How to: Dealing with a confrontational child

Repeating, repeating, and repeating…

You probably feel that your life as a parent is only made of incessant repetitions and demands. But ultimately, your children are simply more demanding and require you to adapt your approach and your discipline ideal.

Since obedient listening is not natural for all children, since it’s restrictive and also because it’s a learning process, you need to be very patient with confrontational children. Knowing all of this, you will surely find ways to curb your emotional reactions and better understand and guide your children.

What works…
  • Consistency. You must repeat often and always apply the same rules.
  • Understanding the concept of differed pleasure. “Listening means giving up on an immediate pleasure to get a different pleasure… a differed, abstract and hypothetical one.” It’s not easy to do for kids and you have to support them and teach them how to anticipate. 
  • Knowing how to choose the best time to communicate. Morning is usually the best time, as long as you’re not in a rush. Know how to identify the moments where your family is not stressed out.  
  • For your child to listen, you must also listen to him. For listening to be favorable to obedience, it must have been preceded by a “fun” kind of listening.
  • Respect that your child will not always agree with you, but teach them how to express their frustrations in an acceptable manner. Teach them how to negotiate without getting angry quickly.
  • Talk to your child. You can’t ask your child to listen to you if you only talk to them to tell them what to do or how to behave. Don’t forget to talk to your child; try putting communication at the center of your family life.
Image de Nadine Descheneaux

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