Family Talk: Disrespectful kids can test parents
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook:
Vulnerable mom moment here ... Need some advice. My oldest has a hard time with respectfulness. When he doesn't want to do something or disagrees with me/teachers/friends, he gets attitude and frankly is just very disrespectful. He's a good kid but dang — I need some realignment with this behavior trait. If you have ideas or suggestions, please share. He's 11.
Many friends offered sympathy and/or advice, but my personal favorite was this:
A jail visit always works. It worked for Alfred Hitchcock when he was 10. It will scare the hell out of him when he is told this is where all disrespectful kids end up.
I checked the internet to see if “disrespectful 11-year-old” was a common topic. It was. There were lots of websites offering advice, some helpful, some not so much.
My favorite was a website called Mamapedia — the wisdom of moms. It's a place for moms to share problems and questions, and give advice or support. One mom offered this advice to another mother struggling with a disrespectful 11-year-old.
I can so relate! When my daughter turned 11 she became a different person. Uncooperative, disrespectful — you name it. I used the book "Parenting Teens With Love and Logic" by Cline and Faye. I found it really helpful. She is now 21 and we have a great relationship. I just wanted to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My wife and I also used the "Love and Logic" book, and it was helpful. But the one thing you must not do when dealing with a disrespectful child is to ignore it or accept it.
Evangelist Billy Graham said, “A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.”
Jim Priest is CEO of Sunbeam Family Services and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.