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Old 02-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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When children are disrespectful....

Help.

My son has developed the thinking lately that he should get what he wants, when he wants it, and if we get in the way of that he can call us names with a bunch of disrespect in his voice and yell at us if he feels that will help.

It's occuring to me that if we don't put a stop to this immediately it can only get worse, right?

I get so mad at him and hurt when he does this and have no idea how to handle it. Ideas, advice?

eta He's 6 in a couple months

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Old 02-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

He is trying to engage you. Don't react at all. Just look at him very deadpan and say something like "I can't hear you when you talk to me that way" and then walk away.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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DD just turned 6 and is doing the same thing. She's spending a ton of time in her room. We also started talking a lot about being a bucket filler. There is a kids bucket filling book. Essentially, we all have buckets and kind things fill our bucket, but rude/inconsiderate things are bucket dippers. DD loves the analogy.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

Getting mad and hurt is giving him both power and guilt.

You don't have to be hurt by it. Be purposeful. "I will not be spoken to like that, you can either talk respectfully, or talk like that in your room"

You wouldn't let the cashier at Starbucks speak to you like that. You'd shut that down right away...because you deserve better. You deserve better from your family too. He does not deserve to speak to others like that, and see that it hurts you. He NEEDS to be shut down, or he's not going to be as happy as he would be living in a respectful home.

The second it starts, put your hand up, and tell him that the discussion is over now.

When he wants to have a polite argument, let him win sometimes...see his point.. say "O.K, son, you make a very good point, and it was done respectfully...so, I will change my mind this time". If he escalates the next time, stop the debate and say "Nope.. this discussion has gotten rude again, now it's over".
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

Awesome, thank you guys.

The other day I'd had enough and sent him to his room. I've told him a couple times that when he talks to us like that he's going to be by himself in his room. Today I spent a bit more time talking with him about it. We also have one of the bucket books so I'll mention that as well!

escapethevillage, thanks for the great idea! I told him he's welcome to talk to us if he has a problem with something we've decided but only with a respecful attitude. It might be helpful to do some "practice" disagreements
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

I think this is very common in 5 year olds. It's like they suddenly realize they aren't little anymore and they think they are our equals. I send mine to their room until they can talk respectfully.

Just to encourage you, I have a 7 year old and 2 5 year olds (twins) right now. My 7 year old was worse about this than my current 5 year olds. It was bad and he spent a lot of time in his room. He would be disrespectful and even throw "tantrums" when he didn't get his way. (Not on the floor like a 2 year old, but tantrums still.) I was floored thinking, "this kid is 5 years old. What is his problem??!!" (Never said that to him, though I admit out of frustration a couple times I said, "5 year olds don't act this way." ) Anyway, he is now 7 and very respectful. He is rarely disrespectful anymore. I now know that 5 year olds can be like this, but we do need to teach them not to be and it can change if we stay on top of it.

Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

I have found our 5 1/2 yr doing that too and find my reaction is what helps/hurts the situation. I need reminders to not let it get to me.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

My 5 year old can do the same thing. I think it definitely is a normal "phase" for this age range. I try very hard to remember that as a child, he isn't fully able to understand the social consequences of being disrespectful. He is still trying to learn these boundaries and he does so by pushing them. He is also still practicing emotional self control so when he doesn't like something I have said or decided, his emotions may still be hard for him to handle.
I will usually warn my son once about his tone or choice of words or "tantrum" like behavior, and after that I simply do not respond whatsoever. I will tell him that when he is ready to speak to me or his Papa in a respectful way then I will be ready to listen. After that, I literally act as though I do not hear him. That usually gets to him pretty quick.
After we have resolved whatever the issue was, I try and take the time (every time) to talk with him. We talk about the idea that we have to treat people the way we want to be treated and about how he might feel if I spoke with him that way and about how our family is a team and it is important to appreciate each other and treat each other with kindness. I do feel like these chats "sink in" and hopefully as he grows he will grow into better behavior. As for now, it is a great Mama excersise in patience and control.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:02 PM   #9
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

Thanks. I did get mad at him today and feel really bad. I didn't handle it very well

Ignoring him when he does this is NOT an option. When he is unhappy Im sure you can hear him from a mile away. He has a voice that hits an awful pitch and carries, and lungs to keep it going for a while. The instant he starts up I just loose all my strength.

So, to the bedroom with him when he's like this from now on. And I'm going to decide now not to feel bad when he has to be in there by himself (which Im sure will help me deal with it better).

Thanks milosmama for you post. Sometimes I think "you're almost SIX, wth are you acting like this for??!", and forget to consider how young he is, and that he still needs me to be patient through the hard stuff while he figures things out.

Im very relieved to know this is an age-typical thing.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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Re: When children are disrespectful....

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainandRedemption View Post
Thanks. I did get mad at him today and feel really bad. I didn't handle it very well

Ignoring him when he does this is NOT an option. When he is unhappy Im sure you can hear him from a mile away. He has a voice that hits an awful pitch and carries, and lungs to keep it going for a while. The instant he starts up I just loose all my strength.

So, to the bedroom with him when he's like this from now on. And I'm going to decide now not to feel bad when he has to be in there by himself (which Im sure will help me deal with it better).

Thanks milosmama for you post. Sometimes I think "you're almost SIX, wth are you acting like this for??!", and forget to consider how young he is, and that he still needs me to be patient through the hard stuff while he figures things out.

Im very relieved to know this is an age-typical thing.
Yes! Good plan! It can be really hard not to give in or compromise just to make that terrible whining cease. And I see many parents give in to demands because being called names is so hurtful they just want to avoid it. But it's totally not worth it.

The best advice I have is to stop your son at the FIRST sign of disrespect. It doesn't even have to be something he says, it could be just his stance or expression. Kids that age naturally wear their attitude. They will cross their arms and glare, and you know exactly what's coming next. So I try to correct the attitude as soon as it appears, however it appears. I've totally given time-outs in response to a 5 year old being mean to a toy car. Why? Because that attitude wasn't going to be limited to the car, and I had no interest in letting it fester until it was unleashed on me.

I also don't end time-out until the attitude has changed. He doesn't have to be happy after time out, but he does need demonstrate a shift in thinking. I don't usually "time" time-outs, I leave it up to the child. Whenever he is ready to treat me with kindness and respect, then he can rejoin the activities. He is allowed to be upset, angry, sad, etc., but he must express those feelings in a respectful manner. That's the deal: I will listen and respond with love and respect, but you must express yourself with love and respect. This protects both of you. No one, not even the world's greatest mother, can be expected to hear demands and abuse and respond with perfect gentleness.

Time outs can be difficult, but remember that the mom he sees after a time out is going to be much nicer than the mom he would see after haranguing her for the same length of time!
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