Don't try to ignore a bad attitude -- do something about it.
It’s not just parents of teens that need to worry about bad attitude. Actually, in their preschool years, kids develop attitudes -- complete with the whining, shouting, temper tantrums and flat-out defiance -- that can drive parents up the wall. With younger kids, it’s difficult to know how to handle it. It’s even harder to avoid the classic “it’s just a phase” mentality. "The biggest mistake we make," reports advisor, author and Ph.D. Michel Borba, "is assuming that rude behavior is a phase that will go away on its own." Parents should be warned that it never does. Buckle up and face the facts; identify the specific problem and deal with it the best way that you can.
1Listen to the way that your kid speaks to you. Is he being offhanded? Does he respond to your questions with boredom? If his reply to, “Don’t you think it’s time for bed?” is continually an unresponsive, “Don’t know,” then it’s likely that the little guy might have a problem. If he turns around and says something dismissive like, “Leave me alone!” or “I don’t care,” start considering the steps needed to turn his behavior around.
2Pay attention to the way your little one acts by himself -- how he treats his possessions and the people around him. It can be comforting to know that his attitude isn’t directed strictly at you, but it's worrying for your kid’s sake, in that he’s probably dealing with stresses that no youngster deserves. A bad attitude often comes from general discomfort, say, at home or in preschool. Is your kid as productive as he’s always been? If he’s always liked to draw, then consider how much drawing he’s done in the last few months. Sometimes his behavior elsewhere is a reflection of how he acts around his mom and dad.
3Notice your child's body language. At such a young age, attitude often shows itself in other ways than the few, short sentences that young children are capable of expressing. Pay attention to his body language. Look for slouching, dragging feet, aggressive leaning, lack of response and any other signs that the little critter might have a problem with your role and authority as mom. If you state calmly, “It’s time for dinner,” and he gets up slowly, doesn’t make eye contact and drags his way to the table, there’s definitely something that you guys need to sort out between you – even if he doesn’t say a word.
- Don't back down when your kid refuses to listen to you. Give him reason to know that he has an obligation to listen to you.Don't lose your cool. Stay in control and handle the situation with comfort, no matter how frustrated you get.