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Disrespectful, Oppositional Behavior

When your child is disrespectful or oppositional, experiment with the following:

  • Avoid trying to reason, lecture, or threaten. Just repeat, “I love you too much to fight about this with you. I’m going to have to do something. We’ll talk later.
  • Remember that it’s ok for your child to “think” that they have gotten away with something. This gives you time to calm down and put together an effective plan.
  • Effective plans involve providing some type of consequence delivered in an empathetic…rather than angry…way.
  • One of the most effective strategies involves going on strike and negotiating for better parental working conditions. When your child asks for privileges, experiment with saying, “This is so sad, I do those sorts of things for people who treat me with respect.”


You can find more techniques in the Ages 7-12 Parenting Package.