What to Do When You and Your Child Disagree

What to Do When You and Your Child Disagree

Calendar-IconAugust 21, 2023  |  Child Focus, Communication, Family Resources
A mother and daughter with their arms crossed, facing each other. The text reads "What to Do When You and Your Child Disagree"

Disagreements are a natural part of life. However, when you and your child disagree it can often be a frustrating experience.  


We want what is best for our children, and sometimes we make parenting decisions that make our children angry or unhappy. This can cause tension in our relationships with our children and can even lead us to feel as if we have made a mistake.  


There are many different parenting styles in the world today, and healthy disagreements will arise no matter how you choose to raise your children. However, it is important to remember that there is a distinct difference between respectful disagreements and angry or heated arguments.  


Disagreements with your children are some of the most common parenting challenges you will face. However, regardless of what type of parent you are, you can find solutions that will keep disagreements healthy and help you and your child move forward and find common ground.  


Five Steps to Solving a Disagreement with Your Child 


You and your child will not always agree. Conflicts are bound to happen, but they do not have to devolve into screaming matches which can harm our mental health.  


Follow the five steps below for more success after you and your child disagree. 


Step One: Understand their Perspective 


As a parent, it is easy to adopt the idea that you know best regardless of the situation. And while you must be an authority in your child's life, it is important to try and understand your child's perspective and listen to their insight.  


Authoritative parenting without insight into your child's needs can often lead children into mental health struggles or resentment. Make sure you understand your children's perspective and why they want a specific outcome.  


Likewise, you must make sure your child understands your perspective. To children, it can sometimes feel as if their parents command them without regard for their feelings. If your child has an understanding of the motivations behind your actions, they will be able to better understand your decisions.  


For example, you may want your child to come to dinner immediately when called. However, your child may not come immediately if they are in the middle of a difficult homework problem. Understanding your child's perspective can help you create rules that work for both of you. 


Step Two: Express Both Sides 


When you and your child disagree, it is important to remember that different opinions can be valid. Both you and your child should have a chance to calmly and clearly express your wants and needs 


Be sure that you and your child can discuss your expectations in a controlled and orderly environment. Be sure that you express what you expect and why you expect it. Explain your motivation and be sure that it makes sense to your child.  


Also, give your child a chance to express their own needs. Sweeping parental rules can sometimes shake up our children's lives in ways that we cannot anticipate. Ensuring that your child has an opportunity to state their case will make sure they feel heard and respected.  


For example, if you have told your child they need to be home by 4 PM, but their extracurricular event goes until 4, be sure you give your child a chance to express this. If you understand their needs better, then you may understand if a rule doesn't work for them.  


Step Three: Invite Alternative Solutions 


While sitting down with your child, be sure to take time to create alternative solutions.  


The first rule you come up with does not have to be the one that you stick with. You may even find that you and your child can discover common ground that allows you to make rules that work for both of you.  


Working with your child to revisit rules that are hard for them can help make your disagreements healthier and build respect between the two of you.  


For example, if you want your child to take out the trash every Wednesday night, but Wednesday is a busy night for them, maybe they can take the trash out Wednesday morning instead.  


Step Four: Choose a Solution 


Now that you understand your child's needs and have come up with a few alternative solutions, it is time to pick a solution that is best for your family. 


Sometimes your child's reasons for disliking a rule will not be valid and sometimes they will. It is up to you as a parent to decide what rules you will enforce and how you will enforce them. 


For example, sometimes you will take time to understand your child's perspective and discuss a few alternative rules, but you will decide that your original rule is best. It is up to you to enforce that original rule even if it means your child will be upset.  


Step Five: Evaluate the New Rule 


After you have put the new rule in place, take some time to evaluate its success. How did it go? Is your child happy? Or are they struggling? 


If the new rule is not working, then you must reevaluate and alter the rule to create a system that works for everyone.  


For example, if you tell your oldest child they need to pick up the youngest at 8 PM, but then find that this is causing the oldest child to miss homework deadlines, then you need to change the rule to ensure that everyone's needs are met.  


Family Resources for You with Child Focus 


Disagreements will always happen when you are a part of a family. However, it is important to approach disagreements with respect and understanding rather than stubbornness that devolves into arguments.  


Being flexible and understanding your children's needs is one of the best things you can do as a parent to set them up for success in the long run.  


Improving your skills as a parent will help your children thrive in life. for that reason, Child Focus offers parent enrichment to help give you the skills you need to become a better parent.  


If you are interested in parent enrichment courses to help set your children up for success, reach out to Child Focus today! 


For more free content on mental health, early childhood education, and family relationships, follow Child Focus on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn


Are you satisfied with the difference Child Focus has made in your life? Leave Us A Quick Review Here!