are some deep hidden meaning in the unspoken words. Having said this, i know this isn’t easy and take a lot of patience. Just try to study his behaviour, his wants and what he really wanted to convey. i hope it will bring some change.

  2. i just wanted to add something. i totally understand the unacceptable behaviour of children especially at this age. This stage commences peak puberty and children goes through a lot of mixed emotions and identity crises. Sometimes its very difficult for them to express themselves. so they act rude and are unable to perform at their optimum level. I would suggest that don’t take his rude and unacceptable personally but rather try to be kind towards him and understand his perspective. There are some deep hidden meaning in the unspoken words. Having said this, i know this isn’t easy and take a lot of patience. Just try to study his behaviour, his wants and what he really wanted to convey.

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