4 Typical Responses For Dealing With Bad Behavior

In this episode, I’m going to talk to you about four typical ways to deal with disrespectful behavior in your home. The goal of this program is to help you to reduce the stress and frustration that you might be feeling at this moment so that you can get on with enjoying the process of raising your children.

[afflink] The first way of dealing with disrespectful behavior is what’s known as a “passive response.” A passive response is really a non-confrontational approach to dealing with the problem. And in this example, the parent is just trying to keep the peace and avoid any type of confrontation whatsoever. But the trouble with this is that after a while the child will lose respect for your authority as a parent. And after a while they’re going to be able to use this to control and manipulate you; maybe even scare you into letting them have their own way.

The problem will not just go away unless you do something about it. And doing nothing and expecting things to magically get better is insanity. In trying to keep the peace just trying to take that passive response does not solve the problem. In fact, we’re really talking about avoidance versus action.

What’s required here is some sort of action, something on your part that’s going to tell the child that that is not acceptable behavior and that they’re going to have to behave in a different way if they’re going to get what they want. But instead the parent is practicing avoidance hoping that the problem will change; but it never does.

The next type of response is what’s known as an “emotional response.” This is where when the disrespectful behavior happens, you can feel the feelings, the emotions building inside of you and causing frustration to the point where you actually might lash out and let that emotional response come out. It can come out in small ways such as sighing, or eye-rolling. It could escalate to a point of a raised voice; you feel tension in your voice.

Then it can escalate to the level of yelling or screaming just to get the behavior to stop. So what happens is our emotions increase and we have these feelings that after a while become very difficult to control.

What we need in order to solve the problem is we need to be able to rely on our logic or our intelligence to help us to give us the idea, the solution. What is it that we need to do to stop this behavior? Not just now, but from recurring in the future. What happens is that the more our feelings or our emotions start to build and increase, our ability to think logically and use our intelligence to solve problems decreases.

When you lose your ability to tap into your logic or your intelligence to try to solve the problem, you are now completely cut off from any type of solution, knowing the right thing to do at the right time completely goes away. So the thing to do is to learn how to control the emotional response so that you can tap back into your logical thinking as a way of solving the problem.

The third type of response is what’s known as a “physical response.” What a physical response is this is an emotional response that’s gone to the next level. An emotional response that’s gone beyond your ability to control the emotions and the feelings that are building up inside to where now it finally comes out as a physical action.

Now, a very typical type of physical response is spanking. When I was a child it was normal to be spanked; that was a very common parenting practice. Not so much now, especially here in North America. Different parts of the world view this differently and use this differently.

But here’s the thing, spanking is really a fear-based discipline. The idea is to create fear of consequences so that if the child is acting out in a certain way and you create that fear then they’re going to stop doing it in the future. That may work temporarily, but here’s what happens. After a while they start to become immune to it and the only thing that works with a physical response when it’s stops working as effectively is to increase the level of the physical response to where now its not just spanking anymore, it could be hitting or beating or worse. These are now things that are viewed as very severe forms of child abuse that are not only illegal in a lot of countries, especially here in North America, but also are not conducive to producing a healthy child with good confidence and high self-esteem and being responsible members of society in the future.

As a physical response, you’ve really got to watch that to make sure that it does not escalate to that level and take steps to calm yourself down and to again step back into that logical thinking and to think it through and find solutions.

The fourth type of response is “no response,” which is really not a solution at all but it does happen. A person who is in “no response” is a parent who has completely given up. They would rather just bury their head in the sand and pretend that this just isn’t happening, hoping, praying that this is just going to go away and stop on its own. The problem is that it doesn’t because the more you ignore it, the more it’s going to continue.

This is a parent that is no longer trying to find a solution. They’re just trying to get by. They’re very unlikely to even be watching this video because they’re not trying to solve the problem; they’re just trying to get through life.

But the thing is if you get to this point, it’s very scary because it’s so apathetic that the level of caring could be at risk and your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your children could be at risk as well. The idea of just hoping and waiting for it to go away on its own is absolute insanity.

In order for the problem to go away, there needs to be some sort of action taken on the part of the parent as a response to again show the child that that behavior is not going to be acceptable and it will eventually stop.

So, what if you could learn to tap into a virtually limitless supply of solutions for dealing with disrespectful behavior? Look, there’s no one size fits all solution. What’s working really well for your next door neighbor or your sister or your brother’s kids might not be the right solution for your kids. And what may have worked for you in the past on a certain given day with a certain situation may not work again in another day or in another situation.

All situations require a unique response, the right response for that moment. So it’s not about finding the perfect “how to” that you might read in a book somewhere. It’s about learning to tap into your intuition, learning to tap into that logic, that intelligence that’s already locked inside of you and tapping into this virtually unlimited supply of solutions that’s already part of you.

The next part of this program, we’re going to talk about how you can solve any parenting problem without frustration. So click through to the next part and we’ll continue this discussion there.

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Your friend and fellow parent,


Charles Murray
Parenting Coach, Author & Speaker

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