Russell Barkley, Child Psychologist, says, “When children need the most love, they will generally ask for it in the most unloving ways.”
As a parent it’s hard to look past the disrespectful words and actions and see your hurting child lashing out for help. In the moment, you may want to snap back at your child, or swat them and send them off to their room.
But that doesn’t help anyone. How can you equip your little warrior with skills to express him/herself in a way that doesn’t hurt others?
After doing a little research here are 4 things you might try to curtail disrespectful habits
1. Say what you see/hear in the moment.
1. For example: “I heard you say Jay is stupid..
2. Make a statement about what you see/hear. “you may not agree with Jay, but Jay is not stupid.
3. Ask what were you trying to do when you said this? Allow your child(ren) to express what they are feeling. Give them “language” to address the feeling that is not hurtful.
2. Make known the consequences for certain actions or non-actions.
1. Make sure you say what you mean and you mean what you say.
2. When you’re not in the heat of the moment, talk with your kids about appropriate consequences.
3. Give your child(ren) the option to have some control. (A lot of times, the sense that they are not in control of “anything” sends them over the edge)
1. Say “You have 2 choices.” Then state the 2 choices.
2. You must be prepared to follow thru with the choice he/she makes.
4. Watch what you say, what you do and what you watch.
1. If you don’t want your kids to say or do something, then don’t say or do some things. Be a role model. If you “mess” up, let your kids hear you say that and apologize to them.
Live Out Loud with your children. Let them take ownership of their actions and words. Think of it in terms of them taking a step closer to knowing who they are in Christ.
Living Out Loud