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2 Bumps

How do you deal with disrespectful kids?

Especially your own :(
My dh believes in spankings I do alittle but now tat mine are too tall to spank I just talk and say stop talking to me like that or...
Or just simply ignore them and go about my business but they keep on when they want to.
I know I am doing damage by ignoring but I get more of a headache arguing with them.
And thx!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:36 PM on Sep. 15, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (12)
  • You decide what works for you. My kids might have been disrespectful to me or their dad just once, but I guarantee you it never happened again.

    Answer by m-avi at 3:56 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • Well, the spankings didn't work if you're getting disrespect now.

    For me, it depends on the expression of disrespect. I ignore many things because they're not worth fighting over. But some things will require an immediate stop and apology, or revocation of privileges.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:09 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • You are dealing with disrespectful kids because you tolerated the first time they were disrespectful...disrespect is the one thing a parent should never tolerate.....ignoring them will make them feel there is no disrespect....actions to consequences.

    Answer by older at 4:50 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • Ok ladies thank you for your response but no one is telling me HOW or WHAT to do.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:56 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • Sometimes if you're really upset, overlooking/ignoring can be "better" (not optimal, but less destructive) than reacting to the behavior.
    But I think you are right that ignoring a problem isn't a truly constructive way to handle it. That's because "ignoring" the behavior ignores the fact that there is an issue calling for a helpful response. It's like ignoring a symptom of illness.
    The thing is, punishing or reacting isn't a particularly constructive or helpful way to respond to those signals or symptoms, either! Punishment or negative consequences tend to address the "signal" (behavior) alone, which means the cause of the behavior is unaddressed & will continue to generate problems. All you have done is (perhaps) silence the symptom by intimidating the child.
    The problem with ignoring as a strategy is that the behavior is communication. It's important to recognize the message being communicated, receive it & respond.

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:06 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • When you focus on any behavior as communication, you have a base from which to start. You can hear angry, disrespectful, rude reactions as communicating feelings (obviously not in a way that is easy to receive, and not in the way you would like to hear from your kids.) If you can respond by showing some understanding for & acceptance of the feelings expressed instead of focusing on the form the expression takes, you will be creating space for "negativity." Simply creating that space contributes to more positive interactions in the future where conflict & dissent are concerned.
    In addition to that, this kind of reflective listening (being able to hear the emotional content being communicated, and reflecting it back translated into a more acceptable/mature form) models what you would LIKE to hear from your children when they're annoyed, frustrated, angry. YOU are modeling how to respond when annoyed or furious! So key.

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:13 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • I don't know what kinds of things your kids are saying, typically, but reflective listening is a matter of acknowledging the feelings you discern. Look at what was said, and look at the context (what happened right then to precipitate it, or what else is going on for your child.) So you might find yourself observing, "You didn't feel like being bossed around." Or "You really didn't want me to say that just now" or "You are not willing to do X."
    Instead of engaging the topic by going right to yes/no or will/won't (or you can't say that or can't talk that way), take the time to reflect or acknowledge what is being communicated.
    In addition to creating space for all feelings and modeling mature ways to have & express "negative" feelings, responding by showing some empathy for what's being communicated (versus rejecting the form of the expression) also supports the parent-child connection rather than undermining your relationship.

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:21 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • You also can take general messages from opposition and disrespectful or defiant communication. Such as noticing that your child feels alienated, disconnected. Unappreciated. Disrespected. Noticing that there is an adversarial dynamic, and that the child likely doesn't feel heard or taken seriously, or well understood.

    All of those are realities that can change, and that can improve with an optimal, constructive, helpful response. "Getting" that message and choosing responses that will address & resolve THOSE underlying causes is a wonderful, responsive way to parent. It also is an effective way to change the things you really hate about your interactions, without resorting to force & creating MORE adversarial feelings while gaining compliance. Then, the change is not about consequences, leverage or force. Instead, cooperation & respect are the natural outgrowths of a child feeling better, more connected, and valued.

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:35 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • Say do not speak to me that way, go to your room. If they continue take things away, no computer, no phone, whatever .

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 5:54 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

  • I agree with GirlwithC as far as modeling the way you want to be spoken to. If you react to disrespect in an angry way, the situation tends to escalate. I usually say in a calm, polite manner that we don't raise our voices or call each other names or snip off at each other in our house, whatever the kid was doing. If it's ongoing, the next time the kid wants something extra like ice cream or staying up late, I just say I felt disrespected when such and such happened,and I'm not going to oblige. Try again tomorrow. Now the one time my stepson cursed at me, I drew the line. I said calmly that I wouldn't be talked to that way in my house and that he could go sit out on the porch steps till his dad got home and wondered why he was sitting out there. It worked, he's never done it again.

    Answer by Ballad at 6:04 PM on Sep. 15, 2013

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