Children are very clever at figuring out how to get what they want. If simple asking does not work, they will up the ante and try to demand, asking in louder, ruder tones and even throwing tantrums. As parents, too often we can’t take it and give in. This teaches the child that
- They can get what they want if they shout loud enough
- Rudeness and tantrums are the key to success
- They are in charge
- When all is calm in your household and you are feeling especially close to your daughter, tell her that you have been thinking and you have decided that when she is rude and demanding, the answer will always be ‘no’.
- She will need to know that when she needs anything, you will only consider it if she asks respectfully. You can give her examples of what that looks like. Tell her that sometimes the answer will still be ‘no’ but that it is your job to know what’s best and that you will get through it together.
- Resist the very real temptation to shout back or be rude when she is being rude and demanding. Simply tell her is a calm voice that this behaviour is not okay and do not respond in any other way, ignoring the behaviour if it continues. Whatever you do, do not give in to keep peace.
- If it happens in public, stop whatever is going on and tell your child you are going home, and make a quick exit. If she calms down, say that you will try again another time but for now this trip is over.
- When ordering, demanding behaviour occurs, ignore everything, leaving the room if need be. When she calms down and asks properly, listen carefully, hold her close and if you need to say ‘no’, tears will likely ensue as your daughter realizes that further begging is futile. Tears are the first step to adapting to the situation and accepting that she cannot control everything. Children often shed tears several times a day; this shows you that they are adapting to the world around them and beginning to mature and grow the way Mother Nature intends. If you are patient, in a few short weeks your daughter will understand that demanding and rude behaviour gets her nowhere and she will behave more often as you hope.