Let me confess: I’d be the first one to find something attractive about a child that has an opinion. One that knows what he wants and knows how to stand up for what they think is right. But there’s a thin line that separates this expressing of opinions from arguments. And there’s nothing sweet about a child who picks an argument with the family at the drop of a hat.
We all have been in situations where a simple conversation with the child blew out of proportion and turned into an argument and it is draining, frustrating and disruptive as a family. So, how to do you stop a child from arguing?
Learning to nip the arguing and back talking in the bud need not be a herculean task. As a parent, if you commit to three things, the solution to an arguing child is easy.
Be ready to hear out your child completely.
Be open to reconsidering a rule or a decision, when the decision seems like it was less than well-thought.
Have a steely determination to stick to your “NO” when you think it is important.
Here are a few other tips you could try to stop a child from arguing
Do not argue
Set an example and make your child understand that arguing will not get things done. Do not give in to any of their requests they make while they argue, to get across your point that she’d never get what she wants if he argues. And remember to never get into an argument with your child around because your child is bound to learn from your example.
Give your child options
Arguments happen when you force your child to do everything as you wish. So, give her an option even for the chores like, do you want to help me set the table for dinner, or take the trash out this week? Would you like to have fruits or biscuits for snack today, etc;
Be objective in your conversations
Avoid statements like can you please put your toys away, or can you please put your plate in the sink. Instead, use objective and affirmative statements like put your toys away, or your job is to put your plate in the sink after your eat your food. Make your child understand that it is his duty and not an obligation to behave responsibly.
Differentiate between arguments and debate
A debate is about two people expressing their point of view about a subject, while an argument is about two people constantly trying to one-up each other. Make your child understand why you are ok with the child expressing his opinion, but not with picking a fight over issues. Help her understand the difference between an argument and a debate.
Children learn through rewards and make sure you reward them every time the make a polite request, rather than picking up an argument.
Tell them what’s acceptable
It is important that your child knows the right time to make a request. For instance, if your child requests to invite a friend to your family gathering in the presence of your friend, you are obliged to give in. So, make it clear to your child that any request needs to be made in private and at home.