Today we’re going to talk about four ways to deal with bad behavior in children and teens. One of the most common topics that have been coming into the website lately is how to deal with disrespectful behavior in children.
It seems like parents are literally at their wit’s end trying to figure out what to do to deal with the disrespectful behavior that they get from their kids.
The problem gets worse when a parent who feels like they’ve literally tried everything and doesn’t know what else to do, they turn to trying to demand or command respect from their children. The more they try to control the situation with demanding behavior, the more disrespect they seem to face.
Look within ourselves
When it comes to how to deal with bad behavior in children and teens, our own behavior as parents is the key to the solution. Here at the Blissful Parent, we believe that a parent already has the solution within them. This means that as parents, we must first be willing to look within ourselves and at our own behaviors to find the answers.
The important thing to know is that often life acts as a mirror. It reflects back the behavior that we are ourselves are creating in different situations. That’s basic human behavior. Understanding that that is a key to our success in overcoming the bad behavior issues we are facing in our children.
So, if our behavior is a reaction or an action to a situation, then a child’s behavior is also the same. What kinds of behaviors from parents actually promote getting respectful behavior in return?
First, understand that children and teens, no matter what age, need your attention. If a child feels like they are not getting what they need from you, they have ways of getting it. Whether it be a positive way or a negative one, they will take any way they can get it. If they somehow feel neglected or that something else is more important than their needs, whether or not that is justified, they will just not take you seriously. If for some reason they feel that you don’t care, then they won’t care either. Like a mirror, their behaviors provides feedback on how well your relationship with them is working.
Recognizing the feedback
Recognizing this behavior as feedback and taking 100% responsibility for our own actions, will make the solutions much easier to find.
Four Steps To More Respectful and Peaceful Behavior From Your Children –
1. Spend regular time with your kids.
This means turning off the computer, the PDA, the cell phone, putting work away or turning the television off and any other distraction that will prevent you from connecting with your child during this very focused time. It may seem strange at first or uncomfortable, but in time this will begin to feel right the more you do it.
2. Be a good listener.
Try to listen to your children without any judgment of whether or not what they are saying is good or bad, right or wrong. Understand that whatever they have to say is true for them in that moment. Just listen to them without interruption by just letting them talk. If you want to, ask them some questions because it shows them that you take an interest in what they are saying and that you want to understand more. A little understanding goes a long way when you are trying to repair a relationship that’s gone bad or you’re experiencing some disrespectful behavior back from your child.
3. Be impeccable with your word.
This means following through with everything that you say, keeping your promises, your agreements, and your commitments. One broken promise, no matter how big or how small, can lead to a response that looks like disrespectful behavior. When you give your word and you break it, even if it’s little, it does eat away at that relationship. Small or not, all promises and agreements are a big deal.
4. Always follow through with your discipline.
Same thing goes for discipline. Warning them of a certain consequence for behaving a certain way and not following through with it, will cause children to learn that you do not mean what you say. If you’re not taking it seriously, why should they? That is going to direct their behaviors in the future.
It does not make you a bad parent if you’re doing some of the things that we’ve been talking about here today. You’re just human. Parenting is about learning as we go. It is about having unique relationships with each of our children and how we react to one another.
If you’re experiencing disrespectful behavior in your home, understand that it is correctable with a few simple shifts in our own behavior. Spending some good quality time building or rebuilding the relationship that you have with your kids will make a difference.
Take charge of the relationship
1. Am I spending enough focused time with my kids each day?
2. How am I spending that time and is it working?
3. Am I listening to my kids without judgment?
4. Do I keep all of my promises?
5. Do I follow through with consequences?
As parents, we need to look at our own behavior as part of the solution. Life’s mirror will show us a different behavior in return.