Here's some additional guidance.
If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, be sure to check them out!
As promised…here are the EXACT STEPS to take when your child starts to argue:
- Do not argue back.
- Let your child know you understand by stating what they’re doing.
“I see that you don’t want to put your shoes away.”
- Give your child a word for what they’re feeling.
“You seem frustrated about having to do what I ask.”
- Set the expectation again with the possible consequence.
“I need you to put the shoes away, then you can grab a snack.”
“If you don’t, I will take your tablet until after dinner.”
- Use a little 1,2,3 Magic.
Here’s a quick explanation of this technique: Say “one” if they don’t follow the direction. Say “two” if they still don’t. Say “three” and calmly take the tablet. No need to explain! Ignore the backlash and ensuing temper tantrum. Move on.
- Remember that as you continue to follow these steps, your child will know that you mean business. The fits and arguing will start to decrease.
Try those steps as consistently as possible for two weeks. See what happens. Comment your results below.
You're probably thinking “That is ridiculous! My child needs to just listen and do what I say. I know I listened to my parents without a second thought! I deserve respect!”
Doubters: You may be correct, AND…I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you continue reading this article.
Here comes the part full of self-reflection and deeper thinking. If you enjoy learning and growing as a person and parent, brace yourself! and don't stop reading…
Know that when you get angry, your child is winning.
He/she has successfully dictated how you will feel. By getting angry (and showing it), you are rewarding (or reinforcing) the arguing.
Your child is a child. Yes, every parent gets frustrated with their child. And every parent could use a reminder every now and then about the insignificance of those socks sitting in the entryway. It doesn’t mean you let it go and clean it up yourself. It means you can deliver the expectation calmly (“I need you to put those socks away, or the TV will be off for the rest of the night.”) and implement a consequence calmly if it is not met (Go turn the TV off and go about what you were doing).
What do YOU normally do when your child starts to argue?
Your child may be winning if you are:
- o Threatening
- o Arguing back
- o Yelling
- o Criticizing
- o Hitting
So let’s take a minute to reflect on our own behavior as parents.
Do you feel the need to assert control over our child? If so, realize how much control you already have…naturally. Your child depends on you for so many things, he/she can’t do much at all without you—your money, your car, your signature. You are already in a position of power and control. Remember that. When you get angry and lose control of your own behavior, it’s easy to abuse your position of power.
I know you don’t want to teach your child at home how to submit to people who abuse their power out in the world.
Like the teacher who befriends and ends up molesting his student. Or the husband/breadwinner who smacks his wife after she disrespects him in public. Sounds extreme? Well it is. But these things happen all the time.
Here’s the take home message:
FOCUS ON THE BIGGER PICTURE.
Winning this argument about putting away shoes means nothing when what you want more than anything is for your child to be happy and healthy throughout life. There are tons of opportunities to teach respect and cooperation. Choose your battles and make your life easier.
You don’t need to WIN an argument to be in control. AND your child needs clear, reasonable expectations with appropriate, consistent boundaries (which may include a punishment) to feel secure and loved.
Schedule your free 15-minute consultation with me now!
NewVu addresses your child’s concerning behaviors by focusing on the parent-child relationship, working through issues (like arguing) together, and getting to the root of the problem.
Have hope, arguing is a common and incredibly frustrating behavior many parents have to navigate. Parenting is a process of trial and error!