How to Deal with Controlling Kids
Children aren’t born with the ability to understand rules – it’s a learned behavior. So, what do you do when your child has taken control of the household into his own hands? It’s important to understand why your child is acting out.
When responding to controlling kids, the secret isn’t to control them more or to try to stop their need for control or to prove to them they don’t need to act controlling.
Help them find something they can control that is okay with you and them. This gets you on the same team, helps meet the kids’ need for control and keeps them working within the boundaries you set in place.
The key to controlling a controlling child is controlling yourself. It is unfortunate that the answers to tough problems often begin by looking in the mirror. But once we see a clear picture of ourselves, we can better help our kids.
Control your reaction. Reacting to inappropriate behaviors not only feeds into the bad behavior by providing a form of attention, but also causes the parent more stress and anxiety. Break the vicious cycle by controlling the one thing you can: your own behavior.
Your child’s mood will mirror your own. When you come home stressed, upset, or angry, your child picks up on that and acts in a similar fashion. They do not do this on purpose – it’s part of a natural reaction called imitation.
Your child needs and wants structure. Children like structure and routine. They like to feel a sense of comfort and to know what to expect, and you’re the most important person who can provide that. If a child is in a state of constant change, she may feel anxious or tense, and inappropriate behavior will soon follow. A lot of children will act out because they are anxious but may not know or understand how to communicate that to others.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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