Dealing with an argumentative kid can be really tough. It can be very easy to get angry. It’s a good thing there are good strategies to help you contain your emotions while disciplining your kid.
1. When you begin to feel angry, try not to talk.
When your kiddo argues with you and you lose your cool, the best thing to do is to stop talking and go to another room to calm down. Sometimes, a parent’s anger can make the situation worse. You can say or do something you might regret later on, and instead of fixing the problem, you may add to it. This is why it’s important to talk to your kid when you are cooled down. When you are already calm, you can say, “Now I am ready to talk. Please tell me what you need in a more respectful tone?” If your child does the same, repeat the process. It takes a while to train up a child. Just be patient and know that it can be done.
2. Answer your kids’ question with a question.
When kids argue, they ask so many questions to find a way out of the rules their parents have set for them to follow. They tend to say, “Why do I have to go to bed early? Why are you very strict?” Questions sometimes work in getting parents change their decisions. Kids are aware of this. Most children love to argue, and they can do it for many hours asking so many questions. This can weaken your resistance as a parent. The best way to deal with an argumentative kid who asks too many questions is to show empathy on what your kid feels and gently throw back the question to him. You can say, “It sounds like you are annoyed with having to ask you to go to bed. Why do you think it’s time for bed?”
This technique is a soft way to let your kid know that you are sticking with the family rules. Kids will still argue and fight long and hard. When he sees that you mean what you say, little by little he will learn to stop fighting the rules. He will learn that arguing and fighting won’t work.
3. Use the “What did I say” approach.
This approach is a little similar with number two. Your child cannot argue if you do not get involved. When you say, “It’s time for bed!” and your kid argues: “I don’t want to go to bed!” you can say, “What did I say?” Ask the question as many times as needed. Your child will begin to understand that you mean serious business. But, it would take longer to train children who are more independent. When you feel that the situation is too tough for you to manage, consider asking help from a child psychologist in Melbourne.