Difficult Children

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Parenting is SO hard!!! Even harder with the worry that we are doing well as parents. Even harder when we get difficult children or those that defy us as parents. When a child disrespects we feel as a failure and believe we immediately have to make that behavior go away. A tipical scenario in families and between parents and children was described by Debbie Pincus, MS. LMHC: you expect to be listened to and have your child comply with your rules while he lives under your roof. That’s reasonable. Meanwhile, your child developmentally seeks his own autonomy and strives to be more self-directed and to think more independently as he grows up, and does not want limits imposed on him. That’s reasonable. No one is wrong in what they are seeking here.

The problem is that kids often don’t know how to find more appropriate ways to express their desire for independence, accept limitations and learn to comply when necessary. On the other hand, parents may not recognize that their child’s rudeness is often driven by the push for more independence, and is not always meant as a threat to their authority.

6 Ways to Deal with Disrespectful Behavior

The bottom line is that when a child breaks a rule, the parent should hold the child accountable. That’s appropriate and helpful.

Here are six ways to handle disrespect in your home, and turn the dynamic around in your home:

1. Don’t treat this as a personal attack–even though it can feel that way. To help your child be respectful, understand that their rude behavior might be an expression of their frustration about their lack of independence, not an attack against your authority.  Is it time to allow your child to make more of his own choices and face the consequences, whether good or bad?

2.  Take a self-inventorys been your part in this negative dynamic? Observe how you are managing your relationship with your child and consider if his negative behavior might be an expression of his reaction to that management.

3. Expect Respect. To help your child be respectful, EXPECT him to comply with your rules and listen to you. Of course, you also need to be flexible, not rigid or dogmatic, and listen to him and get his input–but the bottom line is that you will expect him to listen and follow the rules that you have set forth.

4. Behave the way you want your child to behave. To help your child be respectful you must live by your own principle of acting respectfully to your child NO MATTER how he is behaving.  Act respectfully while holding him accountable.

5. Choose your battles. In order to help your child be respectful, don’t make big issues of all the rude ways that he might express his frustrations. Again, don’t take these expressions personally. Kids are entitled to feel what they feel – that’s about them, not about you. Be careful not to take their feelings, their separate opinions or disagreements to heart, or believe your child is deliberately  disrespecting your authority when they express those feelings. There will be a place and time for you to help them learn more effective ways to express their frustrations.

But do take seriously deliberately hurtful behavior that is directed toward you or another – that’s not mild rebellion, it is outright disrespect.
Again, if the behaviors cross the line into disrespect, make sure you do not allow yourself to be treated poorly. Decide how you will manage yourself in the future when being treated like this by your child. His disrespectful behavior is his problem to work out; your problem is what you will and won’t put up with.

6. Ask yourself, “Who owns this problem?” When it comes to your kids being mildly rude toward you, ask yourself each time it happens, “Who owns the problem of disrespect?” For example, if your daughter stomps off and mutters under her breath after you tell her she can’t go to the party, don’t let her rudeness belong to you. Don’t engage in it. Her rudeness is her problem. Your problem is deciding if she can or can’t go to the party and enforcing whatever you thoughtfully and non-reactively decided. Her next problem is to figure out better ways to communicate.
Read more: http://www.empoweringparents.com/disrespectful-kids-how-to-get-your-child-or-teen-to-behave-with-respect.php#ixzz33hfGOsOE

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