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Parenting / child Behavior


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Get Any Child To Listen, Pay Attention and Behave!

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Parenting / child Behavior

  1. 1. ==== ====Child Behavior, Child Development, Toddler Temper Tantrums, Parenting Kids, ADHD, ADD,Attention and Concentration Skills and Habits ====As a parent, how do you know for sure if your childs behavior has crossed the line and becometruly disrespectful? I believe the distinction between mild rebelliousness and disrespect has to bedrawn very clearly. And heres how you determine whether or not your child has gone too far:when he is being rude or complaining that something isnt fair, ask yourself, "Is my childexpressing general frustration about the injustices or challenges of life, or is he being deliberatelyhurtful, condescending or abusive?"I look at it this way: when your child rolls his eyes and stomps up the stairs, its fairly harmless. Itsvery different from saying, "Youre a jerk. You cant make me. I dont care what the rules are, Imnot doing it!" Make no mistake, there is a distinction between eye-rolling and your child shouting,"Youre stupid." I think parents need to really understand this difference at a core level.Many parents Ive worked with through the years didnt know where to draw the line when it cameto their childs disrespectful behavior. When their teen or pre-teen expressed themselves in mildlyrebellious ways, it frightened them. They would sit in my office and say, "If I dont stop my teenseye-rolling, next shell be calling me a jerk." Id usually reply, "Well, the question is, did she evercall you a jerk in the past? If she didnt, dont worry about it. And if she does in the future, hold heraccountable." Its as simple as that.By the way, I understand that parents are often afraid things are going to get more difficult withtheir adolescents. If youre parenting a teen or pre-teen, youre probably living with the fear thatthings can get worse; as we all know, kids in that age group can be very moody and stubborn. Itssuch a delicate balance during adolescence: while its important to allow for the natural "breakingaway" process that comes during the teen years, parents also have to be sure to identify andchallenge any truly disrespectful behavior that is hurtful, rude or demeaning to others.Dont Take it PersonallyRespect, disrespect and compliance are often issues that become entangled between parents andkids. Heres how I see it: parents have a right to expect compliance from all the children who areliving in their house, even if that child is 22 years old. Often, the friction is caused by anadolescents legitimate need to become more independent as he develops. This is precisely whereparents and teens come into conflict: the parent wants compliance and the adolescent wantsindependence. Now lets take it one step further: When the adolescent doesnt comply, the parentfeels disrespected-and they make the mistake of personalizing that feeling.I think that teens have to learn to solve the problem of compliance in healthy ways. But parentsalso need to understand that many times, their childs small acts of rebelliousness come from the
  2. 2. fact that they want to be independent-it has nothing to do with disrespect.Heres an example. Lets say a teenager is late for curfew. The parent says, "Why are you late?"The kid gives them some excuse, and the parent asks, "Well, why didnt you call?" The adolescentreplies, "Well, I didnt want to be embarrassed in front of my friends." The parent comes back with,"Well, youre not going out Friday night as a result; you have to take more responsibility to be ontime and to call if youre going to be late." While giving the child this consequence is fair, if theparent then says, "You have no right to disrespect me that way" and they take it personally, theyreon the wrong track.One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is to take their childs behavior personally. Thetruth is, you should never fall into that trap because the teenager next door is doing the same thingto his parents, and your cousins daughter is doing the same thing to her parents. Your role is tojust deal with your childs behavior as objectively as possible. When parents dont have effectiveways to deal with these kinds of things, they may feel out of control and get scared-and oftenoverreact or under react to the situation. When they overreact, they become too rigid, and whenthey under react, they ignore the behavior or tell themselves its "just a phase." Either way, it wonthelp your child learn to manage his thoughts or emotions more effectively, and be more respectful.Disrespectful Things Parents Can-and Should-IgnoreGenerally, I recommend that parents ignore the mildly disrespectful things that their kids do. Wevetalked about eye rolling and stomping up the stairs, but I would also include things like mutteringabout how life isnt fair, sighing dramatically or even slamming their bedroom door on occasion.When my son was a teen-ager, there were times when wed tell him to do something and hedwalk up the stairs to his room mumbling, "Man, I hate this garbage." We allowed that display ofemotion because we werent threatened by it. My wife and I would simply look at each other andchuckle after hed left and say, "Yeah, yeah, whatever-just go do your homework." I personallythink that kids need to be able to express their frustration about living within a family and followingits rules. So I advise parents to tolerate that type of behavior. After all, your adolescent needs tolearn how to have feelings and opinions of his own, and he has to have a safe place in which hecan express his frustration-and sometimes youll see him do this in very immature ways.By the way, there were parents with whom Ive worked who didnt have the tolerance to allow thatkind of behavior. They felt that it was a threat to their authority, and they ended up challenging it atevery turn. But I believe that if your teenager is otherwise managing his life-getting good enoughgrades, being a good enough kid, not doing criminal or anti-social things, not doing high riskthings-that type of behavior isnt a threat to the parents authority at all. Rather, I believe that whenkids engage in mildly rebellious expressions of frustration, its a sign that you clearly have theauthority. Think of it this way: its not a challenge to your authority, its an expression of frustrationabout your authority. That means the ball is in your court. Theres no reason to throw it to yourchild and give power to their annoying-but harmless-behavior.Disrespectful Child Behavior Parents Should NOT IgnoreMake no mistake, when true disrespect is directed toward a specific parent or sibling and itsdemeaning and rude, it has to be dealt with immediately. If your child doesnt see where that line
  3. 3. between disrespect and mild rebelliousness is, sit down with them when things are going well andsay, "Listen, if you want to stomp up the stairs because youre frustrated and you think thingsarent fair, thats okay with me. But if you start calling people names and being rude to familymembers, youre going to be held accountable for that behavior. So, dont go too far."If youve noticed that your child has already crossed the line and is behaving in an increasinglydisrespectful manner, you can say, "Look, theres a line that I think youre crossing when you talkto us. If you want to roll your eyes and say "Whatever," thats fine with me. I dont want to fight withyou about that. But name calling, blaming, and yelling are not acceptable. You are responsible notto do those things." Always put these ideas together for your kids: responsibility, accountability,and consequences. What that looks like is, "Youre responsible to behave a certain way. Im goingto hold you accountable for that behavior, and there will be consequences if you dont takeresponsibility for it." Just complete that circle for your child so they can see the relationshipbetween these three important ideas.Heres an example. Lets say your teenage son has called his sister a rude or hurtful name, andyouve sent him to his room. When things have calmed down, sit down with him and say, "Youknow, Ive been hearing you say disrespectful things to your sister. And I just want to remind youthat if youre rude or hurtful to her, its as bad as being disrespectful to me. And the consequencefor that kind of behavior is..." And let him know what is going to happen.Lets see how that conversation might go:You: "You know the consequences for disrespectful behavior in this house. Im taking your phoneaway until youre not disrespectful for four hours. Youve got a chance to get it back a half hourbefore bedtime, so dont blow it."Your child: "Whatever. Im going to bed anyway."You: "OK, thats fine with me. We can start the clock when you wake up."Your child: "Thats not fair! I need my phone tomorrow."You: "Thats not my problem. My problem is, how do I get you to stop talking to your sister thatway? And your problem is, why are you using disrespect as a way to deal with your negativefeelings? And believe me, calling your sister names doesnt solve that problem in an effective way.Thats not acceptable in this home."Note that the parent here took her sons phone away for a relatively short period of time-fourhours. I believe thats better than taking it for a day or two because now, the parent has the childworking to get it back. The teen has to focus on the new behavior of being respectful-or at leastnot being rude and disrespectful-in order to earn back his cell phone. In doing this, youre creatinga pathway for better behavior, and youre working toward a culture of accountability and respect inyour home.A Final Word: Respect Begins at HomeRespect begins at home. If you want your children to be respectful, you have to be respectful, too.
  4. 4. Lets make no bones about that. If you call your kids names, if you yell at others in acondescending way, if you make derogatory remarks to your spouse, dont be surprised if yourchild behaves the same way. Youre modeling that behavior for him. Parents who tell theirchildren, "Dont do as I do, do as I say," are just creating the kind of double standard that breedsnegativity and resentment. Lets face it, if youre doing something yourself, it gets very complicatedwhen you ask your child to stop. Believe me, kids know hypocrisy when they see it.An ineffective parent is a person who expects their kids to do things that theyre not willing to dothemselves. You have to live your values. If you value respect, then youve got to behaverespectfully.For three decades, behavioral therapist James Lehman, MSW, has worked with troubled teensand children with behavior problems. He has developed a practical, real-life approach to managingchildren and adolescents that teaches them how to solve social problems without hiding behind afacade of defiant, obnoxious or disrespectful child behavior. He has taught his approach toparents, teachers, state agencies and treatment centers in private practice and now through TheTotal Transformation® Program.The Total Transformation Program® is a comprehensive step-by-step, multi-media, childbehavior modification program for child behavior problems like oppositional defiant disorder andchildren anger issues.Article Source: ====Child Behavior, Child Development, Toddler Temper Tantrums, Parenting Kids, ADHD, ADD,Attention and Concentration Skills and Habits ====