Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take a Step Back to Help Restore Peace; Familylife

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take a Step Back to Help Restore Peace; Familylife

Article excerpt

Supermam says... Q My six-year-old son has recently become very aggressive and defiant in his behaviour. He has always been a very placid, easy-going child, but recently he has become very stubborn and argumentative. He insists on arguing and talking back, to the point where we simply end up shouting at each other. I am finding his behaviour hard to cope with. Why has he suddenly changed and how do I deal with his cheeky attitude? ACHILDREN, their behaviour and personalities do alter as they grow up, hence the terminology of "going through phases".

As children grow, so does their confidence, ability to make decisions, learn from others and adapt to various situations.

You are clearly going through a frustrating time with your son and so perhaps taking a step back may help you both regain a little bit of control.

For some parents, coping with a child who tends to answer or argue back can be very tiresome and can easily wear down even the most patient and placid of parents. Certainly constantly engaging in battle and conflicts will not help resolve issues and only leads to loss of control, anger and, as you say, a screaming and shouting match.

Perhaps your son is going through a tough time and finds it hard to express his feelings and emotions.

Getting angry and lashing out are very common displays of behaviour from frustrated children.

As the parent you need to be able to demonstrate control in your behaviour and set your son a good example. This is often hard when the feelings of frustration run so deep but try, as much as possible, to have a calm and collected approach to dealing with him when he is feeling angry. Otherwise you simply reinforce that anger is acceptable.

It's important to avoid arguments and challenges wherever possible.

Even if this is just a phase your son is going through, try to adapt your behaviour to pick and choose when to respond to him.

Divert his attention if he starts arguing back or getting into a mood over something. It is amazing how quickly diversions can diffuse tempers.

This is certainly a skill that needs to be learned so give yourself the time and patience to learn. …

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