Deal with an argumentative kid : Hello parents are you dealing with kids who argue a lot and never listens or understands a word you say to them.
Then you’ve come to the right place and this blog is for you.
What causes an argument
Things like depression, frustration or anger are the key components that children have always experienced.
But, earlier, the coping mechanisms were different, since we lived as a joint family back then. There were many avenues for guidance and support.
We also had less of indoor time and more of outdoor play time. Now a days this is very less with more and more children choosing to be indoors than outdoors.
Thereby missing many of the benefits outdoor play in early years. If you have time read our article How-to get your kid to play outdoors.
Our friend’s parents also acted as guides and confidant who could spend time with us and we could share with them.
With more real-life relationships and connections there were many avenues where the child could get attention and sometimes pampering and the child can take refuge or vent out.
We even had neighbors, uncles and aunts and the all loving grandparents come to the aid and pamper which makes the child feel normal.
But, nowadays, that doesn’t happen, since we all ended up living as a nuclear family.
And both the parents have to go to work in order to meet the constant rise on the daily expenses.
So, towards the end of the day both the parents are very tired and don’t have much energy to play with the kids.
And for sure very less emotional energy to deal with the child’s issues.
when a child who may be disappointed, angry, frustrated tries to share his feelings. Feeling on things that happened on that day, with his parents.
They deal with it superficially more than that they listen less of what the child is trying to say.
This leads to a lot of frustration, which results in anger. Those built up anger frustration and wanting them to be heard.
All those things triggers the child’s basic instinct called the “Attention Seeking” kicks in.
Attention seeking behaviour is on the rise and hence we had to address this topic to help out readers in our article How to deal with attention seeking behaviour in kids.
It makes the kid to get your attention and focus on them. And in a negative way an argument with their parents increase the timespan/ attention they require from their parents. And make their parents hear them for the good or the bad.
6 Ways to deal with an argumentative kid & end the argument
Since we have known the question why, we can proceed to the next part of how to deal with an argumentative kid.
Let’s see some of the ways to end an argument in a positive note and without hurting anyone.
- Stop being the one who is always right.
- Spend quality time.
- Address underlying concerns.
- Be the correct role models.
- Acknowledge and appreciate.
- Let it go.
Stop being the one who is always right:
The best way to end a power struggle is by stepping aside. It takes two to tango. Remove yourself from the argument.
Let go of the notion that you must have the last word. Your child is entitled to their thoughts and feelings.
It doesn’t make your thoughts and feelings any less valid. It’s ok to disagree. Instead of forcing your child to bend to your will.
Take a deep breath. Do what you need to do to calm down. Listen to the child without overreacting or getting angry.
Try to understand what they are saying. If it’s not a very bad decision. Please let them do that.But not before you giving them gentle caution of what might happen if they do that. Let them have some responsibility and a taste of failure.
If what they are saying is not possible and that’s a way bigger fall than themselves then try to tell them the pros and cons of doing it and try to reason out with them.
They will also learn what it is to fail. And we all know nothing teaches better than a failure. Only if we know how to face it and bounce back.
As a bonus they will also know that their parents know better than them.
Go let your hair down, chill and allow your child to try and to fail. nothing is a better teacher than experience itself. When you allow your child to experience it. You get a much wiser child.
Never say “Do what I say, you know nothing” these are some serious trigger buttons not to be pushed too often.
When you are trying out this strategy also make sure that you have taught or in the process of teaching your kid ways to face challenges and come out successfully.
If you like to know more or need help do read our article 11 PRACTICAL WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD FACE CHALLENGES.
Spend quality time:
Constant arguments could also be a symbol that your child is feeling disconnected from you. There’s less desire to interact during a battle.Rather than continuing to push each other away, determine a way to come together.
Always make a habit of spending some time with your kid daily. No matter how little time you get.
Remember spending time with your little one will improve your relationship with your child.
Tip to parents : Sending time can be in any way. This may mean playing a board game. Playing throwing a ball together. Going out getting ice cream. Or a walk in the park.
It can even be a simple bed time story routine which is my personal favorite. Also the benefits of storytelling to a kid is immense and it is of little wonder to me why my blog Storytelling to kids – Popular Trend these days is one of the top read blogs in my site.
This is not a “reward for bad behavior” it’s taking responsibility to rebuild a break in the relationship.
If your child refuses, don’t push it. Simply make sure they know you are ready to hang out when they are.
Be consistent in your effort and you will find that their anger and frustration may get lessened day by day.
Address underlying concerns:
If the increase in arguments seems sudden or out of the blue, it may be helpful to explore things that impact this change in behavior.
It can be anything right from an increase in stress levels, lack of sleep, friendship changes, challenging homework, learning difficulties, over-crowded activity calendar,
Even hormonal changes that your kid undergoes as they mature may lead to unsettled behavior in your child.
You may have things impacting your behavior too! Stress, lack of sleep, work/life balance, busy schedules, messy home space and the list goes on.
One of the common factors of stress in most of the household including mine was poor time management. Especially in the morning. This continued till I followed the suggestion that I had written about in my blog How- to Improve time management in kids NOW and tided over the situation.
Now that you are aware that it is the same for your kid, take steps to eliminate or decrease the impact of these things on your communication and relationship with your child.
Be the correct role model:
The first person and the first superheroes the child sees is their parents.
So, whatever you want your kid to do you do that first. Most of the things they do is what they learn from you.
Whatever you do in front of them affects them knowingly or unknowingly.
The single most important aspect of being your children’s role model is to always say what you mean and mean what you say.
Walk the talk. Back up your words with visible and concrete action and be a person of integrity and value. Actions speak volumes.
“Well done is best than well said.” – Franklin
If your child finds you arguing with your spouse frequently. You are most likely going to find your child display the same nature.
At the same time if the arguments with your spouse are healthy and resolved amicably then you are indirectly motivating your child to be open to conflict resolution.
While it is best that we don’t have any arguments in from of our child. But should it happen be very conscious about it and set a good example by effective conflict resolution.
Acknowledge and appreciate:
For any parent with an argumentative child, appreciating their kids personality can seem near impossible.
How are you expected to seek out the great in someone who questions everything you say or outright refuses to listen?.
It is understandably so. To deal with an argumentative kid is not so easy.
Especially when it is coupled with temper tantrums. If your kid is of the kind who starts with an argument and ends up throwing a temper tantrum fit like how my first son did. I would recommend you read 10 effective ways to reduce temper tantrums immediately.
We tend to categorize kids as “good” or “bad,” and not always in fair reasons.
“Good” behavior is when they’re obedient, not being noisy or messy. If I have to put it very bluntly in a way that makes parents life easier.
“Bad” behavior, meanwhile, in a simple term is anything otherwise to a “Good” behavior.
Assuming for a minuet you are able to remove that factor. Whether your child is making life easier or harder for you.
How might their behavior then be? Will it be a perk, rather than a hindrance?
So, Look at it this way…
When you deal with an argumentative kid for all you know they are someone who knows what they believe in and will stand up for it. They are strong willed.
They are willing to question authority and aren’t going to allow others to take away their power so easily.
They’ll likely be a good leader, a self-starter, and passionate about anything they put their mind to.
Not too shabby, right? Now does it sound so bad?
When we look at it this way, we quickly understand that It’s not so much about squashing these traits out of them through force and threats.
Instead it’s about showing them the way to communicate with others.
We don’t often see the true motivation that drives an argumentative child to press their points over and over. We focus on only ways to deal with an argumentative kid.
On the surface, all we see is probably a stubborn child adamant about being right.
From the child’s perspective…
If we dig deep, find the answer to the question of “what might be an underlying reason your child continues to argue?”
Maybe they are assuming what they are saying is correct and if they think that what you’re saying is factually wrong they want to correct that.
Perhaps they feel strongly about what they believe, compelled to stand their ground no matter what. They moral value system that they have learnt thus far is pointing them to it.
You should defiantly spend some time reading Absolutely Surprising truth about Morality development in kids.
Or maybe they need you to show them you understand where she’s coming from, before assuming they are out to argue just about anything. You would do good to acknowledge their motives. And appreciate them when you find good reasoning and logic.
These timely acknowledgement and appreciation will not only form a positive feedback look for your child. It will also build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Let it go:
Hearing your child questioning you might make you want to prove yourself or show who is in authority.
But step back a moment and see what it’s to be your child’s shoes.
Well, given their age, what they continue to assert despite technically being “right or wrong” that is all they know.
Perhaps they are themselves being in an argumentative environment.
Maybe that is making them feel more defensive, instead of open to new ideas.
Instead of defending your point, be the “bigger person” and let go of small things.
Because I’m willing to bet that 90% of times what you argue with your child, is about small petty issues.
Focus on those that matter and let the remaining slide.
The best part of letting go is your child might be ready to let her own arguments go, as well.
When she sees how you’re ready to let go time to time, due to that she too doesn’t feel compelled to argue her point to the death.
To deal with an argumentative kid can add stress even to the patient parents.
But by first dealing with the problems gently rather than engaging in more arguments, you can turn things around.
Start by acknowledging your child’s motives so you can see that they are not out to make your life miserable, but perhaps they feel strongly about their point.
Appreciate the perks of their personality, so that you can learn to nurture them in a healthy way.
Ask yourself if perhaps you’re wrong about your own arguments.
And always be a role model for the type of behavior you would like your child to follow.
Never draw your own line of defenses before understanding what they are trying to say.
Reflect back to them and ask what you want them to do, and ask questions on how to move forward.
And finally, ask yourself if engaging in another argument is worth the time and pain you’re going to let you and your child endure.
If not, then learn to let it go, not as a symbol of defeat, but because life shouldn’t be wasted on petty things.
After all, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if they watch their favorite show for an extra hour one or two days a week, right?.
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