acting out

Why is my child so rude?

It’s easy to get frustrated when your child is rude. You want to discipline them or even yell, but there’s a reason that they’re acting this way, so it’s essential to be compassionate and try to understand what’s going on with them. There could be many reasons why a child acts out, and it’s necessary to sit down with them and work together to figure out what the problem is. So, how do you do this?

Talking with your child It might seem like a simple solution, but many parents don’t take the time to sit down with their child and ask, “Hey, how are you feeling?” If you ask, you’ll get insight as to what’s going on. At first, they might get defensive, or they may not open up, but if you ask gently and in a way that feels natural rather than like an intervention or judgement on their behaviour of some kind, they may open up. You never know what could happen as the result of asking open-ended questions. There is a lot of power in giving a child space and autonomy to speak their mind.

What if they don’t say anything?

It’s okay if your child doesn’t say anything. Allow them space to be there with you. It could take them minutes, hours, days, or weeks for them to open up, and how long it takes will depend on the child. The best thing that you can do in this scenario is usually to give them space. You can say, “maybe you don’t want to talk about this right now, but I’m here if you need me.”

Assure them that they can tell you anything and that you won’t get upset with them. Sometimes, even kids that rarely receive punishment are afraid of upsetting others or making their parents mad. That is particularly true for shy or perfectionist children. Also, be mindful of the fact that kids might understand things differently and be willing to rephrase your questions or statements in a variety of ways until it resonates with them.

Don’t presume to know

You may believe that you think that you know what’s going on with your child, but don’t presume to know. Always ask and err on the side of caution. Although your child is, well, your child, and you do have a special connection with them, they are autonomous beings with their thoughts. Children are smart. They’re conscious of the world and the people around them. What you assume are outbursts that are easily triggered or that come out of nowhere could be related to problems with anxiety, bullying, or fear about the state of the world around them.

Never assume that specific issues are “too adult” for your kids to worry about because they can understand more than you think. A child could hear something on the news about the economy or a house fire and develop a pervasive fear that your own house will catch on fire or that you won’t have enough money to be financially secure even if there’s no reason to think that that’s the case.

Children can also face genuine mental health conditions, which might be the culprit of their behaviour. Asking is always better than assuming, so even if you think that you know what’s going on, be sure to double-check.

Talking about parenting in therapy

Therapy is an excellent place to discuss any parenting issues you may have. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you don’t know what to do. No parent is perfect, but you may find that talking about things in therapy, whether that’s online or in-person, is helpful for you and makes you feel more secure as a parent.

Online therapy is an excellent option for busy parents and working professionals because you can access it anywhere with a stable internet connection. BetterHelp is an excellent option for remote therapy. It’s affordable and offers support from licensed mental health professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Parenting doesn’t come with a how-to manual, and therapy might be the thing to take a lot of the stress that comes with it off of your shoulders.

This is a contributed post by Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.



Claire Kirby

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