Stop and think for a moment: when your child or teen is in the throes of a tantrum or an all-out rage, what is your initial reaction? Do you get angry yourself and start yelling, do you freeze and say nothing, or do you become frightened and give in? Maybe your answer is even, “All of the above, depending on the day!” You are not alone. Dealing with childhood anger and explosive rage is one of the toughest things we are faced with as parents. Not only is it hard to do effectively, it’s exhausting and can easily make you feel defeated, even if you don’t lose your cool.
We all know the above reactions (yelling, freezing and giving in) aren’t helpful, but why exactly is that so? Simply put, if you freeze and do nothing, lose control and yell or give in to your child’s demands, he will know that he can push your buttons—and that it works. Even if your kid can’t put it into words, on some level he understands that if he can scare you or wear you down by throwing a tantrum, he’ll get his way.
As soon as your child realizes you have certain weak spots, he will continue to use them, because now he has a handy tool he can use to solve his problems. Instead of facing consequences or being held accountable, he’s figured out a way to get off scot-free.
Here’s the good news: Learning to overcome your knee-jerk reactions of either freezing or becoming angry and “losing it” will be the start of turning around your relationship with your child—and the first step in teaching him appropriate ways to manage his temper.
Don’t get us wrong, as therapists and parents, we know firsthand how difficult this task can be—but fortunately we also know what really works to manage angry kids. Before we tell you some techniques you can use in the moment (and afterward) to turn this pattern around in your family, understand this: anger is always a “secondary emotion.” What this means is that another unpleasant feeling is always underneath an angry or enraged response; anger just leaves us feeling less vulnerable than hurt or fear do.
If you can stop and remember that something else affected your child first, whether it was disappointment, sadness or frustration, you will be one step ahead. Another key point to understand is that anger serves a purpose. It lets us know something’s wrong in the same way burning your finger lets you know the stove is hot. It hits quickly and the reaction is immediate: Your child is disappointed he can’t go to his friend’s house and kaboom, you have a fight on your hands. (We’ll explain how to get to the bottom of these emotions later.)
Keeping all of this in mind, here are 7 things for you to avoid doing when your child is angry.
When your child is having an explosive anger attack or enraged response to something, do not get in his face. This is the worst thing you can do with a kid who’s in the middle of a meltdown. As long as your child is old enough, we would recommend that you not get anywhere close to him.
You have to remember that kids with explosive anger are out of control. The adrenaline is pumping and all rationale has left the body. They are in fight or flight mode, about to blow up. How close do you really want to get to that? By getting in there with your child, you will likely only further ignite their anger. And if you try to say something to them in the middle of it, you’re just going to fan the flames.
We often feel like we have to stand right there and handle the meltdown with our kids. But if nobody’s getting hurt and it’s not a life-threatening situation or safety issue, it’s better to back off and give them some distance. After all, if you saw an angry stranger in a store, you wouldn’t go up to him and start yelling or rationalizing, would you? You’d probably leave the area as soon as possible!
When your child is angry, rather than reacting out of emotion, which will escalate things, do whatever you need to do to step out of the situation. Walk away, take some deep breaths, and try your best to stay objective and in control. Take a time-out if you need one (and if your child is old enough for you to leave the area). Use some phrases to remind yourself, “I’m going to respond to this logically instead of emotionally. I’m going to stay on topic. I’m not going to get off track.” You might also remind yourself, “One step at a time. None of this is going to happen overnight.” Part of our job as parents is to model how to handle emotions appropriately. (Easier said than done, we know!) When you’re upset, your job is to show him good ways to deal with the emotions at hand.
Your child may not be wrong for feeling upset. There may be some justification for his anger, even if the behavior is not justified. When parents tell us they’re upset with their child for being angry, we say, “Is it not okay for him to ever just be disappointed and unhappy and mad? Because everyone feels that way sometimes.” Remember that people can be justifiably disappointed and may present that in an angry way. If your child can’t be respectful in explaining his viewpoint, then you’ll need to leave him alone until he calms down. You can say, “I understand you feel angry; I’m sorry you feel that way.” Then leave it alone until he’s cooled off. If it turns into a temper tantrum where he’s saying foul things, breaking objects or hurting others, then that’s when you want to address the behavior. You can’t in any way control the way your child feels about things—all you can do is give him consequences and hold him accountable for his behavior. Getting mad at your child for being mad will only escalate the situation.
Understand that it’s normal for kids to get angry. We all get angry. In actuality, it’s not anger that’s the problem, it’s the resulting behavior. Kids have notoriously low frustration tolerances. Just because your child is angry doesn’t mean it has to turn into an unrecoverable situation. Don’t expect your child to always be happy with you or like you or your decisions. Accept that it goes along with the territory that sometimes they’re going to be angry with you—and that’s okay.
Avoid trying to hold a rational conversation with your angry child; it’s not going to work. If she’s disappointed about something and you try to reason her out of it, it’s probably only going to make things more heated. Don’t try in the moment to get your child to see it your way because you don’t want her to be mad at you. When you jump in and try to make her see it your way, it really isn’t helpful. And you’re going to come away from that more frustrated yourself, especially with ODD kids. They’re not going to have any of it and will turn the tables and try to rationalize with you in order to get their way. Instead, just give everyone a cooling off period. You can say, “I can see that you’re really upset; we can each take a timeout and get back to this later.”
Along these same lines, wait until everything has calmed down before you give consequences to your child. If you try to punish her when emotions are running high, chances are you will cause further eruptions. You might come back later and say, “You were really angry. I’m wondering if there was one part of how that went that you wish was different. What could you do differently next time?”
You might also think about whether or not consequences are really necessary after a tantrum. Sometimes, parents will give consequences to kids just for blowing up. We’ve had kids come in to a therapy session and tell us that they’ve lost all of their privileges because they’ve had a tantrum. Let’s say a teen girl slams the door and mutters something under her breath on the way out before going for a walk. When you look at it objectively, a child who’s working on her anger has actually handled it fairly well—going for a walk to cool down. In this situation, you might decide to forego consequences. While every family has different rules about what is allowed and what isn’t, there should be some latitude to allow your child to express anger appropriately. Again, don’t give consequences for feelings, give them for inappropriate behavior.
If it’s appropriate and if your child is old enough—and seems willing to talk about what made them so angry—try sitting down and discussing it. You can say, “You were really mad earlier, but I’m just wondering if that came from you feeling so hurt about what happened at school.” Wait to hear what your child says, and really listen. Don’t interrupt or preach. If they do open up, try asking open-ended questions like, “What do you think you could do to handle it better next time?” Or, “Is there anything I could do that would be helpful to you?”
Most of the time when older kids or teens throw tantrums or lose control, it’s because they have very poor problem-solving skills. They haven’t yet learned to solve their underlying problems in healthy ways, so they scream, break things, and call people names. Problem-solving skills don’t come naturally—they come with practice. Sometimes by talking to your child and finding out what’s going on, you can guide them to those problem-solving tools.
Always ask yourself what you’re aiming for as a parent. What is your end goal? One of our most important jobs is to show them appropriate, healthy ways to behave as we give them some problem-solving tools. It’s not only important to discipline our kids, but also to teach and to guide them. Sometimes lessons don’t require a consequence, but are rather an opportunity to talk and help your child come up with a better way to handle the situation next time.
Dealing with Anger in Children and Teens: Why Is My Child So Angry?
Calm Parenting: Anger Management in Children and Teens
Empowering Parents Podcast: Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher
Kimberly Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner are the co-creators of The ODD Lifeline® for parents of Oppositional, Defiant kids, and Life Over the Influence™, a program that helps families struggling with substance abuse issues (both programs are included in The Total Transformation® Online Package). Kimberly Abraham, LMSW, has worked with children and families for more than 25 years. She specializes in working with teens with behavioral disorders, and has also raised a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, is the mother of four and has been a therapist for 15 years. She works with children and families and has in-depth training in the area of substance abuse. Kim and Marney are also the co-creators of their first children's book, Daisy: The True Story of an Amazing 3-Legged Chinchilla, which teaches the value of embracing differences and was the winner of the 2014 National Indie Excellence Children's Storybook Cover Design Award.
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My 12 year old daughter inherited her father's temper & when things don't go her way, she is quick to get angry & start blaming it on her little sister or me. She will usually start to lash out as well & dig her nails into our arms, slap us, hit us, etc. Most of the time she hits so hard it leaves marks. We even had to her get a lock on her little sister's bedroom door so she had a safe place to escape to!
I have a rare autoimmune disease which leaves me on bedrest most of the time or with an unsteady & weak gait when I do get up. I've lost a lot of my muscle tone from the bed rest & chemo meds I have to take, so Im no match at all for my 12 year who is already my height & just about my same weight too. I did slap her once after she got in my face & mouthed off and she responded by slapping me right back!! I've always been against spanking & this was the first & last time I ever slapped her because obviously all it did was make matters worse.
When she does eventually calm down she'll come in my room balling & tell me how sorry she is & what a bad kid she is & how we probably all hate her because of what she does when she gets mad. She seems very sincere & other than her temper, she's a really good kid believe it or not! Straight A student, never ever gets in trouble at school or anywhere else but home. Most of the time she's a total sweetheart & helps care for me & is very sweet & thoughtful. And her sister & her are BFFs 90% of the time. I just don't know what to do to help her calm down & stop hitting when her temper flares. Im really at a lost bc everything we've tried (like having her hit a pillow instead & counting to 10 with breathing techniques when starting to get upset. etc) only works for a short time. My husband farms during the day, then works 3-11p, so it's usually just me with the girls. My daughter listens to him 100% better than she does me, so it's become a real challenge when he's gone.
Thanks in advance for any help or advice you may have. Im open & willing to try anything that may work! Oh we've also been on a waiting list to get sophia into therapy & family therapy too for over a year now! We're considering trying
online therapy in the meantime because we just really can't wait any longer!
Thank you for reaching out to Empowering Parents. I can hear how distressing your daughter's temper tantrums and outbursts are. It may help to know that the behavior is not uncommon, especially for pre-teens and teens. We have several articles that offer helpful tips for how to response to the behavior in the moment, as well as how to follow up and hold your daughter accountable. You can find those articles here: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/child-behavior-problems/outbursts-temper-tantrums/.
We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
We are two moms with a 6 year old boy. He is incredibly intelligent, and has days of pure joy. He is, unfortunately, very competitive and won’t even play games if there’s a possibility of losing.
He is an only child and has been spoilt, mostly by grandparents, as we’ve been quite strict. When he’s told no, he responds by lifting his hand as if he will hit us (which he used to) or more recently, lifting something to throw at us instead (he has followed through a few times). Consequences don’t seem to bother him. We step away, and he will always come and apologise, we give consequences, which sometimes can provoke another tantrum and sometimes not. Then maybe one hour later, the cycle is repeated when he doesn’t get his way.
Is there anything we can do differently?!
I can understand your distress. We have a great article that offers tips for managing aggressive acting out behavior in young children I think would be helpful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/hitting-biting-and-kicking-how-to-stop-aggressive-behavior-in-young-children/
We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going.
I was married for 5 months, i was pregnant, i loved my husband so much, but he treated me so badly we fought because i have found numerous other texts on his phone from other women, i became so tired of of his womanizing behavior, worrying all the time, and i was always scared when i am not with him . one night he came back drunk, he also came with another lady, when i tried to confront him, he immediately started hitting me and he pushed me out the house and ask me to leave, i was lost and confused, i was stranded that i have to find a help from anywhere then i came across a spell caster with this ( EMAIL; DR.MAC@YAHOO. COM ) who had saved many marriage when i emailed him, he told me what is needed to be done and after 3 days, he restored my marriage, i and my husband came back together as couple again, i am so so so so happy, my marriage was saved….
Hello Good morning
I have 9 year old daughter, I am a single parent for 9 yrs, but now I just married 1 month ago. My daughter love my husband that's not a problem, but then she have a problem sometimes that she easily get angry of some things that we not agreed each other. She went to her rooms pushing the door , and then mad at me. She will talk bad words to me that I hated so much. Makes me cry sometimes. What should I do? Please give me advice. Thank you
Have cue cards ready at hand..in purse..etc but be ready with an appropriate non heated non threatening sounding response of showing empathy..to affirm shes angry then if not to heated ..take for walk or something to get mind away...
Talk later when calm to go over how that debate could have played out better next time...its all about learning ftom the negatives to have more positive outcomes next time
hello I'm a single mother to three children,(18 girl,14 girl, and 10 boy) I guess I should start by saying that I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and I'm trying to make up for them. I love my kids more then life but my 14 and 10 have a lot of problems one is they both have ptsd and adhd, but my 14 also has odd and ocd to and I have had them both in counceling my son for a year now and my daughter for five years now and I'm seeing nothing happen out of it, my son gets so mad at little things and then hits his sisters and all his wants to do is be with me or play games and my daughter just seems to get worse and worse she says bad words all the time, hits , punches walls, cuts sometimes , tells me she hates me, but then she can be so sweet other time. I know what happened in the past has some to do with it. i just at my end with doctors not helping and people telling me to spank them or telling me my kids are going to be those people as a mother or a parent we want our children to be better and have better then us and that's all i want as well but i feel there is no one out there that will help me with this so please if you no anyone or if you know what could help me let me no thank you for taking the time for my family and me
We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and
sharing your story.I hear how much you
want to help your sister, and how concerned you are about your nephew’s
behavior. It may be helpful to look into local resources to help you and your
sister develop a plan for addressing these issues. The http://www.211.org/ is a referral service
available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the
types of support services available in your area such as counselors, legal
assistance, support groups as well as various other resources. You can reach
the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222. We wish you the best going forward.
Really tough place to be.
I feel your daughter might be struggling with establishing her control. This is a common reaction when we don't have control. Also she might be struggling with self esteem.
Did something change recently?
I don't have solution. Assertiveness, Lov, support and telling her that she should voice her emotions so that you both can work through it.
Help her channel her frustration into an art or craft or outdoor activity.
Be there for her
I hear how
concerned you are about your daughter, and how much you want to stop these
outbursts as well. Many parents struggle with how to effectively respond
to this type of behavior, so you are not alone. It’s actually not
uncommon for young children to act out aggressively, because they tend to have
a low tolerance for frustration, poor self-control and few appropriate coping
skills to use when they become upset. This doesn’t mean that you cannot
address it, though. When she starts becoming upset, I encourage you to
direct her toward a calming activity, as described in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-handle-temper-tantrums-coaching-kids-to-calm-down/. Another article
which you might find helpful in addressing your daughter’s behavior is https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/hitting-biting-and-kicking-how-to-stop-aggressive-behavior-in-young-children/.
I understand how challenging this type of behavior can be, and I hope you will
write back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
I have a 16 yr old girl who has a boyfriend 15 yrs old I allowed her to meet him 2 days a week and that went ok since going back to school she had become extremely difficult and very disrespectful to both her parents to the extent she would not go to school the other day She will not do anything I ask her for example clean her room or empty the dishwasher that is all I ask her to do but she will not lift a finger I am at the moment constantly dealing with her outbursts which are full of rage when she doesn't get her own way
I am turely heartbroken at the moment and myself and her dad have now become as enraged as she is which is causing a lot is sadness and upset in her home
My 13yr old son is finding the whole situation upsetting and asks his sister to stop behaving so disrespectful and demanding
We are all absolutely exhausted from her behaviour and don't know what to do
I am sorry your are facing such
challenging behavior from your daughter. You are not alone in dealing with
defiant and disrespectful behaviors. Many parents are dealing with this as
well, and I am glad you are reaching out for support. Like the above article
mentions, do your best to control your reactions to your daughter’s
inappropriate behaviors. Getting angry will only create a power struggle and
escalate her acting out behaviors. Another article you may find helpful that
discusses how to avoid power struggles, is James Lehman’s article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/avoiding-power-struggles-with-defiant-children-declaring-victory-is-easier-than-you-think/ Let us know if you find this article helpful in addressing your
concerns. We wish you and your family the best as you continue to work through
this. Take care.
Thank you for your question, and for your interest in our
site. At this time, we are currently publishing our materials only in
English. Please let us know if you have additional questions. Take
I’m so sorry to hear
about all that you have been through with your son. I hear how much you
have tried to help your son over the years, and how much you care about
him. I can also understand your feeling unsafe having him in the house
alone with you, and it doesn’t mean that you are https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/am-i-a-bad-parent-how-to-let-go-of-parenting-guilt/. In fact, setting clear boundaries for kids, and following
through on enforcing these limits, are all part of being an effective
parent. At this point, it could be useful to work with local resources if
you are not already doing so, such as a family counselor, support groups and
others, to help you figure out your options as you move forward with your
son. For assistance locating these supports in your area, try contacting
the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222. I
recognize what a difficult situation this must be for you, and I wish you all
the best moving forward. Take care.
I speak with many
parents who feel confused, hurt and lost when their child behaves abusively
toward them; you are not alone. Calling the authorities is an option
available to you, and ultimately, it is a personal choice which every parent
must make for themselves. Something that can be helpful if you are
considering contacting the police is to call on the non-emergency line during a
calm time, and talk about what is going on, and what you could expect from them
if you did call after your daughter hits you. We have a free downloadable
worksheet which can help to guide this conversation; you can get a copy by
In addition, you might find more guidance in our article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/signs-of-parental-abuse-what-to-do-when-your-child-or-teen-hits-you/. I
recognize what a difficult situation this must be for you, and I wish you all
the best. Take care.
It sounds like you
are witnessing several challenging behaviors from your son, and it’s
understandable that you might be feeling overwhelmed. In addition, almost
everyone has lost their temper at some point, and made statements in anger that
they would not have otherwise made. I can hear how determined you are to
changing things in your home, and it’s a great sign that you are reaching out
for support. Something that can be useful is to prioritize the issues you
are experiencing, and only focusing on one or two at a time. This way,
you can be more consistent and in control when you are addressing these
situations. Sara Bean offers more tips in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/in-over-your-head-how-to-improve-your-childs-behavior-and-regain-control-as-a-parent/. I recognize how difficult this must be for you and your
family, and I wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.
I am sorry to hear of your year-long separation from your
son, and your desire to “make up for lost time” is quite understandable.
Many parents in similar situations want to have a positive, happy relationship
with their child after time spent apart. At the same time, it’s important
to keep in mind that kids also need structure, clear limits, and discipline in
order to thrive. Something that could be helpful might be to seek out
local resources, such as a counselor or a support group, which can assist you
in developing a plan which balances both building a positive relationship with
your son while also setting up structure for him. For assistance locating
services available in your community, try contacting the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222. I
recognize how difficult this must be for you and your family, and I wish you
all the best as you continue to move forward. Take care.
Thank you for
reaching out for support. I hear how much you regret your actions, and
want to repair your relationship with your son. Ultimately, though, the
decision about whether to trust you or forgive you is really up to your
son. What you have control over are your own actions, and working on ways
to address your own aggression in the future. You might find some helpful
information in our articles https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/losing-your-temper-with-your-child-8-steps-to-help-you-stay-in-control/ and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/calm-parenting-how-to-get-control-when-your-child-is-making-you-angry/. Sometimes,
it can also be useful to work with someone locally to help you develop more
effective parenting strategies. If you might be interested in this, try
contacting http://www.familylives.org.uk/ at 0808
800 2222 for resources in your area. I wish you all the best moving
forward. Take care.
It can feel very
challenging when you have a child with a short temper; you are not alone.
We hear from many parents who want help addressing their child’s anger, as well
as help teaching them how to express these emotions in an appropriate
way. I encourage you to check out some of our other articles, blogs, and
other resources which address this topic. Here are a few you can start
and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-find-the-behavioral-triggers-that-set-your-kid-off/. Please be sure
to let us know if you have any additional questions. Take care.
Last night I shoved my five-year-old son. I didn’t realize until then
that my anger was such a problem. I get so angry when my children don’t listen to me
(which seems to happen more and more often). I work a lot, and it seems like when I
finally get to see them, they don’t like me. But I don’t want to hurt them! Please help me
find a way to control my anger so that I can be a good parent.
How can i change the chain of behaviors to keep it from leading to shoving? how to use pauses to break a chain...Please help me out
struggle with anger, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support as
you seek to change how you respond when you experience this emotion. You make a
great point that one strategy is to look at the pattern of behavior, and make
changes in your response when you become triggered. Debbie Pincus offers
some tips on how to do this in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/calm-parenting-how-to-get-control-when-your-child-is-making-you-angry/.
Another article you might find helpful is https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/losing-your-temper-with-your-child-8-steps-to-help-you-stay-in-control/.
Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Take care.
I hear you. It can be distressing when your child seems so
out of control. There are
things you can do to help your son learn more effective coping skills. For
example, you can sit down with him at a calm
time and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/ more appropriate ways your son can handle his anger and frustration.
The article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-handle-temper-tantrums-coaching-kids-to-calm-down/ offers more tips. I
hope you find this information useful. Be sure to check back if you have any
further questions. Take care.
The article doesn't say what to do when your adult child (mine's 21 & at home) has tantrums *every day,* every time his behavior is questioned (in any way), and any time he has something mildly demanding (like a test or fatigue while grocery shopping with me). If I remove myself because he's having a tantrum, I will wind up never speaking to him about what *must*change...
Once, when I knew he was trying to do better, he had a meltdown/tantrum and destroyed another door at my house. Though I called police for door #1, I was lenient on door #2 because he'd tried hard all week (so rare, I didn't want him to quit).
I'm not a parent terrified of making my son grow up. We had extraordinary circumstances: after having him, I got a crippling autoimmune condition for which I needed chemo. By the time he was in gradeschool, my husband had cancer (at age 44). When we were struggling to both parent him and survive, he began exhibiting a selfish attitude that got worse each year. By the time my husband's cancer was terminal, family and friends avoided us. Our son was known to act out. My husband and I never called each other foul names, but had to hear our own son yelling at us and refusing to even set the table...
My husband finally died of the cancer. He had fought it well, so long as he wasn't stressed but our son yelling at us in our own home was too much of a blow. By highschool, he made ways to argue with us so much that my husband was giving up. If asked him to make a snack for his dad, he'd "forget" and play chess on computer for hours. My husband would ask him if he cared, because he had no emotions about the his death, but my son would never say "I care." On his death bed, my son verbally abused me, saying he "laughed at *my*disability." It was 3AM and I called police for the 1st time...
Five years since losing the love of my life, my disability is affecting my lungs due to dust I cannot control. A court had ordered my son to help with cleaning after one of 2 arrests for abuse (of me). He promises to, but then doesn't: clean, water the grass, mow, be respectful, and hundreds of other promises nobody asked him to make.
I thought the court was going to evict him when he failed to meet any requirements. I am so physically stressed that taking him to court seems impossible, as does cleaning the house with bone disease, or going out in the sun with lupus. He insists on living here and I treat him nicely in between his tantrums. The state cannot help me live alone (if I die of stroke, heart attack, or breathing issues, nobody will know!).
There's no question that if my husband had lived and I were well, our son would have been *forced* to leave 4 years ago!! His first probation officer told him,"you have been taking advantage of very ill parents to bully them and get your way." He causes me profound misery. Along with losing the love of my life, he has attacked my friends verbally and made the house so messy that it is *unhealthy*. I'm isolated all the time. How can I get free when I have nobody left? I was a professional singer, but now I'm on disability.
Many parents ask themselves the same thing – where does my
child’s anger come from? While the answer to this question would give you more
information, the real issue at hand isn’t your daughter’s anger, it’s how she’s
choosing to deal with that anger. It can be helpful to recognize that anger is
a normal emotion, one that we all experience. One of the more effective ways of
addressing this issue is having problem solving conversations, as Sara Bean
explains in her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/. The
fact that your daughter is able to handle her anger appropriately outside of
your home is a good thing, actually. It shows that she has learned the necessary
skills for dealing with situations she finds upsetting or disappointing. Now
it’s just a matter of helping her use those same skills when she’s at home.
Another article that may be helpful for your situation is https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/angel-child-or-devil-child-when-kids-save-their-bad-behavior-for-you/. We
appreciate you writing in and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.
HI, I AM A GRANDMOTHER SITTING IN A SITUATION THAT I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH. MY SON AND HIS WIFE WERE DIVORCED 4 YEARS AGO. EVERYTHING SEEMED NORMAL UNTIL HE REMARRIED. HE LIVES 350KM AWAY AND COMES AND FETCHES HIS 7 YEAR OLD EVERY 2 WEEKS FOR WEEKEND VISITS. ALL LOOK WELL, UNTIL THE END OF LAST YEAR, ALL OF A SUDDEN HE DOES NOT WANT TO GO TO HIS FATHER ANYMORE. WHEN ASKED WHY HE SAYS HE DOES NOT LIKE HIS STEP MOTHER AND STEP SISTERS, BECAUSE THEY SWEAR, AND BECAUSE HIS STEPMOTHER POURED A GLASS OF WINE OVER HIS HEAD WHILST IN THE SWIMMING POOL. HIS FATHER WAS IN TEARS BEGGING HIM TO JUST GO WITH HIM FOR THE 2 DAYS, WHICH HE STUBBORNLY REFUSED. BECAUSE WE (HIS GRANDPARENTS) AND MOTHER LIVE IN THE SAME TOWN, HIS GRANDFATHER FETCHES HIM FROM SCHOOL BETWEEN 3 AND 4 AND THEN HIS MOTHER FETCHES HIM AT 6 IN THE EVENING WHEN SHE COMES FROM WORK. HIS GRANDFATHER THREATENED NOT TO GO AND FETCH HIM IF HE DOES NOT WANT TO GO WITH HIS FATHER, BUT HE REMAINS ADAMANT, HE DOES NOT WANT TO GO.
HIS MOTHER HAS BI-POLER, ADHD, ANY KINDS OF MENTAL DEPRESSION, SHE IS ONE ABOUT 6 DIFFERENT ANTI-DEPRESSANTS, AND RITELIN, SHE ABUSES PAIN TABLETS, etc. SHE HAS HAD THIS CHILD TO 4 PSYCHOLOGISTS ALREADY, THE LAST ONE SAID HE WAS DEPRESSED AND UN HUAPPY.
ANY ADVICE? I FEEL MANIPULATED, AND HIS GRANDFATHER SAYS THERE ARE DEEPER THINGS BOTHERING HIM. I FEEL HE IS ACTING AS A BRAT, AND HIS FATHER SAYS HE WILL WRITE HIM OFF, I REALLY AM CAUGHT BETWEEN A BRICK AND A HARD PLACE, ALL ADVICE VERY WELCOME.
What a stressful situation. I can understand why you feel
caught in the middle by all of this. It might be helpful to focus on what you
can control, namely how you respond to your grandson’s behavior when he’s with
you. Unfortunately, there’s probably not much you’re going to be able to do in
regards to whether or not your grandson goes to visit his father or not. That’s
something his mother and father will have to sort out. This doesn’t mean you
have to deal with the situation on your own. It may be helpful to look into
local supports who would be able to offer you help and guidance with this
troubling situation. The 211 Helpline would be able to offer you information on
resources such as kinship support groups, grandparent support groups, family
and individual counselors. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling
1-800-273-6222 or by going online to 211.org. In the meantime, you might find
the article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/grandparents-and-parents-disagreeing-11-tips-for-both-of-you/. We appreciate you writing
in. Best of luck to you and your family moving forward. Take care.
You bring up an interesting situation. Truthfully, it’s not
the anger that’s the issue so much as how he might be choosing to deal with his
anger. You may find focusing on your son’s behaviors as opposed to the possible
emotions behind the behavior to be an effective approach for dealing with this
situation. As James Lehman reminds us in the Total Transformation program, a
child can’t really feel his way to better behavior. He can, however, behave his
way to better feelings. We have a full library of articles that offer helpful
tips and techniques for dealing with many different behaviors. One in particular you may find helpful is https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/angry-child-fix-the-behavior-not-the-feelings/. We appreciate you
writing in. Take care.
@Mother of boys
It can be concerning as a parent when your child’s anger has
a negative impact on his interaction with others. It’s not uncommon for kids
this age to lack appropriate responses in social situations. As James Lehman
explains in the article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/good-behavior-is-not-magic-its-a-skill-the-3-skills-every-child-needs-for-good-behavior/, reading social cues and managing emotions are two very important
skills a child needs to develop in order to get along with others. The most
productive way to help your son develop these skills is by having problem
solving conversations with him. Sara Bean explains how to have these types of
conversations in her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/. I hope
you find the information in these articles useful. Be sure to check back if you
have any further questions. Take care.
I am sorry you have had to deal with so much hardship over the past few years.
The death of your older son must have been traumatic for everyone. I am sorry
for your loss. At this point, your son is an adult. And, as you no doubt
recognize, parenting an adult child is very different than parenting a minor
child. You are no longer responsible for providing any type of support for your
son and any support you do give him is a choice. It’s now up to you to
determine where your limits and boundaries are, as well as what you will do
when those boundaries are crossed. There are certain responsibilities that go
along with being an adult and him not wanting to meet those responsibilities
isn’t going to change that. It is going to be important to develop a living
agreement with your son, that outlines what expectations you have for him as
well as what will happen if those expectations are not met. You can find
information for how to develop and implement a living agreement in the articles
https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-your-adult-child-how-to-set-up-a-mutual-living-agreement/. I encourage you
to check these article out as I think you will find the information useful for
your situation. Best of luck to you and your family moving forward. Take care.
This sounds like a tough situation. Unfortunately, calling
the police isn’t always a viable option. From what you have written, it sounds
like your son’s anger often escalates and makes for an unsafe situation for him
and those around him. It may be helpful to reach out to your local crisis
response and talk with someone about developing a safety plan for you and the
other members of your family. As James Lehman explains in the article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-lost-children-when-behavior-problems-traumatize-siblings/, safety is the
number one priority and having a safety plan you can implement may help you
gain some control in what may seem like an uncontrollable situation. The 211
Helpline can give you information on crisis response services in your area. You can reach the
Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto http://www.211.org/. We wish you and your family the best of
luck moving forward. Take care.
How do you handle a l5 year old boy, that puts his fist through doors, damages the care, spits in his mothers face, calls her all kinds
of nasty names, like b@#$% and the F word is in every sentence and it keeps getting worst, I'm afraid it just get physical. This is a
single mom and I'm at the end of the rope, I love and hate him, but I feel he has crossed the line. Any help would be great. Bernie
I am so sorry to hear you are dealing with such defiant and
destructive behaviors. Any parent would feel overwhelmed in this situation.
Unfortunately, there are times when your authority as a parent isn’t enough to
hold your child accountable or help him change his behavior, as James Lehman
explains in the article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/is-it-time-to-call-the-police-on-your-child-assaultive-behavior-verbal-or-physical-abuse-drugs-and-crime/. Not every parent is willing to call the
police when their child is being abusive however. If this is the case for you,
you might consider contacting your local crisis response the next time your
son’s behavior causes a safety issue for you or another family member. We wish
you and your family the best of luck moving forward. Take care.
It can be so distressing when your teenager swears and is
verbally disrespectful to you. Disconnecting and walking away as you’ve done is
usually an effective response to that behavior. Because your son has a Spectrum
Disorder, we are limited in the coaching and advice we are able to offer. Since
there can be great variability in how a Spectrum Disorder presents, it would be
more productive to work with someone who is familiar with your son. I would
check in with his counselor or treatment team about other possible approaches
you could use. Good luck to you and your son moving forward. Take care.
Help. My relationship with my 11year old granddaughter went from being attached to my hip to her ignoring me. For the past 8yrs my husband and I have lived in close proximity becoming "snowbird grandparents". We live here 6 months out of the year and bought this house to be near them(she has a 7year old brother). Up until this year, she and I had a great relationship. We played restaurant, hotel, doctor's office. I taught her to cook and bake. She loved to have cooking demos for family. We went to the library and read books together. She always wanted sleep overs which her brother also participated in together. Everyone commented and admired our relationship. This year, she hardly gives me eye contact, barely speaks or says hello unless prompted by her parents, answers me with brusk yeses or nos, and makes it clear I am to stay away. Her other Gram is a full time resident in the neighborhood and does not get this behavior from her.
Needless to say, I'm hurt, depressed, and don't know how to handle this situation. I tried being normal with her but she just ignores me. Now I stay away because I'm hurt and don't know how to handle the situation. I had all boys to raise and this is new to me. My husband and I are considering selling our house and go back to our primaty residence and six other grandchildren in another State.
It can hurt so much
when your relationship with a child goes from being very close, to barely
communicating with each other. This type of behavior change is actually
quite common in kids your granddaughter’s age, as she is heading toward
adolescence and forming her own identity. James Lehman offers some
helpful tips on how to move forward in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/sudden-behavior-changes-in-children-part-ii-7-things-you-can-do-today/. I
understand how difficult this must be for you, and I appreciate your writing
in. Take care.
I'm looking at this page for guidance as my relationship with my very intelligent 6 year old has been torn. Filling a separation and meeting someone with 2 young children my daughter is experiencing a lot of issues. I am working well on identifying her needs and taking a step back in my new relationship to focus and I build on a positive loving relationship with my daughter. The filling facts are what I believe is the problem
• new partner has 2 children one being 5 the other 1, there mother passed away early last year and I feel she is getting jelous and feeling threatend.
•spending time at her fathers home sat night and wed night. She is angry at me for spending time with my partner without her, I have as a temp created more time to spend with my daughter to rebuild closeness one on one. How do I manage her feelings when she is angry about my new relationship and is jelous of the other children.
• we are working on a positiveelstionship with my partner as she has shown signs of wanting his attention. Again if she is difient rude and disrespectful how do I resolve this?
I have started asking a lot of open ended queastions and discussed why she is feeling angry and mainly it proves down to jealousy and feeling left out and that she has lost her mum to someone eles. This I repeat to her is not true and I explain to her the situation. I feel very strongly about helping her and so desperately want our relationship back :( my daughters attitude has completely changed she is very negative and kicks of immediately when things dnt go get way. Resulting in friends and family not spending time with us due to her behaviour. Please help :) X Thankyou
I can hear how much you want to help your daughter through
this transition. It’s not unusual to see changes in achild’s
behavior when there are adjustments made to the family dynamics. This is
especially true for young children such as your daughter. We have several
articles that focus on the challenges a blended family may face. Two in
particular you may find helpful are https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/blended-family-the-5-secrets-of-effective-stepparenting/ and https://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/blended-family-stress-10-tips-to-help-make-blended-families-successful/ I
hope you find these articles useful for your situation. Be sure to check back
and let us know how things are going. Take care.
I understand your concern. It can be so tough as a parent to
watch your child struggle with relationships and social interactions. Kids with
Spectrum disorders may struggle more than their peers when it comes to social
skill development. Unfortunately, there’s no way of determining whether or not
your daughter will be happy in the future. It may be more productive to focus
on what you can do to help her develop the skills to be a successful adult. It
may be helpful to find a counselor or therapist who specializes in Spectrum
disorders to work with your daughter to help her develop these important
skills. It might also be beneficial to develop a self care plan you can
implement at times when you become overly worried about what the future holds.
A self care plan can include anything you would like – meeting with a friend
for coffee, going for a walk or doing another activity you enjoy. There is a
resource available in the UK that may be able to offer you some support as
well, http://www.familylives.org.uk/. I
encourage you to check out the site to see what they have to offer you and your
family. We appreciate you writing in and wish you the best of luck moving
forward. Take care.
What do you do add a single mother fearful of you do something as a consequence thongs will get worse. Or when your older 17 year old is abusive to his 15 year old brother and you've called the police several times that now it does not do any good just Make things worse. He is ADHD, and has sever anxiety as well as other mid disorders. At times I clam up inside when he's home at times lay on what to do.
I am fortunate that my children DO talk to me and tell me almost everything, but when these out breaks of anger a cure I feel completely alone and afraid. I clan up and go silent. I don't want things to be worse for hours siblings or myself. There have been times I've even told his siblings lock your bedroom door. I just don't know what to do and police don't do anything.
It can be so upsetting when your child’s behavior is so
extreme you fear for his safety and the safety of others. I can hear the
concern you have. Generally speaking, we don’t recommend trying to manage an
acting out child by physically restraining him unless directed to do so by his
doctor or other health professional. Physically restraining a child who is
already in an escalated state can result in an unsafe situation. For the most
part, disengaging may prove to be the most effective way of not giving your
son’s acting out behavior undue attention. At 7, your son has limited skills for
dealing with the frustration and upset he may be feeling. You can help this
process along by talking with your son at a calm time about ways he can deal
with his frustration more appropriately. Sara Bean gives tips for doing this in
her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-handle-temper-tantrums-coaching-kids-to-calm-down/ . It may be
necessary to put away any breakable items that can’t be replaced until your son
learns more effective coping skills. I hope you find this information useful.
Be sure to check back and let us know if you have any further questions. Take
You bring up a question we hear often as Empowering Parents
coaches. I can understand wanting to step in and keep your daughter from either
hurting herself or destroying things/hurting others. It has been my experience
that, unless instructed to do so by a medical or mental health professional,
trying to physically manage an acting out child can actually cause the
situation to escalate to an unsafe place. Instead, you might try removing the
audience to the behavior by having everyone else leave when your daughter
starts to escalate. For more information on what steps you can take to manage
this distressing behavior, you can check out this article by Dr. Joan Simeo
Munson: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/hitting-biting-and-kicking-how-to-stop-aggressive-behavior-in-young-children/. We
appreciate you writing in and sharing your story. Take care.
You ask a question we hear often from parents. It can be
tough to be an effective role model when you may not have effective coping or
problem solving skills yourself. We have many articles that offer great tips on
how to develop more effective parenting skills. Two in particular you may find
helpful are https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-stop-yelling-at-your-kids-use-these-10-tips/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/calm-parenting-how-to-get-control-when-your-child-is-making-you-angry/. We
appreciate you writing in. Be sure to check back if you have any further
questions. Take care.
What a tough situation. It’s not uncommon for underlying
issues such as bi-polar disorder or other mood disorders to have a negative
impact on a teens behavior and choices. Because your stepdaughter does have a
diagnosis, it most likely would be beneficial to find out what types of local
supports are available to help your stepdaughter and family. Having someone who
is able to work with your family directly would probably be the best course of
action for addressing these behaviors. The 211 Helpline is a nationwide
referral service that can give you information on counselors, therapists,
resident treatment programs, and other community supports. You can reach the
Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by visiting them online at
http://www.211.org/. We wish you and your family the best
of luck moving forward. Take care.
You ask a great question. First, I would talk with his
neurologist to find out if s/he has any suggestions for ways of helping your
son develop better skills for school related work and impulse control. It’s
also going to be beneficial to let school handle any necessary consequences for
behavior that happens at school. What you can do is sit down with your son at a
calm time and talk about the choices he has been making. You can help him
problem solve other choices he could be making in the situations he finds
himself in. As James Lehman explains in his article The 3 Skills Every Child Needs for Good Behavio, effective problem solving skills are something everyone
needs in order to handle situations appropriately. You can check out Sara Bean’s article The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior: “I Can’t Solve Problems”
for more tips on how to have a productive problem solving conversation. Good
luck to you and your son moving forward. Take care.
I am so sorry you are having to deal with such
distressing behavior from your stepdaughter. I’m glad you are looking for some
local supports to help you and your family. The 211 Helpline, a national health
and human services referral service, can give you information on resources in
your community. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling
1-800-273-6222, You can also find them online at http://www.211.org/.
We appreciate you writing in and hope you will check back to let us know how
things are going. Take care.
Anger can be a tough emotion to handle appropriately for
both kids and adults, so you are not alone! The fact that you are
here, reaching out for support and guidance, shows how much you care about your
son, and how hard you are trying to help him find effective ways to work
through strong emotions. Focusing on managing your own responses to anger
can be a great place to start helping your son to learn how to do this as
well. It’s also an opportunity to show your son that while changing one’s
responses when angry can be difficult, there’s always room to change and
grow. We have a few articles on Empowering Parents that you might find
useful to read next: http://www.empoweringparents.com/child-with-add-or-adhd-five-donts-when-your-child-is-angry.php and http://www.empoweringparents.com/How-to-Get-Control-When-Your-Child-is-Making-You-Angry.php.
Please let us know if you have additional questions; take care.
What a tough situation. I’m sorry your daughter uses running
away from home to solve her problems. I can understand the dilemma you face. On
the one hand, your daughter has left home without permission. On the other
hand, you know where she is and you know she is safe. Whether or not to
use supports to bring her home is a choice only you can make. It may come down
to a judgment call based on weighing the pros and cons of each possible action.
I know this is not an easy situation to be in. Good luck to you and your family
moving forward. Take care.
We appreciate you writing in and sharing your story. I am
sorry you are having to deal with such acting out behavior. The behavior you
describe is extremely concerning and goes beyond the scope of advice and
coaching we are able to offer. It’s going to be very important to find supports
in your local community who are able to work directly with your grandson and
your family. The 211 Helpline would be able to give you information on mental
health services and other resources in your area. You can reach the Helpline 24
hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222. You can find them online at http://www.211.org/. It’s also going to be important to
limit any access your grandson may have to pets or other animals.
Unfortunately, just telling him not to do it is not going to be enough to stop
the behavior. From what you have written, it sounds like he cannot be left alone
with animals and would need to be supervised closely whenever there may be an
opportunity where he could harm them. Good luck to you and your family moving
forward. Take care.
It can be so
difficult when a child is well-behaved outside of the home, yet shouts and has
a bad attitude at home. This is not uncommon, and it is actually a good
sign that your son has the skills to obey the rules and follow
directions. Now, it is more a matter of applying those skills to his
behavior at home. Sara Bean discusses this further in her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/angel-child-or-devil-child-when-kids-save-their-bad-behavior-for-you/.
Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Take care.
It can be frustrating when your child shuts down and gives
you the silent treatment when he gets upset or angry. You make a good point
that he may be processing the situation in his head. One thing that may be
helpful is to sit down with him after the incident and problem solve ways he
may be able to handle his anger differently. Something to keep in mind is that
some people are naturally more introverted and may be more comfortable
processing challenging situations on their own. If you would like more information
on problem solving or ways to deal with the silent treatment, you can check out
these articles: The 3 Skills Every Child Needs for Good Behavior & Does Your Child Give You the Silent Treatment? 6 Rules for Getting Kids to Talk.
We appreciate you writing in. Best of luck to you and your family. Take care.
17 can be a really tough age, for both the teen and the
parent. For the teen, there can be a lot of ambivalence – wanting to grow up
and be on her own while also being fearful of what that might look like. She’s
at the age when a child begins to pull away from her parents, and, as James
Lehman points out in his article I Love My Child…But Sometimes I Can’t Stand Him, this can present as
rude, obnoxious, and disrespectful behavior. Unfortunately, the parent is most
often the target for that abuse. Just because her behavior is “normal” it
doesn’t make it OK. It is going to be important to establish some clear limits
and boundaries around what is and is not acceptable. One way of doing this is
by setting the limit and walking away when she starts talking to you
disrespectfully – you can say something like, “It’s not OK to talk to me that
way. I don’t like it” and then go into a different room. You can check out this
article by Carole Banks for more ideas on how you can handle her behavior - Disrespectful Child Behavior? Don’t Take It Personally. Another thing you may find
helpful is developing a self care plan. It sounds like you do have a lot of
support from your family. Family support can certainly make parenting
challenges a bit easier to weather. Many parents also find it helpful to take
some time out of the day to do activities they enjoy. This can help to
revitalize you, which in turn can help you deal with your daughter’s behaviors
more effectively. Most importantly, remember that this won’t last forever. Even
though your daughter may be threatening to never see you again once she’s an
adult, it doesn’t mean that will actually happen. Many of us say things when we
are angry and upset that we don’t really mean. Try not to put too much weight
on the things she says when she is escalated and instead focus on taking care
of yourself. I hope this information is useful. Be sure to check back and let
us know how things are going. Take care.
Great article is there a complimentary one about seven things to do when your
kid is angry?
Great question. While we don’t have a follow up article per
se, we do have several articles that offer suggestions for ways of responding
effectively to an angry child. Two in particular you may find helpful are 8 Steps to Anger Management for Kids & Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen’s Anger.
Hope you find the information in these articles relevant to your situation. Be
sure to check back if you have any further questions. Take care.
I have a 13 year old daughter who is having issues with respect. It is as if nothing matters except her. I get that she is a teen and it's that time in life where you hate your parents and know everything. I was there once I also have a 16 year old that I went through this with. I get it. However I had a baby a year ago. Since that time her behaviors of stealing things, using things with out permission and not caring at all has gotten crazy. I have always been big on feeling how you feel, cry if you need to, be mad and go outside and scream and yell at the trees (we live in the country). I was never aloud to have feelings that my parents didn't approve of then same with my ex, her dad. However having feelings is one thing the behavior as in the article is another. My issue is that she has no respect for other people she has no respect for other people's property and when I punish her for lying or stealing she doesn't care. In the article it says the child has to feel it. I have been unsuccessful finding what she will "feel" when it comes to punishment. I spoke to her counselor looking for guidance but I was told I can't control what she does. I need a new therapist for her I have decided. I am looking into military type school for next year to give her more structure and I have removed everything out of her room , tv, games, computer and phone. She has her bed desk writing instruments and clothing and still nothing. I am lost and I definately acted on emotion and in the moment I knew I shouldn't but I lost it crying and sad and angry. I have gained a lot from this article but if there is any advice for punishments for her behaviors that I haven't tried it would be so helpful.
Thank you for listening to me ramble
We speak with many parents who wonder about
consequences, and what to do to make their child care about their
behavior. It’s helpful to keep in mind that while the goal of
consequences is to hold kids accountable for their behavior, they don’t
actually teach kids what to do differently next time. In order to help
kids change their actions, we encourage parents to include http://www.empoweringparents.com/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior.php with their child about what she can do differently the next
time she finds herself in a similar situation. In terms of holding her
accountable, we find that task-oriented consequences tend to be more effective
in changing behavior than long-term consequences or taking everything
away. You can find more information on this type of consequence in our
article http://www.empoweringparents.com/authoritative-parenting-consequences.php. While ultimately
you cannot control your daughter’s choices, you can control how you choose to
respond to them. I appreciate your writing in about your situation, and I
hope you will write back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
" You can say, “I understand you feel angry; I’m sorry you feel that way.” Then leave it alone until he’s cooled off. If it turns into a temper tantrum where he’s saying foul things, breaking objects or hurting others, then that’s when you want to address the behavior. "
How do you propose addressing this behavior???
Thank you for your question. It
is a common one we hear on the coaching line that many parents are curious
about. Your absolutely right, you do want to address the behavior if it
has turned into frequent outbursts of verbal abuse or destructive behavior.
Like Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner discuss in the above article, your
child is most likely lacking the skills to solve his problem effectively so he
is acting out to try and get what he wants. It is important that the
acting out behaviors do not get power and attention by your responding to them in
the moment. You will want to avoid getting into a power struggle with your
child when he is acting out by removing yourself from the situation and then
follow up when things are calm like Sara Bean talks about in her article http://www.empoweringparents.com/:%20http:/www.empoweringparents.com/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior.php
When you address the behaviors when things are calm and you discuss ways that
he can respond differently, you are helping him to change his behavior for next
time. I hope this helps to answer your question. Please let us know if we can
be of any further help.
Hello i am a 24 year old stepmother and i have trouble letting go, she is 7 years old and she wants everything her way because she always gets her way with her biological mother and grandmothers, she lives with us, my husband does not give in to her commands And she behaves better in our house than everyone elses house, but i am the one babysitting her when my husband goes to work, so i have to study with her and tell her to follow the house rules while her dad is not here, sadly her mother cant take care of her while my husband is working because she "studys" and cant take care of her child when she has errands.
Obviosly she never wants to do what i say, my husband has told her to respect me and behave while she is with me. But I am having so much trouble ignoring the little things she say, and she now has a smart a** attitude she always has something to say, and for everything she has to ask questions, but when its her time to listen and respond our questions she ignores me and i have to talk firmly to her so she will do what she has to, and I understand she will always rather be with her dad than me, But she really expects to get recompensed for her behaviour, I dont know if that is what happends in other houses, but i really need to know what to do when im alone with her And how to Not Lose it! Thank you vey much for your website i have read a fee tips already, but if someone can help me with the situation specifically i would really appreciate it. Thanks.
Thanks for writing in about the challenges you are facing in
helping to raise your stepdaughter. While it is important for you and your
husband to be on the same page regarding the rules in your home, we often
recommend that the biological parent take the lead in enforcing those rules,
and the stepparent to take on a supportive role. Kim Abraham and Marney
Studaker-Cordner talk more about this in their article http://www.empoweringparents.com/5-ways-to-manage-conflict-in-blended-families.php. Once you
and your husband have established the expectations for your stepdaughter’s
behavior, it will be up to you, as the immediate caretaker, to set the limit
and walk away when she starts to test those limits. It can sometimes be a
challenge to http://www.empoweringparents.com/losing-your-temper-with-your-child-8-steps-to-help-you-stay-in-control.php and emotions in those moments, so we recommend finding
something calming that you can do for yourself, such as listening to music,
reading, or even just leaving the room. If your stepdaughter has behaved in a
way that earns a consequence, we recommend that her dad implements that when he
gets home, to prevent you from being put in the middle. Best of luck to you and
your family as you continue to navigate your parenting roles.
I’m sorry to hear you are facing these issues. Conflict between
parents and kids can be difficult to deal with, for everyone involved. I wish I
could offer you some suggestions for things you could do. Unfortunately, since
our website is aimed at helping parents develop more effective parenting
strategies, I’m quite limitedMore in the advice I am able to offer. There is a
website available for teens and young adults you may not be aware of, http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/SitePages/Home.as.... They have many different resources for helping teens who
are facing challenging issues, such as not getting along with parents. They
offer online supports as well as e-mail/text/phone support. There is a tips
page as well that has suggestions for the more common difficulties teens face.
One in particular you may find helpful is http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/sitepages/tips/ti.... Good luck to you moving forward.