5 Ways to stop arguing with your Child

All of us, sometimes, get into situations where we are caught in a tug of war with our child, both sides vehemently arguing and tempers surging by the minute. You ask your children to do something and they argue, ask you a million questions as to why they cannot do this and why it is unfair; they bargain and whine, push all your buttons until you are ready to lose control and let all hell break loose. Which is what the clever monsters were going in the first place. Power is a trip for everyone. All human beings love it, irrespective of age. When your authority is questioned and haggled over, it can be really annoying. So, take charge, be the adult.

Keep it simple: Your child tends to argue with what you say when you speak elaborately and lecture. Instead keep your sentences as short as possible. Do this, or else such and such. Stop talking. Walk away and do your own stuff. If they do not comply, then you follow through with the consequence you mentioned. That is the critical part that will determine if you have any power or you are just weakly shooting off your mouth

Give options : To pre-empt an argument and give your child a semblance of control, offer options to your child. “You can either do your homework at 5pm or 7pm.” This way they have to pick one and will not be tempted to argue why they should do homework the next day or at a different time. They have two options and they get to pick one.

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Small consequences: When your child defies you, it really pushes a button, you fly into a temper and set abnormally harsh consequences. This makes your child bitter and argue with you (that is not fair, how come blah blah) and even you would find it ridiculous if you paused for a few minutes to think about it. For example, your child scribbles on the wall despite being repeatedly told him not to so you ban him for watching his TV show for a whole week; this makes him angry and resentful causing him shout back. Instead, give him a more natural consequence, remove his access to his beloved colour pencils for a period of time or, take away watching TV for a day.

Don’t get sucked in : when you give your child a consequence, they could talk back and say, “I don’t care,” or “whatever.” They may say many things to spite you. Do not reply to that and encourage further discussion. Ignore it and walk away. If they can get a rise out of you, they will argue even more and suck you into an argument. Do not fuel the talk.

Thank them : When your child does something immediately on being asked, thank them for complying right away. Reinforce the positive behaviour with appreciation . This will make them want to do it more. If you only paid attention to bad behaviour, that is what they will give you more of.

 Click here to know how to cheer up a sad child.

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