How To Make Disrespectful Kids Behave

3. Behave the way you want your child to behave. To help your child be respectful you must live by your own principle of acting respectfully to your child NO MATTER how he is behaving.  Act respectfully while holding him accountable – these actions aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s difficult to continue to act respectfully toward your child even when he is hurling insults at you, but it’s so important to be a good role model. Act with integrity without letting your child off the hook.

4. Ask yourself, “Who owns this problem?” When it comes to your kids being mildly rude toward you, ask yourself each time it happens, “Who owns the problem of disrespect?” For example, if your daughter stomps off and mutters under her breath after you tell her she can’t go to the party, don’t let her rudeness belong to you. Don’t engage in it. Her rudeness is her problem. Your problem is deciding if she can or can’t go to the party and enforcing whatever you thoughtfully and non-reactively decided. Her next problem is to figure out better ways to communicate her upset. She can have a tantrum even if she is 3 or 18–that’s her business. You don’t have to give in to it, withdraw from it, or flip out about it. You have your own problems to figure out; that’s your business. Also remember that stomping off and muttering (even though it’s annoying) might be showing a lot of self-control on her part – she could have screamed at you or been physical if she hadn’t walked away muttering. The more you are able to act on behalf of yourself instead of in reaction to her, the more she will be able to see you separately from herself.

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