An argumentative child can make parenting seem much more challenging.
While there are lots of positives associated with a strong willed child who knows what they want, battling with them over even the simplest request can be exhausting and frustrating for any parent.
Do you find yourself in conflict with your child over some of these common issues?
- What time they should go to bed
- Household chores
- Doing their homework
- Tidying their room
- Not eating their food
- Morning routine – getting ready for school
- How much time their spending watching TV/playing on gadgets
While on the surface, these arguments may seem harmless and a normal part of family life, when they begin to escalate and your child is resisting your every move, it may be time to take action.
Here are 5 strategies to get you started and help reduce everyday conflicts…
1. Keep your cool
One of the biggest challenges parents face with an argumentative child is keeping calm and not rising to their behaviour. If your child is challenging you and you can feel yourself losing your temper, tell them you are stepping into another room to cool down. When you feel calm and back in control, return to tell them you are ready to discuss the conflict in a respectful way. Not only will this stop you being drawn into a fight, it also a great example of self control.
2. Set rules
While it might seem obvious, setting specific rules and being consistent will help your child learn that certain things aren’t up for negotiation. Consistent times and routines for meal times, bed times and doing homework will eventually stop them from resisting.
As hard as it may be, try and listen to what your child is saying. Show them that you are listening to them and honouring their opinion, even though it doesn’t mean that you are changing your mind.
4. Clearly state your request
Use calm, direct language to help avoid conflict. Don’t be drawn into discussion and clearly state what you want your child to do rather than using suggestions. For example “I want you to go to bed now” instead of “Don’t you think it’s time to go to bed.”
5. Reward the good
While it’s important to tell your child what is not acceptable, make sure you notice when they do follow rules. Tell them how it helps you when they co-operate with you. In some situations, you may want to offer an incentive to encourage them to keep it up.
Learning respect and positive communication is an important part of a child’s development. If you are struggling to deal with an argumentative child, Katherine Elizabeth is here to help. With experience working with all ages from 0-16, Katherine can work with you to discover the cause of the problem and come up with a solution.
If you think Katherine might be able to help you, please call for a no-obligation chat on 01625 909209.