Make Parenting Easier by Ending Back Talk and Bad Attitudes

Make Parenting Easier by Ending Back Talk and Bad Attitudes

Kids don’t come with instruction manuals and parents never get any training on how to parent. This can make parenting seem like an insurmountable challenge, especially when kids argue, roll their eyes, complain, and refuse to do what their parents ask!

The principles of Love and Logic are intended to help parents take care of themselves and at the same time give them easy-to-learn techniques for raising respectful and responsible kids. The following four tips for raising respectful kids are time-tested and powerful:

Tip #1: When your child gets mouthy, go “brain dead.”
Don’t think too hard about the nasty things your kids say. The more you think, the more likely your face will turn red, and the more likely you’ll get pulled into a losing argument.

Tip #2: Become a loving “broken record."
Rather than letting the arguing get to you, go “brain dead.” Calmly repeat just one of the following phrases over and over, regardless of what your child says:

  • “I love you too much to argue.”
  • “I’ll listen when your voice is calm like mine.”
  • “I know.”
  • “What did I say?”

Tip #3: Replace anger with empathy.
There is nothing more exciting to an argumentative, defiant child than seeing their parents’ faces turn red. Pick the Love and Logic “one-liner” that works best for you. You will want to practice using it in advance to make sure that you say it with empathy, not sarcasm. Sometimes this can be hard, so practicing is important.

  • “Love ya too much to argue.”
  • “How sad.”
  • “Thanks for sharing.”
  • “That’s an option.”

Tip #4: Sidestep losing power struggles by delaying consequences.
What’s a parent to do if their child downright refuses to do what they ask? Don’t believe the very common myth that kids always need immediate consequences. Buy yourself some time by saying:
“I’m going to do something about this—but not now, later. Try not to worry.”

Tip #5: Go on strike and negotiate for better parental working conditions.
There are many extra things we do for our kids every day. Does it make sense that a healthy parent would do all these extra things when their child is treating them like a doormat? Some parents have decided that enough is enough and will quietly stop washing clothes, buying snacks, making nice meals, driving their kids to friends’ houses, etc. When their kids complain, these parents calmly say:

“I love you a great deal, and I’ll be happy to do the extra things I do for you when I feel treated with respect. If you aren’t sure how to treat me with respect, pay close attention to how I treat you.”


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay

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