Whether you have a toddler in the “terrible two” phase or a mouthy teenager, all kids go through rebellious stages. It is a part of growing up, but that doesn’t make it any easier on you. The good news is that these phases usually pass, but how do you keep your sanity until then?
Take a look at Father Right’s quick tips for keeping your cool when your child is rebelling.
1. Take a deep breath.
Okay, take four or five of them. Before you hand down any punishments or start yelling, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Lashing out at your child will only further escalate the situation and won’t make anyone happy. Regain your composure before you proceed.
2. Walk away.
Even in the case of a screaming toddler, you can usually walk away (at home, at least). When a child of any age is being disrespectful, it is better to not engage them anyway. Let them learn that their bad behavior will not get anywhere with you and that you won’t stick around to witness it. Walk into another room, take a breath, and return when you and your child are ready to talk things over.
3. Be consistent.
Whatever your discipline method (grounding, time outs, taking away toys), make sure you employ it every time there is a behavior issue. If you give in even once, your child will see that there is a weakness, and take advantage of it. It will be tougher to use the consequence successfully the next time.
4. Put yourself in their shoes.
Many times, adults do not understand why kids act up. That lack of understanding usually comes from the fact that you are applying adult logic to the situation. The truth is, kids simply do not think like adults. You may not be able to remember exactly how you felt at their age, but keep in mind that their perspective is much different than yours and that you have so many more years of knowledge and experience. That could go a long way towards a common understanding between you and your kids.
5. Get help.
If you are at your wit’s end with your rebellious child’s behavior, get some backup. Perhaps your spouse or ex can take a bigger role in the disciplining, or perhaps you can seek out some family counseling services. It’s okay to admit that you are frustrated with your child’s behavior and to pass the baton for a little while.
You will always love your kids, but a kid in the middle of a rebellious streak will certainly test your patience. Just remember that you are the adult. Approach it logically and you will get through it with less stress and plenty of love.