Disrespectful Behavior - The Play Doctors
Identify why the child is being disrespectful
Could it be:
- Learnt or copied behaviour
- Attention seeking/ waiting for a reaction
- Expressing an emotion
- A defence behaviour
- The child feels unfairly treated
Strategies and Responses
- Try to find the underlying reason for the behaviour – what’s behind the disrespect(see above). Look at your own behaviour - are you giving the child permission to be disrespectful by your own behaviour shouting, snapping or telling the child off without listening to their side of the story?
- If you can’t work out and deal with the source of the problem, provide clear boundaries. Tell the child that the behaviour is not respectful, if they continue to talk back then ask for an apology. At this point offer the child a choice, you can apologise for ..... or .... you will face the consequence for your behaviour. This helps the child own what happens next as they make the choice. If they make the right choice praise the child, if they continue they face the consequence.
- The consequence of the behaviour needs to be meaningful to the child or it will have no value.
- Be consistent in your response or the child will ‘play you’ working on your own weaknesses or forgiving nature
- Once the situation has died down, begin a dialogue with the child. We suggest walking and talking rather than sitting a child down on the settee. It opens upopportunities for conversations about what the child’s reasons may be for the behaviour.
- Lead by example. Praise good behaviour and consider your own behaviour, don’t be afraid to apologise if you are at fault. You are teaching the child that it’s OK to apologise if they are in the wrong.
- Be realistic and set achievable goals alongside the child