Many parents say kids today are far more defiant and disrespectful toward parents than when they were growing up. Do you agree? What might be the cause? Now think about when you were a kid. Did you defy your parents? How often and over what? What about your siblings? If you or they did, how did your parents react? How did your parents' discipline affect your own parenting style?
Next, consider how your kid became so defiant. Might she be modeling this attitude from you or another parent? A relative? Cousin? Sibling? Peers? Or could she be responding to how she is treated? Tune into the attitudes of those closest to your child, and watch for clues.
Now take a close look at your own attitudes. Could your kid be learning his defiant ways from you? For instance, do you insist that things go your way with your friends? At home? At work? Do you pay attention to family requests or flat-out refuse? Do you expect all family rules and expectations to be obeyed instantly? What about with colleagues? Your partner? Do you allow for negotiation or compromise or even listen to reasonable requests? Or are you too laissez-faire and loose with your kids? Do you have few or inconsistent rules in your family and no expectations of cooperation, respect, discipline, and responsibility? Are you just trying to be your kid's best friend instead of assuming the normal role of a parent—the one with the ultimate responsibility, the grown-up?
How is your relationship with your partner or your child's biological parent? What do your kids see? Are you overly demanding and controlling? Do they see you engage in yelling matches? Refusing to comply or even bother to listen? Give the "silent treatment"? Walk away or even out the door? Do you ever scream, slam doors, hit the person, or throw things? Would your kids say you are more of a dictator, compromiser, wishy-washy, or easy-going? How would you describe your daily style with your kids, spouse, friends, and colleagues? Bottom line:Are you presenting a model you'd like your kids to copy?
How do you typically relate with that defiant kid of yours? Be honest. How do you make your requests known to your child? Do you say them in a calm and respectful tone, or are you quick-tempered? Are you polite or disrespectful (or even a tad sarcastic)? How are your nonverbal cues? Do you roll your eyes, shrug, or smirk, or do you wait politely? Do you flat-out demand compliance or listen to his requests? Would your kid agree with your self-assessment? Put yourself in your kid's shoes.Would you want to be talked to and treated in the manner he is by you?
What is the first step you need to take in yourself to be a better example to your child?
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