Sunday July 11, 2021
There are a variety of reasons why your child might argue with you. Sometimes, it’s because they feel unheard or misunderstood. Occasionally, it’s because that is the way they figure out their place in an uncertain world. In a best-case scenario, a child who argues a lot may simply be more intelligent and independent.
However, for parents, an argumentative child is frustrating and it can be emotionally draining to have to defend your every movement with your kid.
While no situation is the same, there are things you can do that may decrease the time you spend in an argument with your children. Here are some tips you can try the next time your child begins to argue with you:
Set the Tone
It’s simple to mirror the emotions and tone of the child who is angry. It’s much more effective to focus on keeping calm and collected, practice and role-model listening and conflict resolution skills, and hone in on the actual problem so you can work on solutions together.
Don’t allow the children to lure you into a verbal boxing match if you can avoid it. Those situations rarely turn out productive for either person.
Practice, Practice, Practice
When you encourage discussion and lively debate at home, it helps your children manage a heated discussion out in the world. Discuss what is (and isn’t okay) when you disagree with someone else, how to practice active listening, how to respond when triggered, and the possible consequences of losing your temper and hurting someone’s feelings. Connecting and talking through these tough situations when things aren’t tense will help your child better manage their own anger and engage in arguments in a fair, compassionate, and kind manner.
This one is tough because it requires a ton of self-discipline to ignore the emotional responses that come up when your kid is trying to start an argument. However, making a clear expectation that communication is paused until emotions have calmed down will showcase that it’s okay to be angry and express your feelings but it’s best to save discussion until everyone’s in a more level and clear emotional state.