Parenting is the most rewarding and stressful job there is. For those of you with children you know exactly what I am talking about. Dealing with tantrums and disrespect is never fun, and it puts your true parenting skills to the test. We have all had that time in the grocery store where your child gets upset. Onlookers will either smile and understand the situation, or look at you disapprovingly.
Kirk Martin has a four cd set, which explains how to best handle disrespect from your children. The set is called “STOP Defiance & Disrespect Now! 15 Secrets to calm your explosive household.” For this blog I will be touching on some of his key tricks to getting the respect you want from your kids.
When your child acts up, or lashes out it is not uncommon to feel a sense of failure. “I would have never said that to my parents, am I a bad parent?” This situation also creates a sense of anxiety. “If they don’t respect me, how will they grow up and be successful at a job someday?”
Here are some tips Kirk Martin gives in response to these anxieties.
1. Don’t let your child’s mood determine your mood. You can only control yourself. When your child responds in a disrespectful way, sometimes our first reaction is to tower over them and instill fear. The problem with this tactic is you immediately put your child in a defensive mode. Pay attention to your posture and the nonverbal cues you are giving off the next time that you are disciplining your child.
2. Don’t take it personally. Your children are around you enough that they know exactly how to push your buttons. They probably don’t even mean what they said, it was just in the heat of the moment.
3. Don’t demand respect, show self-respect. When you demand respect of your children you become dependent on their response. Don’t show that it bugs you when they act up. If you break down and show you are stressed, they are more likely to be disrespectful more frequently. Take a deep breath and remove yourself from the situation if you have to.
4. The last tip is getting to the root of the issue. There is probably something else going on that is causing your child to be disrespectful. Once the situation has calmed down, talk about it. Just letting it go and forgetting it will not help. It’s like putting a band-aid over it and waiting for it to burst again. Don’t be afraid to sit down and talk with your kids.
These are just four of Kirk’s tips. He has many more and they are a great help. Just remember you didn’t fail as a parent just because your kid is having a rough day. Embrace the challenge as something to overcome and learn from.
Blessings to your day from Footnotes: Family Counseling Services! To learn more about working with challenging children please call to set up an appointment at 507.351.8799.