How to Keep a 14-Year-Old Quiet

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Struggling for autonomy, pushing the limits and having a contentious attitude can come with the teenage territory. If your 14-year-old refuses to be quiet when you really need him to zip it, you can approach this issue a few ways. Even if you have to try many methods and get creative, the resulting silence is golden.

Things You'll Need

  • Electronic devices
  • Food
  • Offer distractions. The “I’m bored” attitude might be contributing to your teenager’s talkative behavior. Get ready to pull out items to keep him busy and entertained. Electronic devices such as MP3 players, smartphones, handheld video games, tablets and portable DVD players, might keep him quiet. It doesn’t hurt to offer him a book to read, a journal to write in or a sketchbook and a charcoal pencil to draw with.

  • Feed him and ensure he gets plenty of rest. If you have a hungry and tired teenager on your hands, he can get grumpy, lippy or argumentative. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends shooting for three meals and two snacks each day. Encourage him to get nine hours of sleep per day.

  • Try actively ignoring him. If your 14-year-old is excessively talking when you’ve asked him to stop, whining, yelling, sulking or just being disrespectful, he might just be trying to get your attention. By not reacting to this negative attention-seeking behavior or by simply saying, “I won’t talk to you until you choose a better behavior,” you will not be reinforcing it. Ignoring it can cause the behavior to lose its power. He will have to try other ways to get your attention.

  • Clearly define some boundaries. The AAP suggests spelling out the desirable behavior, listing a positive consequence for obeying the rule and establishing the negative consequence for breaking the rule. For instance, “Austin, I would like you to be quiet while I’m on the phone” is a good way to specifically state the desired behavior. Follow with, “If you can do that for me, we can sit down and play a few rounds of your game. But if you keep up the noise, you will lose your television privileges for the day.”

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid yelling at your talkative teen. That tends to make matters worse.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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