How to Handle Your Child's Bad Attitude

empowering your teenager family enrichment Nov 13, 2023

Last weekend as we were pulling into the church parking lot I noticed a young boy sitting on the ground.  He was leaning against a tree with his hood up and his head down.   Mom and dad were helping his little sister get out of the car.   A few minutes later as we were walking into the church, I saw the family again.  This time the boy was walking slowly behind mom, dad and his little sister.  The hood was still up and his head was down.   Clearly, he was not happy about being at church on this beautiful Sunday morning.  


We have all been there.  Especially as our children move into and through the teenage years.   Maybe it is a trip to visit a relative they don’t know. Or going to their little brothers choir performance. Or doing their assigned chores.  There are going to be times where your child is going to have to do something they don’t want to do and they will let you know that they are not happy.  


For some reason in these moments it is very easy for us to become frustrated and say something like … “drop the attitude mister.”   What does that even mean? 


Today, I am going to share a couple of reminders for how to handle these situations in the moment.


First, be mindful of your mindset.  If you notice yourself starting to get frustrated or angry, create a pause and shift your attention to having compassion and forgiveness for your child.


Next, acknowledge and validate what your child is going through.  Here is what that could sound like:


“It looks like you are pretty angry about having to go to church.  I know it can be hard to have to do something that you don’t want to do.”  Notice, you are not saying they don’t have to do the thing they don’t want to do.   You are just acknowledging that they are upset about having to do it. 


Saying this with compassion lets your child know that you see them and that you love them, even when they are being disruptive or difficult.   


Finally, remember this.  They will need to regain their composure before they will be ready to explore any ideas for handling the situation differently next time so plan on circling back when emotions have dissipated.  


Staying grounded in a love based mindset in these moments will transform the experience for both you and your child.


Choosing a loving perspective … changes everything.


Your family enrichment coach,


Jim White





10 Questions to NEVER ask you teen - conversation killers

10 Great questions - conversation starters



Send me the QUESTIONS

You can start using these questions today and you will notice a difference by tomorrow.

When you sign up, we will be sending you weekly emails with additional free content. .