Parents need to take back control in a firm but loving way.
When a child has been brought up in the cozy arms of an approval-given world, she tends to think she owns it. Dealing with talking back, defiance and tantrums isn't cute at ages 4 or 5 and it's worse at 6 or 7. Only the parents and guardians can take back control from their rude children, and the older the child is, the harder it will be. Consistency is key, along with a firm but loving stance.
1Differentiate between behavior and personality. Often when we are angry, we utter words we don't mean, painting our children with a broad brush. While we might not like the attitude we are being given, it doesn't mean our child is bad. Labeling a child as "bad" might make her believe that she really is bad and that she can't do anything to change it. Therefore, she won't even try. This leads to low self-esteem and further misbehavior and defiance. When your young one is rude or acting entitled and spoiled, show her that her actions are disappointing, but let her know that as a person, she is wonderful. Actions and being must be separated.
2Ignore the behavior. Many times, children enjoy the attention given to them when they throw a fit, and it often doesn't matter whether the attention is negative. Mom or dad is looking at them, and that's what counts. Plus, the tirades might get her what she wants, so it's a double win. Parents who tend to their child's every tantrum with love, then frustration, then finally with acceptance are further solidifying that behavior pattern. Children are quick learners. If they see that they get what they want with pleading, cajoling, yelling or throwing a tantrum, that's what they'll do. If you ignore the behavior entirely, your child will have no choice but to eventually give up. They have to sleep sometime, right? And the next time, they won't keep up as long. When their behavior no longer culminates in results, they will drop it for something that will. Work on making the next behavior pattern a positive one.
3Have a consistent discipline plan. Whether you put your child into time-out, take away privileges or simply leave the room to get some peace and quiet, ensure that your child understands your system. They will know that when they do a certain thing, that will culminate in the same response each time. Give them a break when you start. Say something along the lines of, "If you do this, you will go to your room without playing the game we were going to play." Adjust the explanation to your circumstances. When the child persists, you must follow up. Often, parents will give chance after chance because they don't want to punish their kids. They had a list of fun things planned for everyone and that's what the adults want to do, too. If your child blows it, be consistent and do what you said you would do.
- It's important, in a two-parent household, that parents are on board with the discipline techniques. Talk to your partner and present a united front for your child so they know what to expect from both of you.
- Dealing with a loud, annoying, cruel or ruthless child can anger even the calmest of adults. Try to keep your emotions under control. If your children know they are getting under your skin, that's encouraging to them and their bad behavior.