What It Took to Straighten Out a Hard-Headed Boy’s Behaviors

Your stubborn child refuses to respond to discipline and love, and you are not sure what tactics will help as you attempt to deal with his poor attitude. How can you deal with your hard-headed son’s behaviors? The following tips provide insight on how you can encourage him to become a responsible and productive adult.

Understand Transitions

As children transition from middle school into the teen years, they often exhibit the following negative behaviors:

  • Pouting
  • Talking back
  • Lying
  • Arguing
  • Swearing
  • Rebellion
  • And many more.

He is becoming more independent and trying out his wings. However, he hasn’t developed the emotional maturity that he needs when it comes to making good decisions. Part of this is biological – his brain is still developing. In addition, he lacks the basic life experience necessary to understand the value of making the right choices.

Establish Clear Boundaries

By setting concrete rules in your home, you will have specific guidelines that they know they need to follow. This helps them as they grow older. For example, drivers know the posted speed limit on the roads and know that if they exceed the speed limit, they might receive a ticket. Learning boundaries in the home prepares children for learning boundaries in life.

Write down the rules so that no one questions them. You can either draw up house rules or a behavior contract. You can help children feel that they have some control by letting them help you set up consequences. However, the final decision rests with you.

Instill Discipline

When your son breaks the rules, focus on his behavior, possible dangers and how it makes you feel. Address and model clear communication that includes speaking respectfully to others without name calling or yelling. Encourage asking questions without being rude. Express emotions without attacking the other person. For example, you can tell your child that you are really angry with his behavior and set appropriate consequences.

Stay Consistent

If your son doesn’t stick to the agreed guidelines, you have the list or contract in place to guide you. If you are married, make sure that you and your partner agree and that your child is not pitting you against each other. However, emergencies happen, so be willing to listen to your son if he provides a truly legitimate reason for breaking the rules.

Model Acceptable Behavior

Do not be hypocritical. In other words, do not expect children to abide by rules that you are not willing to follow. For example, if you do not want your son to swear, you should keep your language clean as well.

Stay Connected

Talk with your teens regularly about every day events and any issues that they might face. In this way, they will be more willing to work out disagreements with you and want to turn to you when problems arise. They will expect you to ask them questions about their day, lives, activities and friends and likely will enjoy talking with you about what they are doing.

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