When you try your hardest every day to be the best parent possible, it can be beyond frustrating when your child goes through a phase of acting out. For many parents, disciplining children is a daily challenge.
You are not alone!
It’s natural to feel out of your depth especially if your child is usually well mannered and you haven’t had to deal with this kind of out of character behaviour before.
It is called ‘raising’ children for a reason – instead of bringing them down for their mistakes use this as an opportunity to help them grow and become a better version of themselves.
Here are 5 tips you can use to help teach your kids not to be disrespectful.
1. Catch it early
Catching things early on before your child has a chance to create habits and think they can get away with things will give you the best possible chance of changing their behaviour without too much fuss.
As tempting as it can be to think ‘Oh I’m too tired, I’ll deal with this later’ it really will make your life a lot easier in the long run if you take a few minutes to deal with the issue as it arises! If your child can get away with bad behaviour even once then they are much more likely to think they can get away with doing it again, and they may not even be aware that their behaviour is wrong if it’s not pointed out at the time.
When correcting your child, ask them to think about how they could have acted differently to get a better outcome. This way you are not only correcting the disrespectful behaviour but giving them a valuable opportunity to learn and grow.
2. Try ignoring attention seeking behaviour
If your child is being disrespectful because they are trying to get your attention, ignoring the behaviour can be a great tactic to try. When they see that their behaviour doesn’t get a reaction they may be less likely to continue to do it.
3. Set a good example
The best way to teach your kids not to be disrespectful is to be respectful yourself. Even if you’re not aware of it, kids will watch your behaviour closely and replicate it almost automatically. If you are rude about a long wait to someone serving you at a restaurant for example, your children will grow up to think that this is the right way to deal with frustration. Remember to take a deep breath and think about the kind of behaviour that would make you proud if your kids displayed it- and choose to behave in that manner.
Treat everyone you come across with respect and be the best role model possible for the little eyes that are always watching and learning from you.
4. Give them a single warning
Giving your kids a single warning about their disrespectful behaviour before implementing some kind of consequence is a great learning tool. Just ensure you do only give them the one warning – if you repeatedly threaten a consequence without following through you will actually be training them not to listen to you.
5. Have consequences and follow through with them
Lay out the consequences for disrespectful behaviour and always stick to your word! Once your child sees that you are serious about following through with punishment it should make them think twice about behaving that way again. Of course, some kids are very headstrong and this may not always be the case. Be patient! You may have to implement the same consequences a few times to get results or you may have to change it up if something still isn’t working after multiple attempts.
Remember through everything that life is a work in progress and no one is perfect! Teaching your kids not to be disrespectful probably won’t be easy. Good changes take time and discipline needs to be constant to see progress. Make sure you’re also rewarding good behaviour, and understanding that bad days happen and sometimes the disrespectful behaviour may be happening for a different reason other than just acting out for the sake of it.
Most of all, try to remember that you can’t teach your kids to be respectful by treating them with disrespect!
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