Parenting
Negative Children: 7 Strategies for Dealing With a Complaining Child or Adolescent

Negative Children: 7 Strategies for Dealing With a Complaining Child or Adolescent

Let’s face it: “No” elicits a response. Children thrive on the connection they have with their parents, and if a child is always negative, their parents will generally react negatively.

As strange as it may seem, your childrens negativity isn’t always intended to sound as awful as it does. They could just want to make touch with you, even if it’s unfavourable.

Some children’s responses to the question, “How are you this morning?” are, “These eggs are terrible!” While this could be how your child prefers to communicate with you, it does not imply that you must appreciate or listen to it indefinitely.

It could be emotionally draining to have a child who constantly complains. Even though your child is kind, humorous, and lovely, the bad attitude sticks out because it drains so much energy. Worse, your mind begins to project into the future, and you begin to believe that their poor attitude will become an issue for your kid in the future. Futurizing is the propensity to assume the worst in your childrens life, and it’s one of the most dangerous things a parent can do.

So, where does all this whining originate? Adolescence could be to blame if your child is in their teen years.

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Growing Up Is Hard On Everyone

Your children may have been excited about everything when they were younger. They’d say things like, “Mom, look at this!” Wow, that’s incredible. It’s fantastic!”

When adolescence approaches, however, the excitement becomes uncool, especially in the presence of parents. Sharing their inner sentiments requires them to open up to you, which is often the last thing they want to do at this moment in their lives. The name of the game is to push you out.

Let’s not forget that home is a secure sanctuary where all of life’s burdens could be released. They may not tell you about their bad day at school, but they will gripe about the flavour of the meal you prepared. Yes, it’s upsetting, but don’t take it personally—it might be a coping mechanism your child is using.

Negativity and whining, as bizarre as it may sound, are ways your child controls his or her worry. Your child feels better when they complain because they are expressing themselves and releasing their anxieties and fears. Your child will ultimately move on if you do not react to it with your own worry.

Consider why you get so worked up about it once you figure out what’s causing your childrens negativity. Understanding why it bothers you so much is half the fight; knowing why it irritates you can help you discover more calm, efficient solutions.

Do you have a tendency to be pessimistic and judgmental of others? Our children’s behaviour may frequently reflect back to us, and it’s not always what we want to see.

Do you believe it is your responsibility as a parent to repair, mould, and make your child happy? Do you worry about the future and wonder if this is the life your child is supposed to live?

“This sucks! I hate this family.”

Recognize that children who engage in oppositional or rebellious behaviour frequently use negativity to agitate those around them, including you. They may respond without thinking in some cases. They aren’t necessarily attempting to irritate everyone in these situations.

Others, on the other hand, employ negativity to make everyone else feel as bad as they do. And it’s most likely you and your childrens siblings who face the brunt of it, because home is that safe haven where they can let out their worst selves.

If your child is constantly spewing negativity at home, the challenge is not to get caught up in it, since that will give them the impression that they are in charge, that they have you, and that you are paying attention to them. You’ve been seduced.

Make an effort not to give in to that side of your child. Recognize when your child is attempting to provoke you and resist the urge to react. When you’re in a bad mood, it’s tempting to say something like, “What’s wrong with you?” You’re destroying everyone’s enjoyment of the film!” Instead, you may put a stop to their bad behaviour by telling them:

“Please don’t do it right now. We’re attempting to view the film.”

You may also say:

“It appears that you don’t like it. “Why don’t you go to your room and do something else?” says the narrator.

If your child persists in being disobedient, you’ll need to attempt some enforced consequences.

Define your limits and tell your child what you will and will not do if they misbehave. Try to set these boundaries without being harsh: you don’t want to send the impression that anything is wrong with your child.

Easy? Not in the least. I understand how difficult this is. Your childrens negativity and provoking behaviour might sometimes feel like a magnet drawing you in. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to be extremely aware of what is going on and to remain out of that circle. The most important thing is to not give it legs.

When your child is being negative and pressing all of your buttons, keep these seven things in mind.

How To Deal With Teenage Attitude

You’re Not Responsible for Your Child’s Attitude

You could believe that as a parent, you are responsible for how your kid feels and behaves. If this is the case, the decisions they make will have a strong emotional impact on you. You’ll find yourself attempting to transform your negative child into a positive one, a “Negative Nancy” into a “Sally Sunshine.”

What’s the end result? They’ll put forth even more effort to oppose you. This will make you push harder, increasing your reactivity and hostility with your partner.

Remember that you are not accountable for your childrens choices in attitudes or actions. Instead, it’s up to you to decide how you’ll react to these attitudes and actions.

Don’t Be Judgmental About Your Child’s Complaints

Try not to be judgemental, critical, or defensive, no matter how difficult it is. So, instead of retorting, “Why are you always so negative about everything?” when your child says, “This meal is awful,” respond, “Why are you always so negative about everything?” The very least you could do is express gratitude!” Instead, tell them something like this:

“Hmmm, I’m sorry you don’t like it,” says the narrator.

“It’s too bad you don’t like it.”

You might also just say, “Oh.” There isn’t much else to say.

It’s Not about You

Make every effort to avoid personalizing your childrens bad attitude and continuous whining.

Make a mental mantra to assist you to overlook some of their nasty comments. Try saying to yourself, “Repeat after me:”

“It’s nothing personal, and there’s nothing to be concerned about. These are only emotions.”

Listen To Them

If your child starts venting when you’re upset or in the middle of anything, be clear and straightforward that you’re not ready to listen to their concerns. You might say something like this:

“I’m sorry, but I’m not in the mood to listen to this right now. Let’s set a time later this evening when I’ll be able to focus on what you’re saying?”

That way, if your child truly needs a sounding board and isn’t just whining for the sake of complaining, you’ll be able to offer them your undivided attention and listen to what’s on their mind (and perhaps they’ll have figured it out on their own by then). Your kid will learn to settle down by relying on oneself in this way).

Set Complaining Limits

If your child is always complaining, you might want to set a time restriction for them. When your child starts whining, listen to their complaint and then tell them they only have a few minutes left. To them, you can say:

“All right, Jackson, you have two minutes more to rant about how much you despise arithmetic, and then we’re done with this topic for the day. I’m no longer able to hear.”

As James Lehman suggests in The Total Transformation Program, you may also set out time for complaints. Set aside a period each day, such as after dinner, for your kid to complain about anything that is troubling them for 10 minutes. Limit your complaints to that period and length of time.

If they forget and start criticizing anything, remind them that they can tell you everything later that night at complaint time. You may also offer them a diary where they can jot down their thoughts.

Another option is to offer your child five “complaint tickets” every day, which they may spend whenever they want. Each one is good for one complaint, but after the five have been used up, there will be none left. (This is especially useful for smaller children.)

Don’t React

You don’t have to agree with your child if he or she always has something unpleasant to say. If they remark, “It would have been a great day if I had hit a home run at recess,” you might tell them, “It would have been a great day if I had hit a home run during recess.”

“Yeah, honestly, just having that one more item would have made your day better?”

Rather of attempting to counteract their negativity, pay attention to it and let it go.

It just adds to the loop when your child criticizes something and then you criticize them for criticizing it.

We don’t always hear ourselves whining about our children, so we simply load it on. So try not to pass judgement on it.

Keep It Real

Your ultimate objective is to let your child to be themselves, but you should also let them realize that their attitude matters. One of the finest ways to set your own boundaries while respecting theirs is to give them honest criticism.

You can say, for example, when they’re going on and on about something or someone:

“I find myself tuning out when I hear too many of your critiques and complaints.”

You might also say anything along the lines of:

“Hey, I believe I need some more positives right now since I’m about to get zapped.”

When you provide honest feedback, you’re basically telling your child that what they’re doing right now isn’t working for you.

Again, merely expressing your dissatisfaction with their behaviour is unlikely to be beneficial. Instead, be open and honest with your child about how you feel about the influence of your emotions, attitudes, and words. It’s about you expressing yourself, not others critiquing you.

It’s Just A Phase, This Too Shall Pass

While encouraging your child to be more optimistic is a worthwhile objective, forcing them to be so will backfire. Instead, do the opposite of what you think you should do: embrace their bad sentiments.

Allow your kid to express their sentiments without futurizing, personalizing, or becoming involved with them. Don’t let your personal worries about your child get in the way of your relationship with him or her. Listen without passing judgement. Instead of being linked to your child, stand next to them. Only then will they be free of the need to use their energy fighting you or defending themselves against your criticism.

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe To My Parenting Newsletter

Sign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.

2. Register For A Pretty Awesome FREE 60-Minute Class:

Register for a free class called GET KIDS TO LISTEN THE RIGHT WAY; an exclusive FREE class from nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.

3. Sign Up For A 7 Step Positive Parenting Course

Enroll now in the most in-depth parenting class. After discovering these common sense, easy-to-implement, research-based tools you can learn how to:
  • Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
  • Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
  • Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
  • Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
  • Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
Got a threenager? You want this class. Got an actual tween or teen? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up for the webinar right NOW and watch the BEST, most life-changing parenting video ever.

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe To My Parenting Newsletter

Sign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.

2. Register For A Pretty Awesome FREE 60-Minute Class:

Register for a free class called GET KIDS TO LISTEN THE RIGHT WAY; an exclusive FREE class from nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.

3. Sign Up For A 7 Step Positive Parenting Course

Enroll now in the most in-depth parenting class. After discovering these common sense, easy-to-implement, research-based tools you can learn how to:
  • Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
  • Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
  • Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
  • Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
  • Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
Got a threenager? You want this class. Got an actual tween or teen? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up for the webinar right NOW and watch the BEST, most life-changing parenting video ever.

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