DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old girl and a senior in high school. My parents and I (more my mom and I) have struggled with the topic of "respect" for a long time. We had a discussion about this earlier today and it led to arguing and tears.
She constantly says, "To earn respect, you must give it," and I agree 100 percent. The problem is, she doesn't believe that she and Dad should live by that -- just me. She feels that no matter how upset or annoyed I might get by something rude she or Dad says, I don't have the right to talk back.
What upsets me is they talk rude to me all the time! How can you expect your kid not to do something when they do it as parents all the time?! Do parents have the right to talk rude if they want and expect their kids to be perfect little angels? Please help. -- NEEDS RESPECT
DEAR NEEDS RESPECT: Parents should model the behavior they want from their children. Sometimes it's difficult not to react and say something impulsive (rude), but that doesn't mean that parents -- and teenagers -- shouldn't make every effort to be polite.
A step in the right direction would be to say, "When you do that, it makes me feel ..." Try it, and you may get a better reaction from your mom and dad.