Last week, we discussed what answering back actually is; it’s more to do with children arguing than with them asking questions…so now lets look at how we might deal with it…firstly, do not respond to the child with anger and walk away if you need to.
It is important to diffuse the situation and give yourself some space to think about what is happening. I know this can be hard when naturally we want to stick up for and defend ourselves but you’d be fighting a losing battle. The idea is to STOP your children arguing and answering back. The way to do this is to help them to understand what is happening and to then change their behaviour. Getting into an argument with them is not going to do this. We all know when children are in the middle of an argument they won’t usually think clearly. So put a stop to it and wait for the situation to calm down.
Secondly, we need to help our children understand their emotions. When a child throws a tantrum or answers back they often don’t know why they are doing it, even if it is quite clear to us, they are often unable to grasp where these strong emotions are coming from.
Once they have calmed down, it is the right time to talk to them.
Make sure it is just you and them, no distraction from friends or older brothers and sisters….
Start by telling your child that it is not OK to hurt people around them and you expect them to apologise. If you have reacted to your child and became angry, shouting at them, saying something you shouldn’t or have even resorted to smacking their hand etc. then you should apologise too.
When you apologise too, it shows them how to say sorry and more importantly how it feels to get an apology and in turn showing them how important it is for them to apologise for their behaviour as well.
After the apologies are done, just talk to your child; ask them why they behaved the way they did and when they tell you, ask them how you can help them. This will show them that you do care about they feel and reinforce the fact that there is no need to kick off and be disrespectful as if they just talk to you then they will get their needs met without all the hurt and upset happening.
If you are struggling and feel like nothing you do helps then I would suggest talking this over with someone, a close friend maybe. We often see more perspective in the situation when we talk to others, a fresh pair of eyes always helps!
As always, we really appreciate any tips you can share in dealing with children arguing and answering back too.
If your child is struggling to stop; use one of KiddyCharts create your own reward charts to try and help them out as well.
Thanks again to Maria Albertsen for helping out with this post again. Let us know how you get on.
Image above courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net