Quirky remarks and downright rude replies from a child may be difficult to handle. They might not understand that you only want the best for them and they might act out by making hurtful comments or angry retorts. To make sure you remain calm and the situation does not get out of hand, here are a few ways according to Parenting Simply, to placate your child and reason with them.
Response #1: “Excuse Me?”
Remember to not shout right away when facing a difficult child who is hell-bent on trying to get a response from you. Simply ask, “Excuse me?” firmly with a stoic expression but in a gentle tone to send across the message that your child is very close to the boundary and rhetorically ask them to step back and do not cross it. If not, there would be consequences.
Response #2: “You sound upset and angry.”
Validating their feelings make them feel heard and once they feel like they have gotten your support, they would usually back down and not feel so threatened anymore. As the proverb goes, “Do not fight fire with fire.” This will help to simmer down the tension and resolve the issue instead of making it more complicated.
Response #3: “Let’s try this again.”
Hit the rewind button and go back to the root of the problem. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, even adults tend to get carried away and forget why they were upset in the first place. Hence, it is important to let your child know you are trying to figure out what’s wrong along with them and you will work together as a team to find a solution.
Response #4: “Let’s take a break.”
Hitting the pause button works too. Go and get some ice-cream with them. Let them go to their room to listen to music. Come back to the argument later after both of you have calmed down. After your child has taken a deep breath, they can come back and address the situation more logically and with better discipline. It can give them a better perspective and change their mood, which might affect their decision-making abilities.
Response #5: “Can you say that again? Politely this time.”
Ask them respectfully to rephrase their remark and say it with manners once again. This can only work if the parent is also determined to give respect to the child and speak with dignity towards them rather than simply talk down to them. This also makes them think twice about what they just said and most will be too ashamed to make the same comment again or without realising it, they will say it one more time but with a softer tone. Even whilst mocking it, it might break the ice and bring the parent closer to the child. It also serves as a reminder to the child for the next time he or she wants to make a rude or unnecessary comment.
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