How to deal with rude children

More and more parents and teachers are complaining that today’s children are rude. A level-headed and commonsense approach can usually solve the problem. Here are some ways to deal with rude children.

Reward good behavior

For decades and decades, child ‘psychologists’ and ‘good parenting gurus’ have been telling us that when a kid behaves badly, he deserves our special attention, sympathy and care at that time, to overcome this problem of rudeness. Actually, research after research has proved that the exact opposite is true. A kid wants nothing more than undivided adult attention. When he acts rude, and parents and adults around him, taking their cue from hundreds of ‘good parenting guides’, rush to give him sympathy and attention, he immediately infers that rudeness and bad behavior is a means of getting rewarded! This reinforces his belief that if he wants adults to be fussing over him, he needs to act rude. The correct approach is to make him realize that acting rude will never ever get him any rewards, but will actually land him in trouble. When your child is throwing tantrums, ignore him as long as he is not hurting himself or others. On the other hand, whenever he is well behaved, then give him attention, love and care. Once he will realize that if he wishes to gain your love and attention, he has to act well, he will start doing so.

Make him pay for his rude behavior

Again, over the decades, child ‘psychologists’ have bombarded us with so many sermons on never hurting a child’s feelings, never punishing him, always acting sympathetic to him even when he is acting like crazy, that we have forgotten a basic principle that if bad deeds are not punished, more and more people will commit them. Similarly, if a child is to understand that no matter how disrespectful he behaves, no one going to ever take him to task, instead everyone will start sympathizing with him to assuage his ‘feelings’, he is going to act more and more rude. Therefore, when a child acts rude, don’t rush to comfort him, ignore him at that time, and then make him pay for his behavior. No one’s suggesting to start threatening or beating him, something as simple as not talking to him or not paying him any attention can be tried.

If the child is wrong, he needs to know he is wrong

When you are telling your child that he is acting rude and disrespectful, don’t sugarcoat your message. Many parents act over-protective of their child’s supposedly delicate feelings and emotions. So even when they are trying to tell their child why being rude and disrespectful is such a bad thing, they are so mindful of not hurting their child’s feelings that they communicate their message in such sweet terms that the child end up getting the message that even though he was a bit rude, but that’s OK! Clearly, you are not helping your child with this approach. If he is rude, tell him so in no uncertain terms and make him realize that you strongly disapprove such behavior.

Change company

If the kid is rude most of the time, maybe it is because he is friends with kids who are equally rude and ill-mannered. The logical step in such a situation is to get your kid out of such a rude friend circle. This may not be such an easy task, because you kid consider those rude kids as his buddies. If you will accuse your child’s of spoiling him, he will turn defensive. So instead of direct accusations, tell him that interacting with such kids is going to mar his life and therefore it is in his interest to keep away from such kids. Make him realize that all his friends are doing for him is helping him pick up bad behavior and abusive language. Help him in ignoring such kids when they meet in school or store of play area.

Determine the child’s rudeness trigger

Sometimes, there exists a trigger for rude behavior in children who are otherwise well-behaved. For example, kid may fear a bully of his age, and so the moment he encounters this bully, he becomes irritated and fearful, and this irritation and fear takes the form of rude behavior. If you can ascertain if something or someone is causing the child to behave rudely, take out that trigger from the child’s environment. Also, tell him why he should try not being irritated or fearful of people or things until and unless there is a good enough reason behind such a response.

Find out if the child has something to say

If your child is not habitually rude or arrogant, but is acting rude in a particular instance, maybe he is trying to tell you something but is unable to communicate properly. Ask him calmly if he has a problem or if he wants to tell you something. Listen carefully what the child tells you. It may so happen that the child is acting rudely because of one reason but tells you another, in which case, you will have to ascertain the real reason behind his rude behavior.

Never allow your anger to get the better of you

It goes without saying that if you lose your temper seeing your child acting rude, you will only exacerbate the problem. The child must fell, at all times, that you are in control of the situation and have the upper hand. You won’t be able to give this message to your child if you yourself start shouting and acting out-of-control. Even when you feel that the child is acting so obnoxiously that merely ignoring him is not done, and he needs some punishment, go through it in a cool manner, never losing your self-control.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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