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Is this normal?

Biostep7777's picture

I have teenagers that don't do this but we all have our quirks of course so not sure if this is normal teen behavior or what and what we can do about it. 
So, my oldest SS (almost 15) is very verbal about everything. He makes comments constantly about how his opinion is right and anyone who doesn't agree with him is wrong. He gets combative about it. Even over the stupidest things!! Like if he likes sweet tea and someone else likes lemonade he makes the biggest deal out of it like "why do you like that and not sweet tea? It's so much better and everyone knows it and blah blah blah" it's reallly annoying. It's constant. It's like he always wants to debate, argue, be combative. He thinks his opinion is all that matters and everyone else is stupid. It's like he even gets insulted if we have something on the house that he doesn't like and acts like we shouldn't have things that he isn't interested in. It's weird!! We just keep saying "everyone has their own preferences and that doesn't mean they are wrong if their preference isn't the same as yours" but anything else we can do? His mom has deemed him the Golden child at her house so he expects the same treatment at our house and thats never going to fly. 

hereiam's picture

I think it's fairly normal. It's a personality thing AND an age thing.

It could be that he is a narcissist but really, at his age, it's hard to tell. He could just be a know-it-all, opinionated teenager, who likes to argue. It might be the only way he knows to get attention.

LittleCloud9's picture

Agreed. At that age their brain is developing the areas that deal with critical and argumentative thinking. They are developing new skills and trying them out, mostly on their family. Lucky us!

Due to personality, some teenagers are much more aggressive about this than others. SS (16) isn't too bad but does this occasionally, was worse around 13. We will sometimes ask SS to elaborate on why he holds a certain view and then he takes a turn listening to ours. Usually a day or two later he has suddenly switched sides lol. On little things though I often ignore him if he gets ridiculous or I threaten to make broccoli for dinner... he backs off then



Onanisland's picture

So annoying, but I think it's pretty normal. My SS is almost 12 and is exactly this way. If you like sweet he likes sour. If you think it's too hot he thinks it's too cold. I don't think they have the maturity to understand that a) they're not more special than everyone else and b) this isn't good conversation and won't impress anybody

I tend to just let these comments go but they get a lot of attention from his dad who wants to engage in debate for the sake of it. But that's their thing. I am of the 'you don't  have to tell us your opinion on everything ' persuasion.

Dancemom4's picture

It's pretty normal.... my ss16 will disagree just to start an argument to see how smart ass he can sound. It's super annoying. I've just gotten to the point I don't talk back. I let him say his thoughts and let it be. Not worth the energy. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

It's normal for teens to think they know everything. But, some families teach their kids to respect their elders and not "backtalk", and such behavior would be considered rude. I guess it's cultural. 

skell76's picture

My youngest went through a conspiracy theory and global weather phase and I wasn't sure we'd have any friends left after her know it all attitude tried to get people swayed to her thinking. Lots of lessons on how expressing your thoughts vs over bearing that gets your point across in a more effective manner. But yes, teens think they now everything. That's why it makes it easier to move them to college haha! (At least my two) now they are (mostly) fantastic to chat with 

Rags's picture

Time to increase the temperature of the conversations with him when he gets like this.

"So, everyone knows that sweet tea is better than lemonade?  Well, you are obviously wrong about that.  There are more than 7Billion people on this planet and countless numbers of them do not like sweet tea. So... obviously are you not only opinionated about something that you know nothing about, you are WRONG! So, stop being an idiot, shut your mouth, and use your brain before you speak."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

SAM_VUIN's picture

Honestly, it's partially an age thing but, unfortunately, there is a segment of the population that can't seem to get past the idea that everyone should be entitled to hear the "gospel truth" which, of course, is any of their opinions they bestow on the rest of us, the ignorant masses.

My sister (age 53) falls in this category and has suffered the consequences - multiple divorces, friendships that don't last, etc.   In her mind, every response requires a rebuttal.   Result:  I hate Christmas visits.

I'd suggest you have a sit down with the child and make sure they understand the long-term issues of the manner they treat people.   Bottom line - people do not want to be around it for debate club!