Every time a
child or his parent wants something from the other, chances are an argument
will break out. For tips on dealing with arguments, and your child’s tendency
to argue about everything, read on.
can’t you ever understand me! You never listen to me! You’re ruining my life! I
If you’re a parent, you have
definitely had your ears ringing with dramatic exclamations like the above at
some point or the other. And you’ve definitely uttered the following kinds of warning
you dare argue with me! Because I said so! Not a word more! NO!
Arguing children and frustrated
parents are the norm in most households. Arguments between parents and children can be
healthy provided they are not blown out of control. The best way to approach an
argument is to listen to the side of child. Giving value to the opinions and
suggestions of the child will prevent arguments from getting out of control.
Tussle for Authority
Authority becomes a major issue
between parents and children. We were all children once and have all gone
through phases when we've accused our parents of being unreasonable,
autocratic, dictatorial, lacking in basic understanding, even being the enemy
whose main aim in life is to thwart our happiness. We've all sworn at some
point that when we become parents, things will be different. But somehow, they
rarely are. The minute people become parents it's like a switch is clicked on
in their brains and they go into a 'we're older so we know best' routine which
becomes the cause for unending struggles for authority between parents and
35-year-old Sudhir Sharma
recalls, "My parents were of the old school. There was no question of
arguing with them. Their word was law. I think the first time I voiced any
dissent was when I went to college and I desperately needed a raise in my pocket money."
Parents of the old school
believed that it was their duty to guide their children and protect them from
the pitfalls of life. Children were expected to do what they were told and
arguments were frowned upon. Unfortunately, this leads to defiance, deceit and
the breakdown of communication between parents and children.
At the other extreme, you have
the parents of the egalitarian school of thought who believe that children have
every right to express their desires and opinions and that this gives a boost
to bridging the generation gap. However, parents
who subscribe to the idea that 'children know what’s best for themselves' may
find that it backfires. Even though children may question your authority and
play 'know-it-alls', that does not mean that they do not need parental wisdom
and guidance. Leaving them to their own devices will confuse them and cause
anxiety. They need to know that you will always be there like a safety net.
Parents need to adopt a
middle-of-the-road approach that is neither dictatorial nor too easygoing. It
is essential that children learn that they must respect their parents. At the same
time, they must be made to feel that their parents respect their thoughts and
opinions in return.
Useful Tips to deal with Argumentative Children
- Argumentative children can really try your patience. However, try not to lash out and avoid scolding them and punishing them. This will only worsen things.
- Using phrases like "don't ask questions," "just do as I say," "because I said so," will put you and your children in an adversarial position. These are negative statements that will only serve to put their backs up and reinforce their belief that they are misunderstood and that they are being victimized.
- Try to make them see things from your angle. Ask them how they would feel if you spoke to them rudely and disrespectfully, the way they speak to you. Try to open their eyes to the fact that it takes two to make an argument.
- Admonish them if they are disrespectful, but try to do it in a constructive manner. Tell them that you are willing to listen to their point of view, but only if they lower their voices and speak calmly and in a polite manner.
- If the argument has developed into a full-fledged battle and tempers are running high, it is advisable to take some time out and for both sides to calm down. Tell your children that nothing is going to be achieved while you are both in this frame of mind and that you will discuss the issue when your tempers have cooled.
- Make your children feel that you care about their opinions. Teach them to negotiate their demands without getting aggressive and argumentative.
- Take the trouble to explain your disciplinary stand to your children.
- Don't be inflexible and rigid. Bend the rules on certain occasions if your children state their case convincingly and without becoming hostile and aggressive.
For what does
your child argue the most? How do you deal with your child’s arguing? Do you
agree that arguments can be healthy for both parents and kids? Discuss