If you have an angry kid in your household, then you may not feel like you are getting the respect you deserve. Does every task turn into a power struggle or a battle for who will win? Do you ever feel confused about why your kid is so angry or what to do to make them happy?
Angry kids often have power struggles with their parents or other authority figures, argue their point bitterly when corrected on something and will most often appear very strong-willing, defiant and stubborn. Sometimes the battles between parent and the angry child will lead to screaming matches, slammed doors and lots of hurt feelings.
The key to get respect from your child and simultaneously solve their anger problems is to learn more about what your kid wants. You have to see it from their point of view and what they really want might actually surprise you.
Usually these battles ensue because your child does not feel listened to or understood. Your angry child could be seeking either more respect from you, more control in her life- or both. To resolve issues with control and authority, you often have to give your child more control over her own life. To get respect, you often have to give it.
There is an old-fashioned philosophy that children don’t deserve respect until they earn it. How are they supposed to learn when we do not show them the way? As a parent, be the example you want your children to be. This is especially important in children entering their teen years (pre-teens or “tweens). This is a troubling time for a young person and she may feel stuck between being a child and a young adult.
You should always treat your child the way you want to be treated. If you scream, yell or curse at your child, then you are teaching her the way to respond back to you. “But I was really angry!” is not an excuse because doesn’t your child get angry, too?
Allowing your child to provoke you into incorrect behaviors, harsh punishments or vulgar language and yelling puts you into a vicious parenting trap where your kid has the upper hand. Your child will lash out at you and disrespect you even more.
As yourself before you speak to your child, “Would I talk this way to my friends or work acquaintances?” If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t be using that tone with your child either.
In addition to showing your child respect, you should expect respect in return. If you find yourself in a battle with your child and she is not showing you respect, then in a firm but also respectful way, let her know that you will not continue the conversation until she has calmed down and is ready to speak to you with respect.
Give your child support. This is one of the most important things you can do for an angry child, or any child. Have faith in her ability to learn from her mistakes and don’t hold past mistakes over her head. Don’t’ make snide comments like “I told you so” or generalizations like “You always screw that up”. This hurts her self esteem and will also cause her to feel angry with you for not supporting her.
Keep a positive attitude in all situations. While it may be extremely difficult at times, you are the parent and it is your job to set the stage for how your children will behave both at home and away. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a rut where you think things will never change or that your angry child will always be a “problem child”. If you do, then you set your child up to feel the same way and she will be held back from true success in all areas of her life.