How To Handle A Child Who Argues With You?

In an earlier time, it was believed that children were to be seen and not heard.

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having your child argue with you, you may find yourself experiencing a bit of nostalgia for those days.

You need to meet three criteria if you are going to put an end to your child arguing with you or talking back to you:child argue

  1. You need to be willing to hear what the child has to say.
  2. You need to be willing to consider whether or not your child has a valid point, and whether or not you may have made a decision or rule that upon reflection was not a good one.
  3. You need to be willing to follow through. This means changing a decision that should be changed, or holding firm if your original decision was appropriate, regardless of how much your child complaints.

Sometimes arguing is harder to spot because it can take different forms. For example, your child may make the same request again and again, or may ask each parent the same question hoping for a different answer.

If your child does this, you should not give in to repeating your answer, and for heaven’s sake, do not change your mind in response to repeated demands.

You need to only give your answer one time; if you continue to give your answer and engage your child in a dialogue about your decision, then he or she has hope that the matter is open for discussion and will continue to repeat their request.

Giving in to a demand made multiple times only teaches your child that they can get what they want from you if they are willing to ask long enough.

Complaining is another way of arguing. If a child is not happy with your decision, they may make their displeasure clear by complaining and muttering under their breath while carrying out their assigned task.

If your child is rude or becomes disrespectful, then you should address that bad behavior. General complaints, however, may just be ignored. As with multiple requests, when your child learns that complaining won’t result in the desired change, he will stop complaining.

Another way to avoid arguments is to have a process to discuss decisions that involves having clear rules and understandings.

As long as your child knows you are willing to hear their complaint and honestly consider what they have to say, they will be less likely to argue. Here are some rules for having a discussion with your child, or really, with anyone.

  1. The sound level of the discussion must remain at normal levels. No yelling or screaming or raised voices.
  2. People should be treated with respect. This means no name calling, no sarcasm, no little jabs.
  3. Everyone should get a chance to express their opinion.
  4. When the parent declares the topic at an end, then the discussion ends. Again, this is more likely to be a satisfying conclusion if your child feels he or she has been heard and their opinions respected.

Another way to preempt an argument is to offer your child a choice. Your child may not like the choices offered, but giving them a choice between alternatives that are acceptable to you empowers them.


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