Eye-rolling, shouting, stomping, cursing - the list of disrespectful behaviors goes on. As a mother, it is our duty to correct these actions and teach them the proper way to handle their emotions better. But how?
It is easier said than done.
For one, it's challenging to control your own emotions when your child treats you disrespectfully.
And then you start asking yourself: why is my daughter so mean to her mother?
Add to that the challenge of figuring out what makes them behave the way they do and what affects them outside your home.
While rude behaviors are common in children, it doesn't mean their misbehavior has to remain unchecked. If you're a mother dealing with a disrespectful child, here are proven ways to deal with them properly.
1. Stay calm
It is tempting to get mad and reprimand them about their lack of respect towards you. But in situations like this, remember that you're the parent. You must be mature and not let your emotions get in the way.
Whenever your child shows rude behavior, take a deep breath or count backward from ten, then tell yourself to remain calm and respectful. This will teach your kids better emotional resilience, especially in stressful situations.
You don't have to respond at once if you feel the storm in your mind hasn't calmed down either. You can always talk about what happened when you're both in the right state of mind.
2. Understand where they're coming from
Put yourself in the shoes of your child. Did something negative happen that prompted this behavior? Was there something in their environment that overwhelmed them? Did they want your attention for something?
Since kids are still learning to put their feelings and thoughts into words, they tend to show their feelings through actions. It's up to you as their mother to decode their behavior and help them cope.
3. Acknowledge their feelings
Often, children misbehave because they don't feel heard, so you have to reassure them that you care about their feelings.
When they open up to you, assure them that you understand it's upsetting to finish their playtime when they're still having fun or to do their homework after a day at school.
Whatever happens, don't try to rationalize what they feel. There are no justifications needed when it comes to feelings. Doing that only sends the message that you don't respect their emotions and that what you say is the only thing that matters.
4. Avoid punishments
Every time a parent punishes their child, your child's stress hormone cortisol level rises. Mental health problems are more likely to persist if this occurs frequently and may develop issues such as depression and anxiety in the long run.
5. Teach and learn instead
Talk to your child about the cause of their behavior and how you can deal with it properly after you have calmed down. And when they talk, be sure to listen.
Don't be afraid to open up to your child, too. Explain to them that calling you names hurts your feelings, or admit that you've lost your temper and are also learning to control your emotions. It's easier to build trust and respect with your child when they know it's a two-way street.
During your talk, ease them into discussing the potential consequences of their actions. For instance, tell them that some people may take it the wrong way if they see them rolling their eyes to show their disagreement with a statement or opinion. Talk to your kid with an understanding tone, so they can fully grasp the concept.
A child with disrespectful behaviors is not a sign of failure. Rather, it is an opportunity for you to grow as a mother and raise your child to become a better person.
While every situation is different, there are always three important things to remember in dealing with a disrespectful child: be calm, have empathy, and talk with an open mind.