Disrespectful behavior such as cursing, yelling, arguing, ignoring you, refusing requests, name-calling—is a kind of wakeup call to parents. As parents, we need to teach our children how to treat others with kindness, and how to communicate big feelings without being disrespectful so they can develop healthy relationships with peers, authority figures, and family members.
It’s hard to deal with this shift in attitude, but it’s important that you know how to respond and what to do when your child is disrespectful. Here are some tips that will help you handle disrespect:
- Stay calm: Meeting them with disrespect sends the wrong message. Instead, model good self-care by taking a deep breath, counting to 20 or repeating a mantra before you respond to your child.
- Decode the Behavior: Look at things from your child’s perspective. Their response reflects what they are feeling inside. Unfortunately, at this point, they can’t put it into more appropriate words.
- Empathize: Help your child understand their own feelings by offering an empathetic response. You do not have to agree with the feeling, it simply means that you are willing to relate to their experience.
- Check the Time: Some kids are affected by low blood sugar, hunger or thirst. Others are very sensitive to environmental stimulation or not getting enough sleep.
- Slow It Down: It’s easy to get pulled away with the “runaway train” of angry, frustrated words and emotions. Instead of jumping on board and responding to every criticism or complaint your child throws at you, try to put on the brakes.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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