The kicking at the back of your seat has intensified.
“Enough!” exclaims the speaker. Glancing back at the grimacing visage in the back seat, you say.
“You won’t be able to force me!” She replies by kicking even harder.
The muscles in your body tighten up. You take a breath and hold it. “Oh, I can make you stop, too,” you want to shout. Please don’t tempt me.” You, on the other hand, do not. You’re well aware that that will just aggravate the problem.
When our children are unhappy, it’s not unusual to hear a variety of nasty, disrespectful, and even perplexing things.
- If you respond, you will be met with a retort.
- If you ignore them, they will drag you back into the conversation.
- If you attempt to turn it off, you’ll just hear it more often.
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How To Respond To Angry Words
- Take a look at your own material first, as an adult. When you hear certain words, notice any thoughts, triggers, or reactions that arise in your body.
- Next, refuse to repeat the same behavior. Decide not to respond to sarcasm with sarcasm or to engage in a back-and-forth argument about how stupid your child is right now.
- Finally, look past the actions. Sure, your child could have expressed themselves more eloquently with their words, but they didn’t. Rather of expecting more from your child, commit to teaching them how to recognise and communicate their wants and feelings in a new way the next time.
Examples Of Angry words Kids Use
Here are 5 typical angry words your child may use, along with what they could be trying to express, what you can do in each circumstance, and how to speak about it once things have calmed down.
Leave Me Alone
What it means: “I’m completely overwhelmed by my strong feelings.” I don’t want you to see me in this vulnerable position because I’m embarrassed and ashamed of what I’ve done.”
What you can do to help: Maintain tight proximity. Do not ignore or move away from their strong sentiments or behaviors. Remind them that they are loved and that you are there to assist them to get out of their humiliation. It’s fine to put some space between you and the dog to keep everyone safe, but do it in a low-key manner, such as “I’m going to sit over here” or “I’m not going to allow you to hit the dog.”
How to discuss it: Some children genuinely desire to be alone. And while some children believe they desire to be alone, once alone, they feel even more alienated and embarrassed. Have a calm dialogue with your child about what they need when strong emotions arise. Can you check in every few minutes if they do want some alone time? How can they convey that they don’t want to be alone in a more clear way?
I Hate You
What it means: “You (or the other person) have really wounded my feelings.” My feelings are so strong right now that I can’t think of a better method to express them to you!”
What you can do is ignore this one. Your child isn’t in need of a pep talk about how much she “really does adore you.” She also doesn’t require a laundry list of your services to her. Identify and control your own triggers so that you can empathize with the deep emotions underlying the hurtful remark.
How to talk about it: In the middle of their anger, your child could be voicing some legitimate arguments. Allow them to vent their displeasure or annoyance with you, a sibling, or a friend by starting a dialogue. Empathize with what they’re going through. Then, to assist children to express their true sentiments, say something like, “It hurts my feelings when my friends cancel on me.” I’m lonely and depressed. A part of me wants to hurt them since they’ve been so cruel to me.”
I Don’t Know How To Calm Down
What it means: “These emotions are just too huge and frightening.” I’m afraid that no soothing method will work, and that I’ll be in this state for the rest of my life.”
What you can do: Start by calming down. It’s more important to keep yourself calm than it is to get your child to calm down. If it seems like an emergency to you, it’s likely that your child feels the same way. Model soothing techniques and allow your child to join in, but don’t push it.
When the brain is quiet and relaxed, it is necessary to study and practise calming strategies. Make a list of ideas, designate a soothing space of the house or their room, and gather calming goods and items. Talk about how your emotions come and go. Make it clear that you’re there to keep them secure, and that you’ll stay with them until the emotions pass.
You Can’t Make Me
What it means: “Right now, I’m feeling pressured/controlled.” Even if you are correct, I must take a position. In addition, my brain is now dysregulated, and I’m having difficulty hearing you.”
What you can do is stop putting pressure on it. Remove yourself from the fight for power. Take a couple deep breaths in and out. Before responding, wait until you’ve regained your composure. Rather than forcing cooperation, empathize with the struggle: “It’s difficult to leave pleasant places” or “You’re not ready to put your shoes on.”
How to discuss it: Examine the power battles for trends. Is there a certain time of day or request that your child resists more than others? What distinguishes this circumstance from others? Is there any way you can maintain the boundaries while still giving them greater autonomy in the situation? Reconsider your requests and look for a solution that benefits everyone.
I Don’t Care
What it means: “Right now, I’m unable to consider the implications of what I’m saying.” In a relaxed state, I am concerned. “A great deal.”
What you can do is avoid arguing. Take their comments with a grain of salt (“Fine, I’ll take your Legos and give them away!”). Explain that when people’s emotions are high, they may say things that aren’t true. Make remarks about the circumstance, such as, “I know you put a lot of time and effort into that Lego creation.” Allow children to feel a range of emotions, such as “It’s okay to be angry because it broke by mistake.”
When enormous sentiments take over, saying “I don’t know” is a simple way to express yourself. Consider how you might assist your child in identifying and expressing their true feelings and thoughts. It’s a fantastic place to start talking about feelings, how they appear and sound, and how they relate to real-life events. Allow time to pass. This isn’t going to happen in a day or two.
I Don’t Care Attitude
We’ve all heard it: a children’s dismissive retort from a tween or teen, usually in reaction to a parent’s worry. Parental discussions about their children’s behavior and expectations could be difficult; a children’s “I don’t care” reply can add to the irritation, resentment, and self-doubt.
Why does the phrase “I don’t care” elicit such a powerful reaction? Why is it so difficult for us to reply calmly, and instead we frequently react in ways that escalate the conversation into an argument? Looking inside ourselves can help us discover answers to these concerns; if we do, I believe we will find one clear and dominant emotion: dread.
What are some of the concerns that parents may have? One parent could be concerned that he or she is an ineffective parent, while another is concerned about losing a children’s affection. While we perceive our concerns to be genuine, a closer examination of the circumstances reveals that they are typically unjustified. It’s not an indication that we’re bad parents if our children resist punishment; it’s more likely a sign that we’re effectively challenging them to make better, if tough, choices. Discipline does not lead to the loss of affection; rather, it frequently leads to a greater respect.
Understanding that our worries aren’t founded on reality might help us avoid falling into the trap of reacting to them. When we let our anxieties control a conversation, we tend to react more harshly to our children’s misbehavior. We could raise our voices or threaten to escalate the severity of the punishments (operant conditioning)we’ve already imposed. Such a reaction will most likely divert the children’s attention away from their own behavior and onto their parent’s anger.
Let’s take a step back for a second and consider a real-life scenario. Assume your child has made a poor decision and now must take the consequences. Your child responds, “I DON’T CARE,” as you explain the consequence, and you feel compelled to react. You may then remind yourself that your concerns are most likely unjustified. Then, with strength and commitment, you may proceed to carry out the consequence. While we are unlikely to be thanked for our perseverance (till ten or even twenty years later! ), following through on attempts to encourage healthy behavior is likely to help a kid make better choices.
A dismissive answer from a kid does not imply that you have done something wrong or that your relationship with your child is in danger. Instead, it’s typically an indication that you’ve succeeded in encouraging your child to participate in more good behavior. If you can put your worries in perspective, abstain from responding, and demonstrate confidence in yourself as a parent, your kid is more likely to respond and learn to make better choices.
What You Should Do Next:
1. Register For A Must Listen To FREE 60-Minute Class:
2. Enjoy These Gentle Parenting Podcasts
- Unruffled by Janet Lansbury
- Raising Good Humans With Dr. Aliza
- Parenting Beyond Discipline
- Mindful Parenting in a Messy World
3. Dive Into These Gentle Parenting Websites
- Janet Lansbury “Respectful Parenting Basics”
- Sara Rockwell-Smith “Gentle Parenting Book”
- No Reward, No Punishment
- How is Gentle different than mainstream?
- Gentle Parenting Myth
- 5 secrets to Gentle Parenting
4. Enjoy These Gentle Parenting Books
- How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
- How To Talk So Kids Will ListenPeaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
- The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
- The New Dare To Discipline
- Silence Is A Scary Sound
- Parenting With Love And Logic
- More books here.
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6. Read Some Of My Favorite Blog Posts From Other Gentle Parenting Professionals
- How to get others on board with GP (grandparents, family, providers)
- MANAGING TODDLER TANTRUMS
- PREVENTING A GROWN UP MELTDOWN
- Why do we call it a TANTRUM? IT’S A FEELING
- TIME-IN (NOT TIME OUT)
- What to do: biting, hitting, pushing, throwing
- Punishment Vs. Natural Consequence
- REWARDS: WHY THEY DON’T WORK.
- ITS OKAY NOT TO SHARE
- HOW TO STOP YELLING AT KIDS
- GP for Newborns & young babies
- Parenting Differences among peers/providers
- Does your spouse parent differently?
- Prefrontal Cortex – YOUR CHILD’S BRAIN IS NOT DEVELOPED ENOUGH
“GENTLE PARENTING IS A LIFESTYLE THAT EMBRACES BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, NOT ONLY TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN, BUT TO YOURSELF TOO“— SARA HOCKWELL-SMITH