Is Your Child Insolent? See 6 Ways to Curb it Now

Matthew Imerhion

Have you recently noticed your child who was once cute & cuddly and promised to buy you a big house and an airplane is now becoming defiant, rude and insolent? He’s now in his teens or pre-teens and derives pleasure in having consistent war of words with you. Are you left feeling drained, upset and helpless after these bouts? These tips should help you control the situation and foster a healthier relationship.

1. K.Y.C. (Know Your Challenge)

Adolescence is the period children are in the process of ‘finding themselves.’ To the teenager, it seems the world is changing, taking on new shapes, sounds and meaning. Though they don’t understand what is happening, you as a parent should know that they are trying to find their place and voice in this ‘new world.’

When your teen talks back at you or demands an explanation for why they should obey you, they are not just being deviant, they are trying to assert themselves, trying to be sure that they are not being regarded as minors that should be oppressed. This is an insight that will help you approach and curb this issue effectively.

2. Watch Yourself

How do you react when things don’t seem to go your way? Do you snap at your spouse or friend or throw a tantrum? Do you use unpleasant language or venomous tones because you think the other person deserves it?

If you are guilty of being rude to people, admit it to your child and tell her it is wrong. If possible, make apologies when he is present and you might redeem yourself and the child from this negative behaviour. Then, agree on clear consequences for talking back and be consistent about its implementation.

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3. New Age, New Rules

Yes ma’am, this is your government and it is here to stay. There is a constitution and you are the law maker, judge and enforcer. Let your child know that things will not be done differently, don’t be intimidated, on no account should rudeness be tolerated.

Of course, let them know you’ll give listening ears only if they talk to you in a respectful tone. So, even when they want to make you reason with them, it must be done respectfully.  Make it clear that they cannot use certain language, give examples if your child has already used some in the past.

4. Watch Out For External Influence

At this age, one of the most important things to a teenager, apart from his independence is his social circle or friends. They are important to your teenage child because friends give them a sense of identity; they think alike, initiate and support each other in whatever they do.

If you notice that your child’s friend talks in a negative way, talk to your child about it. Let them know that you like their friend but you do not like that particular behaviour. They might talk to their friends about it and get their friends to change but if you see that your child has started behaving the same way, stop the closeness or friendship altogether and be firm about it. No friendship is more valuable than your child’s wellbeing.

5. Keep Calm and Strategize

When your child starts acting up and you want to ‘talk’ your will into her, she thinks you don’t understand and wants to ‘explain’ herself. You make a stronger attempt to get her to obey but she also makes an even stronger attempt that comes out as rude. You start losing your cool and things just get from bad to worse, and a war of words begins.

When you make your will known and he objects, repeat the same thing and say no more. They might grumble and complain but when you maintain your silence, they know trouble is looming because there are set consequences in place already. Make sure these consequences are executed.

6. Get Help!

Finally, if your child’s misbehaviour is increasingly getting out of hand, seek professional help. There are child counsellors out there that can help your child realize what he is doing and make him change for the better.

In the meantime, stock up on patience. Your child is not going to change overnight and there will be times when you just want to give up but don’t; persistence is key to any change.

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“Is Your Child Insolent? See 6 Ways to Curb it Now”
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