Disrespectful Child Behavior: Where to Draw the Line

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 James Lehman, MSW

I believe the distinction between mild rebelliousness and disrespect has to be drawn very clearly. But, as a parent, how do you know for sure if your child’s behavior has crossed the line and become truly disrespectful? And what should you do when they cross the line?

When a child is being rude or complaining that something isn’t fair, ask yourself: “Is my child expressing general frustration about the injustices or challenges of life, or is he being deliberately hurtful, condescending or abusive?”

I look at it this way: when your child rolls his eyes and stomps up the stairs, it’s fairly harmless. It’s very different from him saying, “You’re a jerk. You can’t make me. I don’t care what the rules are, I’m not doing it!”


Make no mistake, there is a distinction between eye-rolling and you ...

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“Which Consequence Should I Give My Child or Teen?”

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By Denise Rowden, Parent Coach


What is the best consequence to use for a particular behavior? Parents wonder which consequences to use, how to set them up effectively, and how long to give them.

A great way to start figuring out the right consequences for your situation is to sit down during a calm moment and create a list, or “menu,” of consequences and rewards for your child. Each behavior you are worried about should have a specific consequence. And the best part? You can even have your child help you create the menu.

To help you get started, we created a set of example consequence menus for kids ages 5-9, 10-14, and 15-17. These menus are grouped by age and developmental level so they will be most effective with your children, no matter what stage they’re in.

Free Downloadable C ...

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How to Talk to the Police When Your Child is Physically Abusive

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By Kim Abraham, LMSW & Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW

If your child is acting out physically by abusing you or other family members, destroying property, or threatening others, then you may want to consider talking proactively with the police. This step to work collaboratively with the police before you actually need them can save you a great deal of grief down the road.

We understand that involving the police is a very personal decision. And only you know if you are ready to take this step. But, if your child’s behavior has escalated to the point that you may need to involve the police, we recommend that you take the following steps.

1. Make an Appointment

Call and make an appointment to speak with the chief or head of the police department. You will also want to meet with any local officers who patrol your area ...

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