12 minutes | Feb 2nd 2021

Disrespectful Kids

Disrespectful Kids

10 tips for dealing with disrespectful kids.  

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When a child is standing in front of your face screaming, full of attitude- I know you want to shout back and probably even hit them. That is natural.  You are human too, and they just activated an instinctual reaction in you to protect yourself.  Obviously, it would be best if you did not yell back or hit.  Yes, disrespectful children will push our buttons, but when we match their crazy with our frustrations, screaming, and anger, it only adds fuel to that child or teen bomb standing in front of you.  

Then, how should we react to these disrespectful kids?  It is not easy, but these ten tips, when implemented, may defuse a heated situation, and even change that disrespectful kids.   

Disrespectful Kids Tip 1: Keep Calm.  I know this isn’t easy and restraint isn’t many people’s strength but you have to stay calm because parents that explode back are not only fueling the fire, but they are also reinforcing the yelling and bad behavior by becoming a role model. 

Disrespectful Kids Tip 2. Do not engage. I tell my children that I cannot hear anything they say when they are talking to me like this or acting this way.  If they want me to listen and be on their side, they need to speak to me calmly.  Telling your child this does two things. It shows you have boundaries, and it also points out their behavior to them without pointing fingers. 

Disrespectful Kids Tip 3: Do not lecture.  When your child is at the yelling phase, their emotions have already gotten the best of them. These children are not thinking with their logical brain.  They are acting upon their feelings. A lecture at that moment will not give the child an epiphany about the value of respecting their elders, nor will they see the error of their ways when emotions are high.

Disrespectful Kids Tip 4: Give them time to cool off.  Tell them to go to their room for a minute, go for a walk, sit outside, whatever place will calm them down.

Disrespectful Kids Tip 5: Connect with your child when they are ready.   This means going to them after calming down or making time for them when they came back to you calmly.  

Disrespectful Kids Tip 6: Ask questions.   Start getting to the reason for all the emotions.  Say things like, “It seems to me like you may be angry. Did something happen at school?”  Keep asking questions until you can get to the root of their frustration.  Are they scared, mad, frustrated, worried, or feeling like they do not have control of something?  Which brings me to tip 7.

Disrespectful Kids Tip 7:  Do not take it personally.  Teenagers are mean unintentionally.  It is a part of their nature to think only of themselves and take out their frustrations and big emotions on their parents. Mom and dad are supposed to be a safe space for them.  Parents are supposed to love their kids unconditionally. Unfortunately, this also means that we can be punching bags from time to time.  Our children will test our love often.  Even the nicest kids will do this subconsciously.   Win this game.

Disrespectful Kids Tip 8: Check for low blood sugar and hunger.  Sometimes kids are just “hangry” and have sensitive diets.

Disrespectful Kids tip 9: Do not try and force your child to respect you.   Forcing your child to do anything is generally not a good idea.  They may comply as younger children, but older children will come to resent you and will know exactly how to push your buttons.   Instead, set a standard for respect and behaviors that are implemented rules in your household for everyone.

Disrespectful Kids Tip 10:  You cannot teach your child to be respectful by treating them without respect.  That means you must be conscious of HOW you treat your children and lead by example.  A mistake many parents make is treating their children like servants, babies, or as an inferior person.   Try not to talk down to your children or boss them around.  There are ways to ask people to do things that do not require you to be “bossy.”

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