Parenting is challenging, and dealing appropriately and tactfully with rebellious children- even more so. Yet, as parents, we always strive to do better and raise our children in the best possible way. How we parent our children and react to their behavior is critical in determining how they grow up and behave as adults- and possibly handle their own children.
To help parents with the challenge of handling rebellious children the right way, we brought in the experts. Child experts share essential points for parents to implement when faced with a rebellious child.
Consequences Using the 4R’s
What works with rebellious children is measuring behavior and setting clear boundaries. At Pine Cone Therapies, we believe consequences should be within the 4 R’s: Related, Respectful, Reasonable, and Revealed beforehand.
Related refers to the fact that the result must be linked to the activity.
Respectful means that the consequence should not contain guilt, embarrassment, or pain, and it should be applied with kindness and firmness. It is also considerate of all parties concerned.
Reasonable means that the outcome is reasonable from both a child’s and an adult’s perspectives.
Revealed beforehand means that the consequence should be known to all parties before it is given.
As parents, it’s easy to lose our temper when dealing with rebellious behavior. By sticking to the 4 R’s, we can ensure that our consequences are appropriate.
Measuring behavior and rewarding efforts to improve is a cornerstone of applied behavior analysis (ABA therapy) and what we do at Pine Cone Therapies. All of our decisions in ABA are based on data. Data is used to decide whether a goal has been learned, whether to switch or add new targets and when to change instructional processes in order to achieve more progress.
This data is gathered and then shown graphically. Graphs are visual tools that help us assess where our target behavior has been, where it is now, and where it might go in the future.
As parents, we can reward positive behavior in our rebellious children. Sit down with your child and determine what they want to work on. A point system or token system can help your child see their daily progress in working towards what they want.
Joseph Bolden is an expert at autism therapy and is Executive Director of Pine Cone Therapies, the leading applied behavior analysis provider in Texas.
8 Key Points For Parents
- Punishing them will not work if you do not give a fair punishment, and they understand.
- Give them consequences instead, such as no TV for a week or video games for a day, but make sure you follow through with the consequence every time it is mentioned.
- Be respectful to them even though they are disrespectful towards you. If you respond with more disrespect, it will not solve anything.
- Do not be afraid to discipline your child now and then because children need rules to grow up properly.
- You can do this by teaching positive ways to handle situations instead of just punishing them.
- Do not tell other parents that your child misbehaved the day before because the child will get embarrassed and could become anxious or depressed.
- Try taking away privileges for a while, so they know how it feels to have something taken away from them. This could be grounding them or taking away certain things.
- Try not to punish them too often, because they might do it on purpose, so you will punish them and play with your emotions.
Mo Mulla, Founder Parental Questions
Find The Root of the Child’s Angst
Children who are rebellious are often very creative but frustrated in some way. First and foremost, you need to find the root of the child’s angst. Sometimes it can be a very serious condition that will require professional assistance; at other times, the child may just be bored or coping with a temporary challenge. It is imperative to find healthy outlets to channel a rebellious child’s energy.
It’s the children who are nonconformists who grow up to lead companies and change the world. Help your child use their power for good and not for evil.
Marie Sarantakis, Esq. Parenting Coordinator, Child Representative, and Family Law Attorney
Deal With the Problem and Not With the Person
Often, I have seen my friends and colleagues personally attack their rebellious child’s character instead of dealing with the problems they face. This can be the worst way to handle a child who is already not seeing eye to eye with their parents.
For example, if you have caught your child lying, do not taunt them about it and repeatedly refer to them as a liar. It can probe them to adopt the habit permanently and make everyone else around them suffer as well. Children need to be dealt with with patience and maturity, and it can often be the difference between a well-behaved child and a rebellious one.
Elizabeth Hicks Co-Founder of Parenting Nerd
Handling a rebellious child is a tougher challenge than one can imagine. You, as a guardian, can never lose your temper around them while they never listen to you. Here’s what I think can help you at this job:
Don’t Be a Dictator
Parents often believe themselves to be the dictators of their children’s lives and do not want to be questioned on that authority. But what you need to understand is that dictatorship only drives you away from your children on an emotional level and has even adverse effects if you have a rebellious child.
As a dictator, you will always be on the opposing side of the ring for your child, but you need to find a way to be their cornerman. You can only do that by showing them you are both on the same side. So, instead of commanding your child, always show empathy and talk like you are giving suggestions instead. Anything you do that triggers your child’s rebelliousness and anger should be avoided.
For example, instead of saying, “You need to go pick up your toys!” you can say, “Hey, let’s go together and pack your toys before we watch your favorite cartoons”. You will see their behavior changing, and they will learn to be more compassionate about actions instead of being resilient.
Pareen Sehat, a Registered Clinical Counselor & Certified Mental Health Professional Well Beings Counselling
Keep your Child’s Age in Mind
You might want to adhere to an approach that correlates with your child’s age. While a young toddler would require you to make use of simple and neutral sentences such as I see you are upset over not getting another chocolate, but we can’t throw our toys, adolescent kids might be more understanding with a candid and deep talk about feelings.
Model Correct Behaviour
If you want your child to stop throwing tantrums, you might want to stop yelling and shouting at them yourself. Model the right way to express feelings of frustration. This can be done by sitting your child down and counting till ten or practicing deep breathing to create a calmer environment to express emotions.
Don’t Be Excessively Controlling
An Authoritarian parenting style where you control each of your child’s decisions and choices might push your child to act out more often. It is important to leverage a little freedom appropriate for their age as long as they aren’t doing anything dangerous.
While, with older children, you might want to draw fair boundaries of deadlines to be back at home, with younger kids, simple decisions of what they would like to eat for breakfast could create the difference.
Update Your Boundaries
Readjust your boundaries if they are too strict and establish them well if they are too lenient. However, stay consistent with certain guidelines and beware of trying to micromanage everything.
Sometimes, the reason for your child’s rage could be physiological such as lack of proper sleep or food, or psychological, such as bullying, marital violence, and sexual assault, etc.
Try to recognize and understand these underlying conditions. Take proper actions to rectify it and give your child the help they deserve.
Shagoon Maurya, Founder of ursafespace.com As a practicing counseling psychologist and psychotherapist, Shagoon helps people overcome their mental, emotional and psychological challenges in their daily lives.
First: Calmness and Communication
Calmness and communication is an excellent way to solve the deadlock problem temporarily. Only when you and your child calm down can you communicate well.
Second: Respect and Trust
Respecting and trusting children is one of the most important ways to prevent children’s rebellious behavior. Respect, trust, or the basic skills of being and getting along with others, is the basis for establishing an excellent parent-child relationship between parents and children. And the premise.
- If parents want to respect their children, don’t oppress them.
- Think about the reason for the conflict; if the parents are wrong, they must apologize to the child; if the child is wrong- be patient.
- Don’t criticize and educate him; respect the child in public. Allow them to save face in front of their classmates.
- Respect the child’s resistance or rebuttal, and even appreciate his opinions and praise his independent thinking.
- Trust the child, especially when the child has shortcomings, as long as the parents have complete trust in them; the child will have enough confidence and courage to correct mistakes and have enough confidence and strength to do what he thinks can be done well.
Third: Understanding and Tolerance
Understanding and tolerance with children are the most direct manifestation of parents’ love for their children. It can shape a child’s powerful inner spiritual world and is the most crucial step to changing their rebellious behavior.
Understand the child’s mind;
Tolerate the child’s shortcomings;
Respect the child’s personality, and discuss the solution to the problem with him;
Trust the child’s good ideas and practices, and point out the problem at the same time;
Understand the child’s current mood, and believe that he will make efforts;
Fundamentally change the status quo; tolerate children’s faults when parents face difficulties and setbacks with them, so they can bravely take every step of life.
Abby, Tech Head of Marketing-China Cloom