Maybe you know a kid who’s mastered the art of shooting looks that kill. Maybe this "kid" is really an adult who’s maturity-challenged. Here are some tips:
Resist the urge to act like a child.
Are you like me? Do you ever find yourself tempted to reciprocate to your child’s snotty attitude with a mucus-like one of your own?
Resist this temptation and do your best to remain calm.
Give honest feedback while making the problem belong to your child.
Kids need to get honest feedback about how they come across to others…and the impact this is likely to have on their OWN lives. With a strong dose of empathy, experiment with saying:
When you stick your tongue out and say those nasty things,
you're really no fun to be around. I will always love you,
but few others will if you continue to act that way.
That would be a pretty lonely life.
Take good care of yourself by setting and enforcing healthy limits.
Becoming a doormat only teaches your child to treat others like doormats. Examples of healthy limits include:
I play with kids who talk nicely.
I cook dinner for people who express thankfulness rather than complaining about what I serve.
Feel free to join us when you can act sweet.
I enjoy providing privileges to kids who talk and act nicely.
Also, set firm limits over television and video game use.
Most television content glorifies nasty, sarcastic attitudes. Too much time spent interacting with video games makes it tougher for kids to display patience and grace with real-life people.
Nasty looks and nasty comments aren’t just annoying…they’re hurtful to those who deliver them. That’s why you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking a firm and loving approach to the problem. For more tips and techniques read Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay