In the summer we tend to be out and about more and hear the interactions between kids and their parents. Most are positive but then there are the conversations that are just plain rude. It’s important that parents teach their kids that it’s okay to be unhappy with a parental rule or expectation. But they still need to be civil.
When they learn to be civil within the family they will take this positive behaviour out into the community.
Speaking Disrespectfully is Never Okay
You have just asked seven-year-old Justin to get his coat on because it’s time to leave.
You expect him to be unhappy about it because he is having a good time, but you gave him a five-minute warning and outside of a bit of pouting you should be able to leave on time with no real problem.
But that isn’t what happens.
He turns on you, says that you can’t make him move, tells you that you are mean and ruining his day. It’s a level of disrespect you would never expect from a child of any age.
Generally, when kids are blatantly disrespectful, it’s a sign that they are not clear that you are the parent and that you do make the final decisions.
You need to look at the big picture. It’s important that Justin learn that you are the person in authority and you expect that he will cooperate with you. You will be respectful, make sure he understands the rules and limits but then be equally clear that there are reasons that he needs to follow those very rules.
If a rule is simply not working, take a look at it. Is it fair? Does he understand what is happening? Do you make sure he gets a warning before he needs to get dressed, leave the playground or settle down at the table?
Pay attention to how you deal with him when he’s being rude or disrespectful. If you are rude to him — “you little brat, I can never take you anywhere!” — you will get that behaviour back in spades. Children learn from example. You can expect that he will speak to you the way you speak to him.
Sometimes a child will suddenly make a disrespectful comment which it totally out of character for him. Just look at him, say calmly and firmly, “It’s not okay to talk to me that way. I’ll be happy to listen when you speak respectfully.” Wait a moment to let him re-phrase his comments. If he doesn’t, just leave or turn away until he speaks in a way that is acceptable.
If he is becoming routinely disrespectful, sit down and have a conversation with him. When you’re ready to have this conversation make sure you are clear with some good examples of times when he was recently rude to you. If one good example is from this morning when you were at the playground, you might say something like, “when you say to me that I can’t make you leave the playground, it starts an argument that is very unpleasant for both of us. I know you’ve had a good time playing and so have I, but now it’s ruined because we’re both is bad moods.”
“It’s fine for you to say that you’re having fun and don’t want to leave because that’s the truth. But the reality is that it’s time to go and even if we’d both like to stay we need to leave.”
Then you could ask him what would make it easier for him. You do give him a five-minute warning but is there anything else that would help? He will, of course, say that the best solution is to let him play there all day.
When he says that don’t get exasperated, treat it as a joke and move on. “What else could we do?”
The point is that if you treat him in a respectful manner but at the same time let him know that you are in charge and that the rules are made to be obeyed, you will both be happier with each other.
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
There are times when digital is the perfect answer and let’s face it, on a holiday having access to hundreds of books on one small tablet is ideal. I always have my kindle with me when I travel.
There are lots of times when a busy parent would like to be able to simply read and my books are digital and make it easier for you to take a look.
Two of my parenting books started as print versions but the third is only digital. The first two are also now in digital format. Who’s in Charge Anyway?talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.
But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women.
Vive La Différence talks about unique problems such as a shy child or a sick one and how you can adjust your parenting to meet her needs.
The books are down to earth and common sense as well as easy to read. If you want some basic parenting tips and information these books are a good place to start.