It’s pretty normal for a child to go through a demanding or bossy phase, especially as they transition out of the ‘terrible twos’ and gain a little independence. But as they grow into school-age children, it can be a little overwhelming if your kid continues being troublesome or rude.
Again, it’s totally normal. But extremely frustrating.
Luckily, there are a lot of things parents do to end the cycle of entitlement before it becomes a habit or personality trait.
What typical behaviors are reflective of a demanding child?
On one hand, you want your child to grow up knowing what they want — and not being afraid to ask for it! That’ll help them in their career, as well as their personal relationships. But, as parents, we need to draw the line on negative behaviors, like these:
- Using demanding phrases like “I want”, “Give me” and “I need” instead of asking politely.
- Forgetting to use please and thank you when making requests.
- Expecting parents to do everything they ask.
- Refusing to complete household chores or requests from parents.
- Pouting, nagging, or throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way.
- Demanding constant attention from family members — even when they’re preoccupied or talking with others.
- Struggling to properly express emotions. Sometimes when a child is angry or demanding, it’s a byproduct of pent-up confusing emotions that they don’t know how to deal with.
If your little one is exhibiting any of the above signs, try not to worry. These little tips and tricks will help you out…
12 simple hacks to deal with your demanding child
1. Don’t be rude back
When your child speaks rudely to you, your reflex will probably be to shut down their behavior — to tell them to stop or demand an apology. But it doesn’t make any sense to combat rudeness with rudeness, there’s no lesson to be learned there.
2. Acknowledge their need
Though they’re going about it in the wrong way, your child is simply expressing a need. If they yell “I want food”, they’re expressing hunger. You can reply: “It sounds like you’re hungry.”
By repeating their need back to them, you’re helping them learn better ways of expressing this emotion.
Their anger is probably rooted in some other emotion that they’re unable to properly express, so it’s important to give them the space to feel. Try replying with something like “You sound very frustrated about something, what can I do to help?”.
4. Assume positive intent
If you call your child rude for yelling at you, they may internalize that and continue acting in a rude way because they think that’s who they are: it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Instead, you could respond to them by recognizing their positive intent. If they yell at you demanding food, you could reply: “You must be very hungry to be yelling so loudly!” This acknowledges their bad behavior without assuming they were being purposefully rude.
5. Give them information to solve their problem
In order to build a child’s independence, it’s important to let them solve their own problems. If they demand food from you, you could politely reply that there are crackers in the cupboard or fruit in the fridge — if they want food they can get it!
Otherwise, you could reply with questions that’ll prompt them to find their own solution, like “What could you do about that?” or “What can I do to help?”.
6. Explain what demanding behavior is
Take the time to sit down with your child and explain the difference between acceptable, polite behavior, and demanding behavior that won’t get them anywhere.
This will make it easier to point out their problematic actions in the future. But maybe don’t do it while they’re mid-tantrum; it’s a conversation to have when you’re both in a good headspace!
7. Turn the tables
Next time they’re being exceptionally demanding, sit down and ask them how they’d feel if their friends started talking to them the way they’re talking right now.
There’s a chance your child doesn’t quite understand the extent of their behavior, but by turning the tables they may realize they’ve crossed a line.
8. Model good behavior
You’ve probably already got this covered, but it’s important to treat your children the way you want them to behave. Instead of telling them what to do, phrase it as a request: “Can you please wash your hands before dinner” instead of “Go wash your hands”.
Similarly, when you’re around other people or out in public, model the kind of behavior you’d like them to follow. If you slip up and lose your temper with your children or others, take the time afterward to apologize and explain why what you did was wrong.
9. Praise their politeness
When your child asks for things correctly or behaves in a good way, it’s important to acknowledge and praise them. Children often learn better through reinforcement of good behavior, rather than admonishment of bad behavior.
10. Ignore demands
Once your child knows that their demanding behavior won’t get them anywhere, asking for things politely will (hopefully) come a lot more naturally to them.
If they’re prone to interrupting you while you’re mid-conversation, make it very clear that you won’t be able to help them unless they wait until an appropriate time to ask.
11. Take care of yourself
Looking after kids and a household can be draining and stressful. So make sure you’re looking after yourself as well.
Getting enough sleep, eating well, and having Mommy/Daddy chill out time is essential for your wellbeing. The better you feel, the easier it’ll be for you to deal with demanding children — without getting frustrated or losing your temper.
12. Don’t take it personally
It may feel like it, but the demands are not about you, nor are they reflective of your parenting. Kids are just a real handful sometimes!
They’re probably feeling overwhelmed and are just learning how to communicate. Take a deep breath before you respond, and remember that you have the power to influence their actions going forward.
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as 12 Simple Hacks To Deal With Your Demanding Child: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 19, 2020