Most parents are familiar with time where achild will start to exhibit behavior that borders between mild to serious attitude and disrespect issues. One day you’re dealing with a completely obeying child and the next they’ll go off saying “I don’t care!” when you ask them to do something.
The key here is to make sure you address those issues as early as possible so that these behaviors do not progress into something worse in their adulthood life. You want to ensure kids learn to respect boundaries and others as this will aide them in cultivating healthy relationships with others.
It’s not easy having to juggle work, housework and looking after your kids when you are trying to comply with shelter in place conditions. Here are some methods that have proven successful when it comes to ensuring your kids are kept engaged but also remain respectful.
Set Up A Daily Schedule
It’s helpful for kids to stick to a schedule so that they A) Don’t grow bored, B) Do not fall behind academically, C) Build consistency and achieve a level of normalcy. Try to make each day a little different in that say one day they complete a puzzle and the next they’re working on a small art project. Then in between those fun activities make sure they keep up with their academics by having them read a book or do an online course that’s free.
They are more likely to follow through with the schedule is if you also offer words of encouragement and do some alongside with them and keep them accountable. Platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest can help with looking for inspiration if you’re stuck on what else your child can do. The last thing you would want is for them to be stuck in their rooms watching tv or playing video games.
Be Firm, And Follow Through
It’s understandable that when cooped up for a considerable amount of time, tempers may flare and everyone can become easily irritable. This is where patience comes in and where you have to make sure you stand your ground when your child tries to test boundaries.
You will notice more often than not, they will try to guilt you into giving them what they want or deal the “I don’t care” card to see what reaction they get out of you. While this can be frustrating, this means that you have to hold steady and if they act out, you have to set consequences and abide by them. Although no one wants to be the “bad parent” and deal with another temper tantrum, this reinforces who the authority figure is. By reinforcing that, they will also understand that every bad action has a real consequence to it.
Say for example, they do not want to comply with getting their homework done and are talking back to no end. What you want to do is maintain the peace as much as possible but if ultimately they do not wish to obey then you will have to take away something meaningful so that they learn to listen. Don’t leave them without their special object for too long otherwise they will cease to listen if they no longer have something to work for.
Love Them, No Matter Their Faults
Even if it seems that they will never let up on their bad behavior, you have to push through that and remind them that they are loved and appreciated. That may be the last thing you want to do when you feel like you’ve reached your wits end but it’s necessary for them to know someone still loves them.
If the only approach done is with an authoritarian demeanor then they may grow to not only fear you but distrust you as well. This is why it is important that after you discipline them that you also remind them why you did that and that they are cherished overall.
Attitude changes and behaviors can range from mild to severe but what you need to keep in mind is to also not take it personally. It’s difficult once they start to really test the waters and curse and yell but once they see you’ve lost control then the situation will be much harder to control and diffuse. Keep a cool calm exterior then once they’ve had time to settle down, talk through the problem together and set limits.
It’s good to take a breather and reflect back on the situation at hand before giving it another go.
At the end of the day what helps is keeping in mind that you are the coach, the teacher, and the referee. We try to teach them how to behave respectfully, guide them through daily obstacles and motivate them when they’re doing something right, and set a limit and consequence when they fail to do follow through.
Right now though, it’s important to spend as much quality time together as we’re likely not going to gain another time like this to be around them as much.
This post was previously published on A Parent Is Born and is republished here with permission from the author.
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