I want to talk to you about how you can get kids to stop arguing. This can happen now- within a week if you stick to it.
My husband and I found ourselves caught in this cycle of letting our son argue with us, more than once. Not a lot, but still… We aren’t “yellers” and we do not spank (we never will, so no need to leave comments about that. I did a lot of research in college and I just don’t see the benefit of it.)
I am a firm believer in talking to your children and that by listening to them, you will find a solution. However, there are times when this doesn’t work. Talking to them is ALWAYS the first thing that we try- we need to let them voice their opinions, just like we want to voice ours, if we want to raise our kids to be responsible adults.
Sometimes it just ins’t enough…
Our 8 year old has started ‘arguing’ with us. It started a few months ago and we have had it “up to here”. Let me give you an example:
J- “Mom, can I watch Minecraft on YouTube?
Me- “No, not right now. I need to be with you when you watch YouTube and I can’t right now.”
J- “I want to see how to build that ice cream shop on Minecraft.”
Me- “Not right now. I am helping your brother.”
J- “I just want to watch it for two minutes. Can’t you help him after?”
Me- “No, I can’t. I’ll be with you in a few minutes, when I’m done, but not if you keep asking.”
J- “Mom? Can’t I just watch it for 5 minutes? I promise that’s all.”
So- you see, this back & forth arguing is getting us NO WHERE. What is the solution? Its simple! My husband turned to me, one day, and said “We’re done. We are done arguing with him. From now on – what we say goes. There isn’t any debate or question about it. If it is something that we can talk about with them, we will. If it is something that we have already decided, than it is not up for discussion. We are the adults here.”
I was on board with it, 100%. Later, talking to my mom, she told me the same thing: When she was little, what her parents said was it. There was no arguing about it. It is just not respectful and I don’t want them to think that it was OK.
THERE IS A TIME AND PLACE FOR DISCUSSION, AND WHEN IT IS DONE PROPERLY, GREAT.
WHEN IT IS DONE AS A BACK AND FORTH ARGUMENT, after they have already heard the answer– IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK.
The worst part for us to come to terms with is that is it us, the parents, that are causing the arguments! You see, once you open up to argue your point, or “have the last word”, you are just inviting your child to accept your invitation to have an argument. Gone are your moments of “because I said so”.
So what do you do?
A friend/reader recently sent me this little snippet by John Rosemond (writer with the Charlotte Observer) that states: “That is how to stop arguments. You simply give the instruction in as few words as possible. “It is time for you to pick up your toys,” for example.
The child will then ask for an explanation. Don’t be fooled. In that context, “Why?” and “Why not?” are not requests for information. They are challenges to battle.
When you answer the child with anything other than “This is what we are doing right now and I need you to help. We are NOT going to discuss it.” you step straight into quicksand, and the harder you struggle, the further and faster you sink. It’s an example of parenting minimalism, defined by my online dictionary as “using a few very simple elements to achieve maximum effect.” Indeed.”
So honestly, the best way to stop an argument is to not allow your child to get you into an argument. You just have to tell yourself that you are not going to argue. What good comes from it? Really?
Today, instead of arguing, just stop. Give your child an ultimatum and stick to it.
Your child will learn from this that in the end, the choices that he/she makes are up to him. YOU ARE UNWAIVERING, so it is his/her decision what the outcome will be.
If you need more help, I suggest this book. It is great!