Q: Why does my child argue with me when I tell them something?
A: Most times, a child will argue when they don’t know how to solve their own problems, and they feel helpless. They will use aggression, disrespect, verbal and physical abuse, and/or obnoxious behavior to solve a problem and get control. Most times, the parents get drawn in. Yelling or screaming is a parent’s way of saying “I can’t handle this” – “No one is in control”
Key things to do
Short circuit the outbursts – If you are in the store, or in the car, wherever, stop where you are (in a vehicle pull over to the side of the road). Then say, “Until you can stop and talk to me calmly, we are not moving.”
Disconnect – You don’t have to attend every argument your invited to: Walk away and tell your child “I am not going to talk to you right now”.
Short term consequences – “I’m taking your phone, ipad/tablet, laptop privileges (whatever will get their attention). If you talk to me with respect for the next two hours you may have it back.” Long term punishments – They usually have less effect on a child, because they lose interest and find other things to do. Or they will hold a grudge against you. Remember, the idea is to get the desired behavior from them, not make it worse.