I’ve a parenting question concerning the challenges I have with a strong willed child. The challenge we have has been our 12 year old. When corrected she’ll argue her perspective before bitter end. Our point is never considered and it usually ends in a long drawn out yelling match. If you don?t agree with her point of view, she doesn?t feel heard nor understood and becomes defensive and does not even pay attention to our side. We say black, she says white. My parenting question is how can we prevent family yelling matches and resolve problems 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 supplies a host of challenges and I applaud you when planning on taking the time to find a solution to your loved ones stress. The key to solving conflict having an angry kid like your daughter would be to understand what she really wants and give it to her. And what an angry child really wants may just surprise you. Transforming an Angry Kid with R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
An angry kid either wants greater control within their life or respect from their parents (and often times both!). The more respect you give your child (especially children approaching the teenage years), the more respect they will give you.
Here I have used the term >R.E.S.P.E.C.T as an acronym to give you some commonsense parenting tips that can solve the conflict at home quickly.
R Respect YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER ? Always treat your child, as you wish to be treated. This is sometimes easier said than done but necessary to your success. Children model what they see. Even though your son or daughter has provoked you, falling into parenting traps such as for example yelling or using harsh punishment only teaches your son or daughter to lash out and disrespect you more.
The simplest way to determine should you be being respectful is to consider: ?Would I take advantage of this tone and say what I’m saying to an acquaintance or friend?? If the solution is ?no? (and you also?re pretty sure they would recycle you for a new friend), it?s time and energy to change your tone.
E Expect Respect in exchange ? We always treat children how to treat us. When children are disrespectful it is important to 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 pay attention to you once you use a respectful tone with me. Once you change your tone come and obtain me as I really want to hear what you need to say.? If they remain disrespectful, keep your mouth shut, walk away and wait for them to come quickly to you in a respectful manner before discussing any further.
S Support Your Child ? Support your child by having enough faith within their ability to learn from their mistakes. Avoid ?I told you so? comments and don?t spend lots of time (if any) pointing out what they did wrong. Once things have calmed down ask them ?How did that do the job?? ?What did you truly want?? and ?How could you make it better the next time??
P GOOD ATTITUDE ? Remaining positive helps more than we often know to help keep the atmosphere in our home supportive. Do what you need to do to help keep yourself positive by getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation can change us into a raving Godzilla), do things you like to accomplish and spend quality fun time with all of your children.
E Encourage a cool down period in the heat of the moment ? Continuing a fight while you are angry won’t solve a fight. When feeling angry always take a short cooling off period so 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). Include 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 consent 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 get best results create this document as a family.
T Train Your Child ? Good parenting means making the effort to show your kids how to do things by themselves. Give them more responsibility over time. With a hectic schedule, it can be easier and quicker to do the task for the kids rather than making the effort to teach them how to take action for themselves. Training is what gives our children an opportunity to develop essential life skills, gain self-confidence, and ultimately feel respected.
How to Require an Apology from an Angry Child
Whenever we do another wrong, apologies will be the way 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 might say something like, ?I expect an apology young lady!? in a tone which means ?NOW!? But in reality this is only a verbal punishment. The time for apologies is when all parties are calmed down enough to provide, hear and feel them.
yizzly can absolutely ask for an apology from you child but also for any apology to be effective it needs to possess flexible terms. A request for an apology should sound like this: ?I’d like an apology when you are ready to give it.? This simple statement is honest, clear and respectful. Parents aren?t the only real 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 which has you so frustrated. Provide them with respect, expect respect in exchange and watch your child?s behavior change for the higher.