What This Is Like from a Parent’s Perspective


You sacrifice so much for your kids. Being with them on a daily basis is exhausting and depleting. So when they have a disrespectful attitude…

… When they get angry with you because you ask them to clean up after themselves

…Or when they are nasty to you when you tell them to brush their teeth or go to bed

…It takes all of your energy to stay calm (IF you can even do that).

How could they treat you so rudely after all that you do for them? And how can you make sure they don’t grow up to be brats?


What This Is Like From a Child’s Perspective


In so many ways, children do have things easy. They aren’t asked to do that many difficult tasks.

But children are also missing the tools to be “mature” when things DON’T go their way.

…So when they want to keep playing but they have to stop to clean up…

…Or when they hate going to bed but they are forced to do it anyway…

…Their frustration and disappointment come out in the form of disrespect. And because you’re right there, you become the target.

They don’t know how to do anything different… until someone teaches them how. 




How It Usually Goes When

Kids Are Disrespectful


Scenario: Zara and her mom were just shopping for supplies for Zara’s upcoming birthday party. When Zara’s mom asks Zara to carry some of the bags to the car so she doesn’t have to carry them all, Zara refuses.


Mom: Zara, are you kidding me?

Zara: What?

Mom: You won’t take a few bags?

Zara: I don’t want to!

Mom: Wow… I didn’t necessarily just want to go shopping… but I did it!

Zara (doesn’t say anything).

Mom: Zara, you are being extremely rude right now!

Zara (doesn’t say anything).

Mom: Zara, take these bags NOW or there will BE no birthday party.

Zara (rudely takes the bags from her mom).

Even though Zara has taken the bags, nothing seems better to either Zara or her mom.


How It Can Go When

Kids Are Disrespectful


Scenario: Zara and her mom were just shopping for supplies for Zara’s upcoming birthday party. When Zara’s mom asks Zara to carry some of the bags to the car so she doesn’t have to carry them all, Zara refuses.


Mom (puts the bags she is carrying down): Zara.

Zara: What?

Mom: I need help.

Zara: I don’t want to.

Mom (slows her voice and tone): Zara, in our family we help each other when we need it.


[expand title=”CALM”]

Zara’s mom wants to tell all of the reasons that it’s “too bad” that she doesn’t want to help. But she knows that if she focuses on Zara’s disrespect, she herself won’t be able to stay calm… which will only make the situation worse. 

Instead of focusing on Zara’s behavior, she reminds herself that she needs to demonstrate mature behavior, and she stays calm. [/expand]


Zara (doesn’t say anything).

Mom: Hey, something’s going on isn’t it?

Zara (doesn’t say anything).

Mom (tries to see the perspective from Zara’s situation). You’re upset because I wouldn’t buy those extra treats for your party, aren’t you?


[expand title=”CONNECT”]

Zara’s mom knows that Zara often acts disrespectful when things aren’t going her way.

She knows that seeing the situation from Zara’s perspective will help her understand why Zara is struggling… and then she can give Zara what she needs to act more respectfully. [/expand]


Zara (forcefully): YES!

Mom: Yeah. Those were cool. (She doesn’t say anything else. She doesn’t try to explain to Zara why she didn’t buy the extra treats. She just lets Zara feel her disappointment.)

Zara (looks down but doesn’t say anything).

Mom: I’m sorry things didn’t go the way you hoped. If you want to talk more about it, I’m happy to listen. And I still need help, kiddo. Can you please pick up the bags?


[expand title=”CORRECT”]

Zara’s mom reiterates her boundary while respecting Zara’s perspective. 

She reminds Zara of the boundary while giving her tools to release her Yuck. [/expand]


Zara (picks up the bags).

Mom: Thanks. Let’s go.



How to Make In-the-Moment Parenting Work


Though Zara’s mom used Calm, Connect, Correct, proactive deposits will make all of the difference in how this situation plays out in the moment.

If you want to give your child tools to be successful (so they are less disrespectful), remember: 


[expand title=”Depositing into CALM”]

You will not be able to stay calm if

a.) your own biological or emotional “needs accounts” are low (if you feel like no one respects YOU and/or you have no control)

b.) you have the expectation that your children will have the same priorities that you do

When you make sure your own needs are met and you set realistic expectations PROACTIVELY, you are more likely to be able to stay calm. [/expand]


[expand title=”Depositing into CONNECT”]

You will be able to connect if

a.) you respect that ALL behavior has a reason and

b.) you understand those reasons (in a case like this, that when you teach children HOW to be successful, they do behave better)

When you become comfortable with the reasons behind behavior PROACTIVELY, you will be able to connect more effectively. [/expand]


[expand title=”Depositing into CORRECT”]

You will be able to correct behavior by offering a tool if

a.) You have demonstrated consistently in the past that you mean what you say when you set a boundary like “I need you to help me.”

b.) You have made enough deposits into your kids’ emotional needs that setting a boundary doesn’t put them immediately into Yuck.

When you demonstrate that you mean what you say and when you make deposits into your kids’ emotional needs PROACTIVELY, you  will be able to correct behavior more effectively. [/expand]