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Tips for Dealing with Defiant and Rude Behavior in Children

By HERWriter
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Sending the Wrong Message to our Kids

Parents often mistake their child’s misbehavior and an intentional or unintentional attempt by their children to hurt them or outright disobey. In my article The Truth about Defiance and Rudeness in Children I talked about the fact that this actual thought may not have even entered the child's mind.

When parents misread their child’s behavior as a personal attack on their authority, this can spell disaster for the parent/child relationship.

Instead of a child learning how to deal in a healthy way with her emotions, stress or experience, she will only learn how to emotionally and destructively overreact or not react at all.

Rules, Rules, Rules versus Leniency Parenting Styles

A rigid parenting style — discipline, discipline, discipline — will not allow your child to learn to make her own decisions.

A too-lenient parenting style does not provide enough structure for children to learn the right way to behave, and when there’s not enough structure children gain control. (2)

But what should you say or do when your child is “pushing your buttons” seemingly in full awareness of what she’s doing? What if she's screaming, “I hate you! You’re being mean to me!” or calling you names?

4 Steps to Resolving Disrespectful and Rude Behavior in Children

James Lehman, developer of the Total Transformation Program, recommends several things that parents can do.

First of all, breathe. Breathing deeply can distract you from your feelings and frustration and allow you to calm down and react rationally. “That small action is going to let some of the anger subside and might allow you to respond rather than react.” (2)

Second, remember that you’re the adult, the mature one and you are dealing with someone who’s less mature and less capable of dealing with their emotions, and the rules of the world around them than you are.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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