How to Deal with a Disrespectful Child?

In this post about disrespectful children, we’ll go over the reasons why some children are disrespectful with their parents and siblings and I’ll give you ways to end this disrespect.

At the bottom of this short guide, we’ll see what to do when disrespectful children are very difficult to communicate with and common parenting techniques aren’t effective anymore.

Disrespectful children – The causes

Disrespectful children are those who break rules that are in place in the family and don’t listen to what they’re told.

Some can be aggressive at times, verbally and/or physically. They are stubborn and don’t accept being punished.

It’s important to understand that there are real reasons behind each bad behavior children can have and disrespectful children have their own reasons not to respect the rules and others.

The reasons are often the following:

They’re not being respected. As children imitate their parents, parents who don’t respect their children have disrespectful children.

Respect is in small things such as consideration, time spent together, the feeling of being listened to, etc.

They don’t know how to express their feelings so their anger/sadness/frustration is expressed by being against their parents’ decisions in the hope they’ll be understood.

Disrespectful children think rules are unfair. They don’t understand the necessity of rules and feel victim of unfair decisions that are perceived as having for sole purpose to annoy them.

Disrespectful children – What to do

In order to communicate with disrespectful children and make them change it’s important to know that respect is a value that has to be taught.

Indeed, parents of disrespectful children often think that their children don’t have to learn the basics of communication and should express their feelings and make an effort to resolve conflicts.

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But everything children do are things that we teach them, sometimes without wanting to (if you use swear words, your child will learn that).

Still, parents of disrespectful children shouldn’t blame themselves and feel guilty. Parenting has to be learned! So it’s normal not to necessarily know what to teach children and how to do so.

Below are ways to manage disrespectful children

Respect your child. We don’t always see our children as we should.

Without noticing it, we can sometimes forget to listen when they talk (really listen), we can interrupt them, not respect their right to privacy (this is important for children, some ask for some privacy when they’re as young as 4 year old and it’s normal!).

We have to keep our promises or not make some, just be more careful to those little things we tend to neglect.

Explain the necessity and reason for the rules you establish. Children have no problem respecting something they understand.

Disrespectful children tend to think rules are created against them, to prevent them from having fun.

Once you explain why you, as a parent, think this or that rule is good for your child and that it is because you care and love your child that you’re implementing such rule, your child will understand what motivates your decision.

It’s very important to discuss rules, even when they’re not negotiable.

Be consistent, do what you say. If you tell your child he’ll be punished but finally give in, your child will remember this and conclude that you don’t really mean what you say.

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He’ll think that he doesn’t gain anything in following the rules and that you give in easily when he throws a tantrum or has a bad behavior.

Always explain to your child that his bad actions have consequences and apply these consequences. As for the punishment, a time-out is enough.

Praise your child’s good behavior. Disrespectful children need to understand they have everything to gain in having a good behavior, respecting their parents and siblings.

It represents an effort for many children as they are sometimes having a hard time managing their own emotions.

That’s why it’s so important to praise direspectful children when they show a respectful behavior, when they make an effort.

You need to tell your child you love him and are proud of him and don’t hesitate to give him privileges.

Disrespectful children who are rewarded for their good behavior quickly see how better their life is when they’re being respectful.

What to do when disrespectful children are “impossible” to manage?

Some children who are being disrespectful for a long time may be hard to manage. Almost impossible!

In this type of situation, it’s very important to act on the situation as early as possible for the main reason that disrespectful children can quickly turn into disrespectful teenagers and you don’t want that.

If parenting tips aren’t always effective in these situations, parenting programs are most of the time.

The thing is, what parents of a disrespectful child desperately need is a consistent and coherent parenting method.