Defiance and disobedience is a normal part of growing up. Kids will test their parents’ guidelines and expectations as they discover the world around them. It’s relatively easy to handle the once-in-a-while behavior, but when it becomes more chronic, parents can be left wondering what they can do to change their child’s attitude and have a little bit more peace at home.
Keep your Composure and Don’t Take it Personally
It’s important to remember that a child’s behavior is usually directly related to something that has happened to them, whether real or perceived, over the course of their day and they’re taking out their frustration on whoever happens to be nearby.
Kids process and handle stress differently. It could be as simple as that your child missed his or her nap or hasn't had lunch yet.
Regardless of whatever the behavioral trigger is, your child is feeling some intense emotions, and, if you explode and yell and scream, you will only escalate the issue and end up in a power struggle. (6)
“If you react to your child’s talking back by exploding or losing your temper, he will respond with disobedience and disrespect. By contrast, he will become more obedient when you remain calm, cooperative, and consistent. He will learn to be respectful if you are respectful toward him and others in the family.” (1)
When you take your child’s behavior and words personally, you assume that they don’t care about your feelings and it’s actually unreasonable to expect them to empathize because children don’t have a mature sense of empathy.
Your Child’s Behavior is not about You
It’s tempting to look at how your child’s behavior is making you feel, and that his behavior is a sign of disrespect because he or she is not obeying you. Simply speaking, your child didn’t act that way because he wanted to disrespect or disobey you. That probably didn’t enter his or her mind.
Your child did that because he or she wanted something. Your child wanted to finish a game, or stay up like big brother.