Kids who Argue

Do you have a child that frequently argues with adults? Does your child loose his temper easily? Then he may also purposely refuse to comply with the simplest of requests. Perhaps the child blames you or others for their own behaviors? The child is full of rage and resentful toward those around him. Parents feel helpless and unsure of what to do or who to turn to for help. Fortunately, there is a way to help children who have a habit of arguing with adults.

The first step is to find out the root of the problem. Is this a new behavior or one that has been building over time? If it is a new behavior, try to find out what has happened recently in the child’s life. Could it be stress at school? Could it be changes within the family? Communication is crucial to finding out what is causing this defiant disrespect.

If this is a problem that has been building over time, you may want to consider professional help. There could be an underlying medical or mental problem. Therapy and possible medication may be helpful in this case. However, realize that it isn’t just about therapy for the child. It process for the entire family.

Once you have ruled out any possible medical issue, it is time to re-examine your parenting skills. Children don’t come with instructional manuals but there is a way to eliminate undesirable behaviors such as arguing in a disrespectful manner.

First you must lead by example. Yelling and being disrespectful when you argue show the child that this is the way to disagree with something. Show them how they can disagree in a respectful manner. The entire family must be in compliance with a rule of no yelling.

Show your child that conflict can be resolved without having tempers flaring. If the argument becomes heated, calling for a time out for everyone involved is a good idea. This allows people to calm down to be able to return later to the argument without allowing emotions to rule the responses.

Show the child that in some cases, they may have to compromise to come to an agreeable solution. We all have to do things that we don’t want to do such as household chores, homework and working but we still have to do them. It is okay to disagree, but sometimes a person has to buck up and just get things done.

Also try to teach your child to see outside their own perspective. Anyone who can see an argument from other perspectives can argue with more respect. They will be more sensitive to other people’s feelings when trying to get their own feelings across. When arguments arise, you also have to remember to be sensitive with your child. They are still growing as a person and how you approach them could play a part in shaping their self esteem.

Wording is crucial in any argument. Avoid using the word “you” when you direct statements or questions toward the child. This sets most people in a defensive mode and children are not an exception. Try wording your statements and questions with “I”. So instead of saying “You’re not listening to me”, try saying “I get upset when I feel like I am being ignored.”

Another wording mistake that is often made during arguments is asking “why” instead of “what.” Instead of asking why the child is upset, ask what has the child so upset. This also shows the child that you are sensitive to what they are feeling. When it comes to arguments with peers is better to ask the child what they plan to do then tell them what they should do. This allows the child to develop problem solving skills that will last a life time. Now if they ask for advice, give them solution options to choose from instead of solving the problem for them.

If you witness your child arguing with a sibling or a friend, don’t come running to the rescue. Stand back and simply observe. Only get involved if the argument starts to escalate. If you have to get involved, still use the same guidelines mentioned.

If an argument goes awry, you can bet feeling are hurt. Apologies can help mend hurt feelings. Show your child that you care by apologizing for things that may have been said that hurt their feelings. This sets an example for the child. It shows that although the argument became heated, people aren’t perfect and show that we can all learn from mistakes made.

Arguing effectively and respectfully is a crucial skill. Teaching your child these skills will not only help them in life but create a more peaceful household.