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Is Arguing With Your Child Effective?

by White River Academy Teen Boarding School
NO! Arguing is not effective! Arguing causes both parties to put up defensive barriers which hinder the real problem from being accessed and therefore decreases the likelihood of resolving the issue. Arguing is usually about issues or things. As arguing escalates, however, it can turn personal and then violent. Sixty seconds into any argument the issue is no longer what is right; it's who is right. The issue is no longer about being kind, fair or honest; it's about who is going to win and who is going to lose.

Parents should not do everything in their power to win an argument! This is a negative example that some parents unknowingly set for their kids. If the parent wins an argument, that parent demonstrates that arguing really does work. If the parent loses, the child may consider that they win and they and that the child was rewarded for arguing and contending. Arguing and contention bring a negative and depressive sprit into the home.

If you are contentious and argumentative you set up negative and destructive standards of communication within the home. The more that arguing is rewarded, the more it escalates. If you must always win you then that means that your child must always be the loser.

Dr. James J. Jones, Who obtained a Masters degree in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy, and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology suggests the following techniques to eliminate arguing:

  • SPONGE: Yes, yes, tell me more, more, more…. Is that all?
  • Deflectors: Nevertheless, regardless, in spite of that, I see, however…
  • Broken Record: Nevertheless, do the dishes, NOW!

When a child asks, "Why?" remember, about 90% of the time he is not after more data. When kids use "why?", it is often okay to go ahead and answer the first time. If they persist, chances are their "whys" are asked only so they can overcome your objections. Arguing is fuel for anger, rage, and finally violence. Arguing drives the Rage Gage to intolerable levels.

That is why it is important to stick to the rules and regulations that you have set up as a parent and to let those be the backbone of your decision. If a child can see that arguing will not get them anywhere they will soon learn not to argue. It is important to listen to your child and let them share with you how they feel, but, as a parent you ultimately need to make sure that they know that, "No" means "No!".

It is important as a parent to let your kids know that they can rely on you to be consistent on rules and the "Do's and Don'ts". Sometimes parents feel bad for restricting their child and limiting them. There is no need to feel bad because just as a kite needs a string to remain airborne and to fly higher so does your child need rules and boundaries to reach their fullest potential.

Taken from the material in the book "Let's fix the Kids: Creating a new environment at home" by James J. Jones, P.h.D.

Please keep in mind that these tips are to assist you as a parent of a defiant youth while the teen is at home. We understand that some youth may be past the point of assistance in the home and for this reason we provide the Wake Up Call and results based boarding school options. If you feel your teen may need additional help please contact us 24 hours a day at 1-866-679-8336 (TEEN) or Contact WRA Boarding School.

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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