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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
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I have a strong willed 8 year old boy who acts like he is 16.

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I have a strong willed 8 year old boy who acts like he is 16. He's an excellent student, reader, and is very smart. I've always praised his strengths when disciplining him, as to not break his spirit. However, he has a smart mouth and I have found myself yelling at him to get his attention. Tonight I was very frustrated and yelled at him. I told him that I wouldn't have him treat me ugly, and that I was tired of hearing myself talk. I took His prize Legos out of his room as punishment. I went on to say that he wasn't 16, that he was 8, and he was child and he was not to talk back to me so rudely. I was quite loud, and he was crying. I also told him that he should appreciate his family... Is his attitude common for his age. Or am I creating his attitude.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are having with your son. I am here to provide some reflective insight on the situation as a Parenting Expert. First of all, it is very pleasing to know that your son is so intelligent...especially with his reading. Pay attention to his academic strengths. He may be gifted. Also, it is good to know that your son has a sensitive side as evidenced by his crying when you were reprimanding him. At least he is not so strong willed to the point that he does not express emotions.

Nonetheless, children nowadays can have a "smart mouth" and talk back to their parents. They are unfortunately influenced by television, music, the Internet, and even friends and family. Therefore, it is your parental obligation and duty to assist your son in learning the appropriate ways to talk to you. When he acts like a 16 year old with his words, you must not be a reactive parent who yells and screams. Your behavior may just be adding fuel to the fire. You must be a responsive parent who responds in calmer manner without the yelling. You can get your point across to your son just as effectively without yelling. Try that for a start. You will be amazed. If your son does not comply with your calm first request, just stand there with an authoritative look and ask him again and again. It should not take more than 2 requests to make him comply. When you tell him something or are reprimanding him, make him repeat what you said, punish him accordingly, and then move on. You must maintain the power in your parenting style and you will have peace with your son. Also when he talks back, make him rephrase his statements in a more positive way. You must teach him the way he should be responding to you and what is acceptable. He is young and is very impressionable. You have the skills to steer him into a new direction. Stay encouraged. YOU CAN DO IT!

If you need more assistance, let me know your thoughts.

Have a wonderful evening!
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