I have a parenting question regarding the challenges I have with a solid willed child. The challenge we’ve is with our 12 year old. When corrected she’ll argue her point of view until the bitter end. Our point is never considered and it usually leads to a long drawn out yelling match. If you don?t trust her viewpoint, she doesn?t feel heard nor understood and becomes defensive and will not even listen to our side. We say black, she says white. My parenting question is how can we prevent family yelling matches and resolve issues with control and authority?
Penny ? One Tired Step Mom
Positive Parenting Advice from Family Counselor Kelly Nault on Dealing with an Angry Kid
Dear Tired Step Mom,
Being a step mom offers a host of challenges and I applaud you for taking the time to discover a solution to your family stress. The main element to solving conflict having an angry kid like your daughter would be to understand what she would like and present it to her. And what an angry child really wants might just surprise you. Transforming an Angry Kid with R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
An angry kid either wants greater control in their life or respect from their parents (and often times both!). The more respect you give your son or daughter (especially children approaching the teenage years), the more respect they will give you.
Here I have used the word >R.E.S.P.E.C.T being an acronym to provide you with some commonsense parenting tips that can solve the conflict in your home quickly.
Your reputation24 YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER ? Always treat your child, as you desire to be treated. This is sometimes easier said than done but essential to your success. Children model what they see. Even though your son or daughter has provoked you, falling into parenting traps such as yelling or using harsh punishment only teaches your son or daughter to lash out and disrespect you more.
The simplest way to find out when you are being respectful is to consider: ?Would I take advantage of this tone and say what I’m saying to a friend or acquaintance?? If the answer is ?no? (and you?re pretty sure they would recycle you for a new friend), it?s time to change your tone.
E Expect Respect in Return ? We always treat children how to treat us. When children are disrespectful you should respond in a respectful but firm way that let?s them know you will not be walked over. Say something similar to, ?I can see you’re angry right now. I’m happy to listen to you once you work with a respectful tone with me. When you change your tone come and obtain me as I actually want to hear what you have to say.? If they continue being disrespectful, keep your mouth shut, walk away and await them to come quickly to you in a respectful manner before discussing any more.
S Support Your Child ? Support your child by having enough faith within their ability to study from their mistakes. Avoid ?I told you so? comments and don?t spend a lot of time (if any) pointing out what they did wrong. Once things have calmed down inquire further ?How did that do the job?? ?What did you truly want?? and ?How will you make it better next time??
P Positive Attitude ? Remaining positive helps more than we often know to keep the atmosphere inside our home supportive. Do what you ought to do to keep yourself positive by getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation can change us into a raving Godzilla), do things you like to do and spend quality fun time with each of your children.
E Encourage a cooling off period in the heat of the moment ? Continuing a fight while you are angry will never solve a fight. When feeling angry always have a short cooling off period and that means you don?t escalate the fight and say something you will regret later on.
C Create Family Rules for Fighting ? When things are calm, create family rules for fighting and post them in special places around the house (even put one in your wallet and in the car). Are the following: what each relative will do during their cool off period to make themselves feel much better, an inspirational oath or prayer that you agree to read out loud after each one has cooled down (before discussing the issue) and specific ways each one of you will listen to each other. To obtain best results create this document as a family.
T Train YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER ? Good parenting means taking the time to show your kids how exactly to do things by themselves. Give them more responsibility as time passes. With a hectic schedule, it really is easier and quicker to do the task for the kids rather than making the effort to teach them how to do it for themselves. Training is what gives our children a chance to develop essential life skills, gain self-confidence, and ultimately feel respected.
How to Require an Apology from an Angry Child
When we do another wrong, apologies will be the path to healing. Apologies are precious commodities that are not to be thrown around lightly in conversation, and not to be wasted throughout a heated discussion. In times of conflict, we may say something like, ?I expect an apology dude!? in a tone that means ?NOW!? But in reality that is only a verbal punishment. The time for apologies is when all parties are calmed down enough to give, hear and feel them.
You can absolutely require an apology from you child but for any apology to work it needs to have flexible terms. A obtain an apology should appear to be this: ?I would like an apology while you are prepared to give it.? This simple statement is honest, clear and respectful. Parents aren?t the only ones deserving of an apology. It is vital for parents to apologize if they have messed up too.
Your family is fortunate to possess you as their step-mom. By remembering that your angry child is merely crying out for more understanding and much more respect you can solve the conflict that has you so frustrated. Provide them with respect, expect respect in exchange and watch your son or daughter?s behavior change for the higher.