Parents, do not let your kids...

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Be Disrespectful

When kids are routinely not respectful to you or another adult, they are basically sending a loud and clear message that they don't think they need to consider how others may feel or think.

Not treating you with respect and being rude to other adults is a bad habit that kids can quickly grow into.

If your child speaks to you or another adult rudely or uses backtalk, then take them aside as soon as possible after the incident and let them know in private that they will not be allowed to participate in fun things or will lose access to things they like, such as video games or TV time, unless they learn how to treat others the way they want to be treated. Be as detailed (specific) as possible on what you mean by "treated".

Kids learn by example. Thank them when they do something for you, say "please," and treat them respectfully.

Act with Defiance or Ignore you

Often, kids who don't respect authority don't listen. While your child may truly be distracted when you, it can also be the case that they're not listening because they don't think there will be any consequences for not listening.

If they're willfully ignoring you and doing something you ask them not to do (or vice versa), discipline them right away. Take them away from the action, whether it's a family dinner or a play date, and ask them to reset themself while they think about why their choice to ignore you is not acceptable.

Allow them to come back and show you how they can "do over" those last few moments and be a better listener. If they refuse, give them consequences (such as not getting something they want to losing privileges like time with friends or TV or computer time).

Be Ungrateful or Greedy

While it's natural for parents to want to give their kids the things they want and need, giving kids nearly everything they want and need is definitely the opposite of good.

To prevent kids from focusing on getting the things they want, let them earn or save allowance money to buy some of the things they want. Teach them how to experience and express gratitude and volunteer to help others.

Teaching kids how to be charitable and think about those who don't have the things they do is a great way to tone down greed and encourage them to appreciate what they have.

Tantruming or Pouting

Seeing a full-blown screaming and crying fit (and its equally bad behavior cousins pouting and whining) in a school-age child is less acceptable. A 5- or 6-year-old may have an occasional meltdown, but they should be on their way to learning how to express their frustrations in a more controlled, calm and respectful way.

The next time your child throws a fit, ask them to go into a room or a corner and sit down until they feel calmer. Some kids may need help doing this, so you can provide assistance by remaining present and modeling calm.

Once they have reset their emotions and can listen, talk about why tantrums will make it less likely that they'll get what they want. Talk about how they could have handled the situation better and ask them to stop, take a deep breath, and think about those better choices the next time they feel frustrated.


All kids engage in deceit at some point, and very young children are often unable to distinguish between lying and imaginative play. But as kids get older, they may deliberately tell lies for specific reasons (to avoid getting into trouble, for instance).

If your child is making a habit of telling fibs, take steps immediately to find out what's behind the behavior, make it clear that you want them to stop, and show them why lying can be harmful to relationships.


Whether it's a board game or other playful competition, some younger kids may cheat simply because they want to win. But older kids, who develop a sense of right and wrong, may cheat

deliberately (say, on a test at school). Talk to your child about how cheating lessens their achievements and emphasize the importance of fair play.

Handling these bad behaviors now will leave you feeling grateful later if/when you see other kids doing the wrong thing and behaving horribly. After all, who wants to hang out with a rude or tantruming teenager?


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