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Patience, Child Therapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience:  MA Clinical Psychology; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Skills trainer
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I would like to know if the behavior

Customer Question

I have 2 children one 10 (female) & one 13 (male). Both of my children, especially my
daughter talk to their father & myself in a very disrespectfull manner. They have such an attitude of self entitlement. My husband & I try hard to be consistant with what we expect of
them but he isn't as strict as I am which I know is a problem. We have tried time outs, tried
taking away electronic time or TV ( which we monitor anyway), no get togethers with fri-
ends, lectures .... We have had many fights lately and now my son is threatening to fail in school just to show us who is boss. I am worn out, what areyour thoughts?

I would like to know if the behavior I described is considered normal at ages 10 & 13. Also what are your thoughts about how I should deal with my childrens behavior. I'm getting more concerned about my son's behavior because he says he doesn't want to be around me. My daughter just says whatever she feels with such attitude. Dori
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Patience replied 5 years ago.

The behavior is fairly normal--especially for the teenager. And trust me, it will probably not be the last time they are angry with you or say they don't like you. That is also fairly typical. On the one hand, parents need to have a thick skin. On the other hand, it is important to still expect a certain level of politeness and respect.

Try to do fun things together—as a family and with each child separately. Hug them and tell them you love them for no reason at all. Believe it or not, most children do grow out of that surly stage.

Important principles of child management include:

  1. Consequences should be sure and swift--punishment must be provided immediately in order to gain effective control over inappropriate behaviors.
  2. Consequences should be specific- Both praise and criticism should refer to the specific behaviors. Punishment should fit the transgression and not be based on the parents' level of impatience or frustration.
  3. Consequences should be consistent across settings, time, and caregivers. So you and your husband need to come to a meeting of minds. Choose a time to discuss this when you are alone together and in a good mood with one another.
  4. Catch your children being good and give them treats. Many parents focus on a child’s negative behavior. As a result, punishment is over- emphasized in family interactions. When this happens, punishment tends to lose its effectiveness, particularly if there are no clearly stated devoid of incentives for appropriate conduct.
  5. Plan ahead for problem behaviors- Discussing and anticipating those situations which are likely to create problems, will help you and your husband develop plans to deal with and reduce the probability of misbehavior.
This will give you a start. Please let me know if I can help further, and submit further questions if needed. Good luck, Mom!
Expert:  Patience replied 5 years ago.
Hi- If my response gave you a good start on working with your situation, please press the green ACCEPT button so that I can get credit for my time. I will be happy to continue this dialogue as needed, as well..