How do you react when you child pushes your buttons?

Kids grow up always watching their parents and even kids as young as toddlers can figure out pretty quickly how to put your buttons. How should you react when your child purposely pushes your buttons?

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32  Answers

8 1

My son is 4 so I am just starting to get some button pushing. We use the word respect a lot in our house. If he doesn't respect me or our stuff I say "I'd like to be having a good time right now, but I can discipline all day if I have to. I could put you on time out or put your favorite toys on time out if you don't show respect." I have followed through on that promise when needed so he really takes it seriously. He generally chooses "fun mommy" over "teach you good behavior" mommy.

If I lose my temper I say "I'm taking a deep breath because I'm really angry right now." He usually takes one with me. I also apologize if I do something I'm not proud of like yell or forget to respect him (his privacy is big right now). Hope that helps. I'd love to hear some tips from parents with older kids. I know there is a lot more button pushing yet to come...

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11 25

Sounds like you're on the right path. Good job.

3 13

I have 4 year old boy/girl twins, and have noticed they just started to try to push my buttons and team up on me..lol... as much as i try to stay calm, i usually need to walk away or i end up in tears....

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1 11

Above all else, you HAVE to keep yourself calm. When a child, no matter what age, sees you reacting wildly with a temper, yelling and such, it encourages the behavior. When you yell it puts the child on the defensive and brings forth the 'fight or flight' instinct. And in most cases that I have seen, the 'fight' response is what comes out. My 13 yr old son and I have gone through many different ways of handling this as he has been a serial button pusher. What I have found that works time and time again is always keeping yourself calm, look them straight in the eyes, speak firmly and directly, and tell them to stop. I also add in an element of humor. ( I have tried this on many kids that have been involved in my life. It works with them all!!) DO NOT engage in a match. You will get exactly the reaction that you don't want by doing so. My son and I live a much more peaceful existence together, talk more, and have a much closer relationship now than we did when I was doing the yelling.

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4 8

You are giving the same advice as our family therapist. He says to address a teen calmly on a person-to-person level. I'm finding this much easier said than done. I KNOW in my heart and soul that staying calm is the key. My daughter is quick to railroad off the subject by accusing me of not speaking "person-to-person" with her. This is a tactic she now uses to ensure that I assume my "parental" role, which she can rebel against. So, the therapist's advice has temporarily backfired. Even so, I do have faith that I'll eventually master the skill. And when all else fails, there's always Comedy Central and a nice glass of wine.

6 1

How do you do the element of humor? I'm not good at humor when I'm being pushed. It's so frustrating. I have 2 sons, the younger has ODD and it's so hard, he's so disrespectful, Oppositional and Defiant. As well as, a huge need for attention, power and revenge.

1 11

I was given this advice by several different therapists. I also read up on some 'love and logic' topics. (VERY valuable tool!!) My son has ADHD and ODD. He was a master manipulator, button pusher, argument instigator and all around whirlwind! ( He also would divert from the topic being discussed as your daughter does.)He had me LITERALLY pulling my hair out. I was at my wit's end with him. Luckily for us I reached out and got in touch with many helpful people, counselors and teachers alike. It has been a difficult road for us, but I feel we have been successful in this aspect of our relationship. For a while I didn't beleive it was possible. It's not easy and does get worse before it gets better, but stick with it. It DOES work and you'll all be much happier for the effort that you put into it. The humor part is difficult to find at first . What my son and I now do when the conversation starts heating up to a bad point, one of us will make a funny face, a funny comment, or just start poking fun at the topic( not the person tho, Very important to remember that part). We end up giggling at each other and the whole situation has been diffused.

6 0

There's a lot of shouting in my house (son 11, daughter 7, and their father is like a big kid who isn't big on discipline and spends a lot less time with them). Sadly it comes from me, which came from my own father who was also physically abusive, but is now a lovely grandfather. I have never smacked my children but shouting just seems to be ingrained. Now, with 8 weeks school holidays starting tomorrow, I am going to try and turn over a new leaf, and take on board what you have said. Thankyou

0 6

I also have a son with ADHD and ODD. Meds have not helped. They always seemed to make matters worse. He has been in weekly counseling sessions for over a year now with no real signs of improvement. He is about to turn 15 yrs old. His temper can flair to the point that I lose all sense of calm and reason in the face of his terrible comments. Can I asked how in the world you have been successful in getting him to comply with this type of solution? How do you get a child suffering from ODD to have enough presence of mind and control of himself to "make a funny face" and be willing to aid in the difussion of the situation? I would be so grateful for any advice you can give!!

0 0

My 9 year old daughter also has ODD and using humor to diffuse or change the mood has helped alot. Sometimes when we are going at it I just have to stop and say "ok, that's it" and then start tickling her or something. It diffuses both of us and when we are calm we can talk about what mad us mad.

0 12

I have a 7 year old daughter that is ADHD and ODD. I have been battling with her since she started walking. Not yelling does work, but you have to find a way to make yourself stay calm. I do a mental count sometimes. Remind myself that she wants to get me mad and refuse to let that happen. The only medicine that we are having luck with is Intuniv for the hyperness. Most days I cry because things are so much harder than they should be and I don't see it getting any better. The diffusing does work for them because she used to try to do it when she was in trouble. I have decided to go with this to make things easier, but it's still hard to try to talk to her about her behavior.

1 11

Tina~ In my situation, my son my son has a natural tendency to try to be funny. When I first started using this tactic I used that to my advantage. But there's always first things first. You have to catch yourself when you get mad, make yourself stop, and go from there. When you first start doing this you have to be the first one to start the diffusion. After doing this for several times, your son will learn that it's the way you are choosing to handle it and he will soon follow your lead. Always remember, children learn what they live and not so much what they are told. I wish you much luck :)

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9 30

I have 3 kids, aged 5, 3 and 1 and they all really know how to push my buttons. I know I react differently depending on how much sleep I've had, when I last ate, if we're in a hurry or if it's the wrong time of the month. I try to remember that, and it's really the key. It's not actually their behaviour that's wrong, since they are learning by doing, but it's my reaction I have to work on. If anyone needs time out, it's me, so I can count to ten and calm down, and that always results in the kids calming down too. At times when I've tried to punish them instead, by not letting them join us when we play, or by taking away their favourite toy f ex, has always resulted in more bad behaviour from them and a really stretched out process, so it's not worth it even though it feels easier at the time.

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6 1

you are so right

0 2

I am guilty of the same thing. I have a 4 year old daughter who has a very strong personality like her daddy, and a 15month old son who is just figuring stuff out. He is very good at stopping when told no....sometimes I have to go and remove him from whatever he is doing wrong, but not very often....very good for a 15month old I think :) BUT my daughter is a different story. She completely changed after my son was born...and that's to b expected...but I have always made sure to include her in everything...hue still her attitude is HORRIBLE! I have tried the calm down corner and it works sometimes, but not always. She has a horrible mouth (sassing and backtalking) and I usually lose my temper and yell. But I have been reading up on how to deal with the attitude and I have been really trying to chill. My momma gave me the best advice a few weeks ago and it really helps..count to 4 while breathing in...hold it till u hit 7...then let it out while u hit 10. It has helped to calm me down with her AND with my husband lol.

75 0

Her coping behavior is copy behavior. You are teaching her that when she is frustrated she shuld yell and that the loudest, last yell wins. When my daughter was little I put myself on timeout often - "I am angry and not thinking well and not acting well. I am going to my room, or the tub or.... for 15 minutes. Please stay here and do something quiet and when the timer rings come give me a hug and we can start over". I also aked heer to breathe with me "we are both acting badly. Lets take deep breaths until we get to 10 and then hug each othe before we talk about this any more".

0 20

Wow Helena, I couldn't have said it any better. What you wrote is not only true but something we as moms and dads need to put in action. The day I realized I needed a time out instead of my child is the day I found relief from my own frustrations. I really believe kids learn behavior from us and react by how there taught so with that said, it's me who needs to take a step back and take a deep breath and react as I'd want my child to react in certain situations. Thanks for helping me remember this.

0 13

I would love to do this...give myself a timeout and remove myself from the scene in order to cool down as I find myself reacting to her instead of grounding her with a calm response, but I've found that not only is she unwilling to go to another room to calm down herself, but she won't let me go anywhere either and follows me, opens the door if i close it, pounds on the door if i lock it. Knowing that no matter what I do I can't get away and that feeling of being trapped leads to a lot of my mad mommy behavior.

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4 8

I have a 15-yo daughter. Need I say more? Button pushing has been a teenage pastime since she turned 13. (Actually, it's been since she was about 2 or 3.) How do I react? I try to keep my sense of humor. But, quite honestly, I have a hard time keeping my cool when I say something and she misinterprets or misunderstands me. I HATE being misunderstood! When I communicate calmly about something she's done that I'm not happy about, she thinks I'm yelling. Just yesterday, I told her she could not go over to her friend's house until she cleaned up a mess she made that morning. Rather than start cleaning up the mess, she told my husband (her dad) I grounded her. It is comical to hear the way my words are filtered and translated through the adolescent brain, but it's also very frustrating when I'm not at my best...which is a lot of the time. Why did God make women perimenopausal around the same time our daughters are teenagers? Some sense of humor!

I wish I were better, but I admit, I do lose my cool...frequently. When I do, I usually give myself a time-out and ask her dad to go deal with her. Now that she's a teenager, I understand why some animals eat their young. I love my daughter more than life itself, but no one can give me more joy or more angst than she can. My friends who have been through the teen years tell me she'll come around as a sweet young adult in a few years. In the meantime, it's stormy weather a lot in our house, so I keep my raincoat handy.

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0 0

I ahve a 16 year old boy and I can say the same exact thing! NOBODY can push my buttons like him. One minute he is this awesome young man who I can talk with and actually enjoy being around and the next he is this punky, dispectful, rude kid that I can look at and think "I love you to death, but right now. I don't like you!" He seems to go out of his way to push my buttons and I have told my husband that I swear he does it on purpose just to test me. I swear some days that he is trying to "break" me. When I tell him to quit being rude and to stop arguing with me, the new response is "yep, OK. Yep..got it" to shut me up. Naturally, that makes me lose my cool even more and he then says, "what? you said to quit arguing, so I did. Now I agree and you still flip out on me!!" UGGHHH!! I don't give in to his attitude and according to him I am too strict (which to him means I don't let him drive around in just anyones car, spend the night at older kids houses after a party, especially kids I don't even know and I actually their electronics blocked at 10 on school nights because I don't really care if their friends can stay up all night on facebook and go to bed whenever they feel when they have school in the morning..I'm not their Mom!!!!) If that makes me a mean Mom, so be it...but I swear some days..I think he is going to break me...I get soooooo sick of the arguing and he is soooo much more pleasant to be around when things are going his way! I've tried the "pick your battles" approach but that doesn't work...there's way too many choose from and with so many other kids having zero discipline or rules at their houses, it doesn't take me much for me to come out looking like the "control freak" or the "way too strict" Mom that he refers to me as...I've tried to explain that I could care less what his friends can and can't do, and I put boundaries on him because I CARE, not just to crampp his style! He has plenty of freedom and is quite spoiled, actually. He has all the electronic gadgets and is now looking at vehicles. We do have him help with outside work and God forbid, I actually do make him straighten up his room (which is another sore subject because NO ONE else has to clean their rooms because it's HIS room and he's fine with it so I should be,too). That doesn't fly with me. I have no desire to teach him to be a slob when is older. A simple "if I take the time to wash and fold your clothes, you could at least take the time to put them away" is basically all that I ask.... There are many days when I swear that he doesn't like me and he has made me cry on numerous occasions (which I leave the room for because I don't want to give him the satisfaction that he was able to bring me to tears with his attitude). I often feel that I am failing as a parent, even though deep down I think I'm doing right by my standards and SOMEDAY he may actually Thank me instead of resenting me. Overall he is a good kid and there are those "hallmark" moments when I am just bursting with pride. Adults always compliment us on how respectful our boys are and how well they speak with adults...I feel great about that, then in the make of my head Im thinking "Ha! You should see him with me!!" I know that the teenage years are a test. I just hope that I make it through them without committing myself to the loony bin!

0 22

Both of your comments made me feel better.. I have a 15 year old daughter who has pushed my buttons all her life.. gee we can clash but most of the time it is just really nice.. I keep hearing that Im yelling at her - which I am not. Sometimes I start yelling to show her that I wasnt yelling.. haha (which I know is wrong) Its nice to hear we arent bad parents when we lose it & dont keep calm (as its just too hard sometimes) ie: nice to hear other people do it also. We are all normal parents trying to do a hard job. I love the comment of pulling a silly face. I will try that one. Take care ladies and know youre not alone

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8 17

I have a 9 year old. When she pushes my buttons I try remain calm and talk to her in a very calm voice. It drives her crazy. I remind her of the rules (no sassing, no yelling, etc.) and often ask her to "say it again" (meaning to say her words appropriately). When she realizes I'm not going to get worked up and yell, she usually stops. Sometimes I have to take my own time-out and go in my room and scream in a pillow to let out my frustrations - but never in front of her... we work on deep breathing and sometimes listening to calm music to relax her. And of course there are consequences to her behaviors, which I also give her in a calm manner. It's tough, but kids are looking for a reaction, and if they don't get it, they'll usually stop.

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7 14

I always say you need to think of a better way... usually doesn't apply to my precious. Sometimes though I'll lead her out side or in the basement and say " go ahead yell... I'll do it to" and sometimes the release of anger in yelling is what she needed( plus she gets a kick out of it when I do it too). This is due to her inability to articulate her feelings so she gets angry and frusterated and needs an outlet ( we do this when either talking doesn't help/makes it worse or when she is too angry to talk.)

20 39

That is a tough subject for me! I have a 12 year old boy who pushes my buttons to the extreme! He even has emotional outbursts! We have been seeing a counselor, but that is only good if the child is willing to make the changes! It is hard for me to stay calm sometimes. I try to remember what God would want us to do when it comes to our children, but sometimes I will tell my son something and he just doesn't get it and he just doesn't learn from his consequences! So you can imagine as a Mother how frustrating and tiring this can be! I pray every day that God opens his ears and his eyes because I know he believes in God, but he isn't living by the bible when it says to honor thy parents. I know parents aren't always perfect either, but when your child can't take no for an answer and is following you from one room to the next, you just want to pull your hair out! I know it's the age and he's going through lots of changes, but that is no excuse for the behavior he exhibits! The counselor says don't give up and just stay consistent. That is what I have been doing. I will say things have been getting better, but not with some hesitancy because things still have a long way to go! So please pray for our family because we really could use the prayers!

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6 1

I'm praying for you right now! my son is 9 and is relentless when he want something, like a pit bull who wont let go. It's HARD to stay calm. sticking to your guns is so important because the one time you give in gives him the green light to do the behavior, because it worked, he got what he wanted. I've even have gotten frantic in this cycle, I have to be so careful what agree to with him. Stay strong ♥

0 6

I have a son that is about to turn 15 and I understand your frustration and heartache. I too am a Christrian and my son professes a testimony of salvation also. But seems to have no problems completely disrespecting me and even being verbally and mentally abusive. His father and I are divorced and his father offers no help in the situation. I will be praying with you for God's help in your situation.

75 0

As difficult as it is you are the adult. Your sense is that the counselor will only work if the child is willing to make changes is no accurate. If what you are doing is not working you have to do something different. In many ways a 12 year old boy is just struggling with hormones and the idea that he has to, at some point, grow up and go away. It is not disrespect it is anger, frustration, confusion and youth you are seeing. Don't make this about his salvation. When my daughter was an angry teen I had to admit that she learned most of her angry behaviors from me or from trying not to be me. If you can find anything to praise, praise it. If you can find anything (eating ice cream, watching a TV show, going to a movie, exercise - anything) that you like to do together do it! Enjoy this time with him. He will be gone soon and the relationship you form now and the love and respect you show him will come back in time if you don't break his love by criticism. If he is following you from room to room, stop, sit down, stop talking and LISTEN to him. A 12 year old should not take no for an answer. He is learning his own yes and no. Do you want him to blindly follow his friends, if not then don't expect him to blindly follow you. Apologize to him when you are quick to judge, model the kind of loving behavior you want. I know I have made mistakes and have a hard time taking advice sometimes, why wouldn't a kid trying to become a man have trouble. Lighten up please

0 6

I respectfully disagree with Carol. My son is also in counseling and just as the counselor says treatment only works if the client is willing. If they go into it with a closed mind and disrepectful, recentful attitude, they are not likely to get much help from the process. And to suggest that a 12 yr old should not take no for an answer from his parents is to suggest that a child should not learn respect for authority. A child that never learns this, is headed for a life of trouble and frustration. He will encounter authority throughout his life. There is a huge difference between showing respect for your parents ( and other appropriate authority figures)and using poor judgement and following others blindly thru life. A child needs to understand that he cannot bully his way thru every situation in life. Lastly, your comment to "lighten up" was disrespectful and making light of her heartache and frustration. My guess is what you encountered in your experience with you daughter's behavior was on a much smaller scale than I image she has gone thru with her son....and that you just don't know how hard it can be. If you even came close to understanding, your remarks would not have been laced with such judgemental sarcastic tones.

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2 38

I try and handle it like a 'Love and Logic' parent - more chores, loss of privileges, time outs in room, with no playing, all while annoying them right back. When they give me cooperative behavior, I kindly give attention to them.

Sometimes, when I'm the one in a bad mood, I take the time out and let Dad take over. :-)

I also welcome my kids playing with their fiends when my darling children are bored and annoying me for their own entertainment because being a referee is easier than being the target (and their friends are as good as they are at dishing $%^* back at them).

My last resort, when everything else falls apart, is to take them to the gym so they can work off all that extra energy. A pooped person hardly has the energy to harass.

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4 8

You're my kind of parent! I love your wear-them-out-at-the-gym idea.

75 0

Good ideas Laura!

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7 15

I have a son who will be four in May. He completely manipulates and pushes my buttons on a daily basis. I blame myself for making the mistake that alot of single parents do and that is to overcompensate because the other parent is completely absent. Since, I figured out that this was an issue, I've tried to correct it. However, I'm met with alot of resistence and hesitation.

I usually resort to time outs or taking away a toy or a priviledge like tv. We are currently seeing a counselor which is helping but consistency is key!

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Oh Gisselle, I sympathize! I read somewhere that kids manipulate when they don't have the language, skills, or power to get what they want by asking. And their resistance to something is ALWAYS rooted in their strong feelings about something...usually fear. Learning this changed my life with my daughter when she was young because I started to try to understand WHY she was being resistant or WHY she was manipulating. It was usually because she was scared to death about something. I gave her language to just ask me for attention when she needed it, which helped a lot. And I asked her to tell me when she was scared about going somewhere or trying something new...which was much more often than I realized. We didn't achieve perfection, but we made a lot of progress. I wish you good luck with your son!

6 1

Consistency is key, I have been a single parent with my 1st son and am now remarried with a 2nd son who is very challenging. You do have an advantage, so look as the glass is half full, You have total parenting control and don't have to deal with another person's inconsistency. A lot of my 2nd son's problems would be less if my husband and I could get on the same page. My life is a lot more complicated and stressed since I remarried. It was more organized before and I was in control. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and 2nd son but it is harder.

75 0

When you are small physically, have no money, have no power, and depend on an adult for your very life your only strategy is to manipulate - it sometimes seems like a life or death need to do so. After some counseling my husband has learned to ask me when I am not being reasonable "what are you afraid of". It is a good question to ask. Two ears and one mouth suggest you should listen twice as much as you speak. It is not easy, takes practice but it really works.

7 15

Thank you so much. Things had started improving and then then recently, he started again. This time, it seems like it is all geared at me. He is very aggressive. I took him to a child psychiatrist and she sees the presence of anxiety. The only thing I'm completely thrown off at is that she put him on meds for ADHD. I don't understand since it is only behavior he exhibits with me. He is a good kid at school AND he is only four. I spoke to family members that are nurses and psychologists and they all agree, he should not be on meds. I've also made an appointment to have his speech evaluated as I think this is part of the problem. He speaks very well and has a great vocabulary. However, ever since he had to have his tonsils and adenoid removed at 2.5, he stammers over words often. We wonder if this is the problem. Last night was a good night for us. I'm very scared as I just bought a condo for him and I and will have to live on our own without the help of my brother who has been heaven sent by moving back to my mother's house. He has essentially taken over the dad role and has been a tremendous help. I'm also a little apprehensive as I recently started dating again. My mom tells me no one will tolerate him and will eventually leave. I don't want someone to take over, but I would love to have someone in the picture who can help me! Thanks again.

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18 82

Three words: mommy time out. :O) I'm a single mom of a 3yo boy. The terrible twos didn't end with two. My son has many good days but, being a single mom, mommy's buttons can be easily pushed. I've found that what typically works for my son also works for me. Sometimes I just need my own time out. When I feel my son is pushing me closer to the edge of a precipice, I go to my room, close the door and lock it...even if it's just for 30 seconds. I take several slow deep breaths and try to relax. A cold washcloth to the face/neck seems to help. A few drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils help to balance out my emotions.

One thing that kids do so well is turn off emotions when they are done with a fit or get what they want. You know, those moments where they were screaming one minute and giddy the next? I don't know about you but it takes me quite a bit longer to lower my blood pressure, regain composure and become chatty again. Not so with kids.

So, I do whatever I can to pace myself during moments of button-pushing. When I control my frustration, I'm less likely to take it out on my son. When I get time outs, I'm less likely to snap. When I take a moment to walk away and re-group, I can return to the situation with fresh perspective. And, chances are, during that mommy time out, my son has calmed down and forgotten all about my buttons!

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Love it Marissa

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LUV listening
L--listen w/eyes ears and heart
U--understand
V--validate feelings

Stomp ants (angry negative, thoughts

Reward the positive ignore the negative

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remember that they are just kids and dont really understand how much their words hurt your feelings, even if u tell them it hurts your feelings, they wouldnt really know what that means.. plus they are just mimicing behavour they have seen before. you could tell them that if they speak to you like that then they will go to time out, then when they do it again, step out of the room count to 10 and calm down, then put them on a chair that you have made the time out spot and leave them for one minute per year of their age (example a 4 year old gets 4 minutes) any time they get up just put them back and they will soon learn you men business and that they cant speak that way...

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0 42

Sometimes I have to remind myself that my 3 year old is pushing my buttons to make sure I will consistently be the adult role model in her life. I breathe. It helps me to think "if this wasn't my child, how would I respond?" Only because we sometimes seem to talk and treat other peoples children a little more kindly when they act out :) Just my 2 cents:)

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I have a 12,9 & 3 yr old n my 12 yr old is th worse she Thnks ah is grown n me n her but heads alot case she Thnks she is my other 2 children's mother I try not to loose my temper sumtime n here lately I have gotton alot better I do say I'm srry whn I do scream n yell at thm n I try n not spank thm but sumtimes I do but only whn it's sumthn really bad thy have done I kno wht it's like to be whipped n screamed at all the time cause tht is wht my childhood consisted of me getting my butt beat for every lil thng so thts y I try not to spank n yell at my kids I feel really bad whn I do loose my temper n yell a thm .... Most of the time I tke a deep breath n count to ten n sumtimes I just haft to walk away n sumtimes I make thm go out of the room till I calm dwn n can thnk straight n tlk to thm Wth out yelling or screaming..... but sumtimes it's hard to do tht but I pray tht god gives me the strength to keep my kool so I dnt yell n raise my voice at thm I pray tht he changes me so I dnt do my children like I was done whn I was a child

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I really believe that spanking teaches kids that the biggest and angriest wins. I can't tell you enough about praise. If you praise for real things - not fake but they can be small "I like the clothes you chose to wear today. You have such a good smile. It really helped me when you stopped and listened to me just now. I know it was hard to accept my answer just now but thank you for doing so. etc. three times as often as you correct the difference will be like magic. Every 12 year old is trying to become a woman. her hormones and body are fighting like mad inside her, she is in a real sturggle and she does not know what she does not know. Be gentle and enjoy her she will be on her own before you know it and you will miss her.

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Wow, you all must check out this new ebook that recently published. It has the information in the book about why we as parents get upset from our own children pushing our buttons. It actually gives information on the child and why he/she reacts in that way too. Get the mystery about this out of your mind by finding out what causes us to get upset at times. The book is called "How to Get your Kids to Listen" and can be found at http://TrueKidsStories.org

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11 152

i find this very hard as im as just hot headed like my son so ineed any help or advice i can get please?

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I tell my daughter to lay off first, second is tell her to go live with her dad if she doesn't like the situation. Then I just go to my room, she doesn't have an audience

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With my eldest, I reacted poorly, as I wasn't paying attention to "who she was and what she needed." It was more about what I THOUGHT she should be like. So I learned by trial and error and I always stay as calm as I can; if I don't stay calm, I apologize as soon as I can and try to discuss what happened she the child is ready. Then I LISTEN and try to mirror the child's feelings.

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HELP..all of this sounds GREAT. but have 20 yro who LOVES to push buttons. some times it very dificult to talk calmly. she still lives in our home. any advise on how o handle this meanning getting her to move and how i can stay calm...

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hello Amanda, i am having the same issue she's 24years after the last episode when i was so calm she choose to move out all on her own. i think i scared her but the thing is i dont know where she is. worried more about the grandbaby (4) than her.

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I have 3 daughters 29, 24 and 12. My 25 year old knows how to push every button i ever owned. This last episode of button pushing i surprisingly remained calm which is very scary for me because i am afraid that i wont be so easy to snap back so quickly this time. Every time i think of the disrespect. Usually, we scream, holla, yell and then its over in a few days. But this time is kinda different - i feel like i just wanna walk away from it all. So really! do 25-year olds count in this calmness thing we are trying to uphold?

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My 2 year old grandson has started pushing my buttons, I take care of him for my daughter as she is a single Mom & is working on child support. When he has push mt buttons, I scold him, then I make him take a 2 min time out on the couch or a pillow on the floor. I watch him to make sure he stays there for 2 min. So far it has worked. Barbara West.

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I don't have an answer, I need help, I have 3 children, ages 13, 7, 5, my 13 year old and 5 year old are no problem, my 7 year old on the other hAnd is making me pull my hair out, she is very dramatic, whines over everything, you punish her she acts like you have killed her, constantly saying everyone hates her, I had her put on ADHD meds about 3 months ago, I am not seeing a difference, taking her back to the doctor, but anyway, I work, plus take care of all three kids, plus do all housework and yard work, plus take care of all finances and help take care of my parents, I feel I am doing something wrong with her, but treat her no different than the other 2 kids and yet when I lay down at night I feel guilty and horrible, she is constantly picking at her little brother to start a fight, or her older sister when she can't aggravate her brother, she went from sleeping in her own room to sleeping in my room on a mattress at the end of my bed, she won't let me out her sight, I just don't know what is going in with her, is it me or what?? I need help and answers or advice, please!!!!

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don't react -

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I have a 7 y/o and like some of you the problem most times is me; despite the button pushing. I am very tempermental. One of the ways I remain calm and still get my point across, especially if the behavior being corrected is of major importance, is to him is to remind him to look me in the eyes and that what is being said deserves a response like "Yes, I heard you." If the situation is greatly important or I'm enforcing a need for him to respect me or others I use old fashioned values by saying "That response deserves a 'Yes, Mam/ Sir' from you." If he has to "Yes, Mam" me he knows there will be serious reprecusssions for not correcting the behavior.
Getting a child to realize how their behavior/ disrespect affects someone is difficult; having them verbally apologize doesn't always work. I once made my son write a written apology to a teacher for disrespecting her and interrupting her class. That message sunk in because he had to think about it to write it.
I agree with the "parent time-out" theory. Just remember though...the child needs to know why you are walking away from them! This is for several reasons...
They need to know that the time out is in fact for you and that even though there is a behavior/ situation to be corrected (as in, they are not off the hook) that you are not turning your back on them. Whatever behavior is being displayed by them is to, in most cases, obtain attention. Turning and walking away may teach them that when they are in need of interaction/ attention that they are not worthy of it and that people cannot be depended on. I always say "I'm going to the other room to gather my thoughts on this subject; I am not walking away from you and I love you. I will be back to discuss this."
They need to know that they cannot push your buttons to purposely get you to take the time out! This gives them the sense that they can push people away with bad behavior and start down the road of anti-social behavior. They need to know that taking a time out is sometimes appropriate, even for them, but that they cannot always take a time-out from every situation. This way they are not taught to walk away from their problems and still need to figure out ways to resolve issues and conflict.
Self worth, at any age, is very important. As some of you have said, the parent needs to teach respect and deserves respect but the child will learn the most by being afforded respect.

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I tell them straight up, "you are bugging me." That is the warning to back down. If they do not, I tell them they need to "find there own space, or I will give them some "work to do" in mine". They usually leave. If they are impatient and need something from me. I tell them, "they may either wait until I have finished my task, or go and do it themselves." When they were younger, obviously they had to wait patiently and that was the point...to learn respect and be considerate of others time as well as their own. Now that they are 8&10, its a toss up on if they chose to wait or do it themselves, and that is FINE with me ;)
Now, if they are pushing my buttons to gain something they want, as oppose to need. I remind them that the behavior they are displaying is "NOT going to work for them, it will actually decrease their chance." My oldest now comes up to me voluntarily on occasion and says, "Sorry mom for my disrespect earlier. I should have ......instead". Love that kid :)

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How I should react and how I actually react are 2 different things, as I think is the same with a lot of moms. I want to be able to step back, walk away or not react at all, on the otherhand..... I lose my temper pretty quick with my oldest one ( he is 6 and has a true ability for pushing my buttons) my youngest too, but he is quicker to pull back when he sees me reach my breaking point. I was just reading the article on yelling and realized exactly where I am going wrong, the problem is how to fix it. I think to my self everyday that I will be more aware and conciously pull myself back, but in the heat of it that goes out the door. I am very strong willed, and apparently my children have gotten their personality traits more from me than dad! He is calm, laid back and go with the flow of things.
I know I need to change my behavior before they will change theirs, I just don't know where to start! aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. I try one thing and it works once but the next time doesn't so I try something else, I just need to find the consistency and follow through!
Thanks to all you mommas out there! I am so grateful for a website like this where we may be strangers but we all have so much in common, and it is refreshing to know that I don't have to do this alone!
God Bless each and every one of you in your "mommy adventures"

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My son is ADHD and ODD both so it can be very hard. There is NEVER a simple yes or no to anything. I have interrupted him 15 times before saying "Answer yes or no only, nothing else." and still cannot get a one word answer. He doesn't TRY to push buttons, and he doesnt even realize he is arguing with you until you point it out to him. That is where his teachers and others dont understand him. I try very hard to remain calm and point the arguing out. he will usually respond "I didn't mean to." or "Oh I didnt realize". but i have been doing it from a very early age, even before he was diagnosed as ODD. But is it difficult, especially if you are already having a rough day. And as much as I don't mean to I do end up yelling sometimes. Or telling him how frustrating it is not to be able to get simple yes or no. I guess "No means No" is finally simking in becase now e just started into a bargaining stage. He has a harder time seeing taht it can be interpretted being arguementative. I finally told him the other day after I broke down and yelled that next time i hold up a finger as a warning. He only gets so many per day and then is punished. The finger doesnt talk so it is harder to argue with it, or so I hope. Wish me well that this works and he gets past the bargaining stage soon. It is actually more annoying than the outright arguments were.

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Act as they know you to do, do not react but respond and not back off

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I have a daughter who will be 5 tomorrow. She was pretty good until about 4 and a half. There were a lot of changes. She got a new baby brother. I pulled her out of daycare to be home with a nanny. The first nanny did not work out as she let her rule the roost and now we have another nanny who is great. However, my daughter constantly refuses to eat when she is supposed to or brush her teeth and negotiates for everything. I have tried several techniques. I try talking calmly which doesn't always work...I tried taking away her Leapster Explorer and TV privileges - this works sometimes. She will actually sometimes say I don't want to play or watch TV and just continues her bad behavior. The one thing that works for most bad behaviors is telling her I am disappointed and then always praising her when she does that thing right the next time. She loves being praised so she tends to want to do it. In the past, I have not done this and since I implemented praising, we saw better behavior out of her. When I am at my wits end however, I do the following and this has always worked but it is very difficult. I say I don't accept this kind of behavior ( or don't say anything at all as she knows what she did wrong) and without another word I pick her up and carry her to her room and tell her she can come out when she is calm and ready to apologize. She usually screams and kicks the door for a while. But always, calms down and comes downstairs and apologies. I also make her repeat to me what she did wrong so that she knows why she was in there in the first place. I hug and tell her I love her and want her to behave. The last time I had to do this she repeatedly slammed the door, so I walked in and calmly took her favorite stuffed animals she sleeps with and said if you continue I will continue to take more toys away and walked out. She screamed for about 2 more minutes and then calmed down and eventually came downstairs and apologized. It is definitely tough love as we sometimes have to hold the door so she doesn't leave the room. But it works like a charm. I usually get a few days to few weeks of good behavior afterwards.

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My daughter is 5 soon to be six. Her baby brother came as a surprize to both of us ( I didn't know I was having a baby until I was almost 9 months pregnant) after the deaths of both of our housemates ( they were a married couple). Her behaviors are off the chart sometimes, but I figured out she needs alone time with mommy to curve some of the issues. She did better with her brother once I started letting her help out more with him. I also when she is being off the chart ( by the way she does not only push buttons at that point, she is also stubborn, beligerent, and even vindictive) I do my best to stay calm. I find it helps to read or recite the 23 psalm. Another thing is I have a lot of "seasoned" mothers as friends- I ask them for tons of advice and tricks along the way.

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Well today I did some yelling and she did some crying, then no hug at daycare drop-off and I was told that she doesn't want to play with me anymore. So, pretty bad reaction all around. My daughter has been pushing buttons at least since age 2. It's karma though, I was a difficult child as my mother tells me, so it all comes around. I guess I have to try and keep my cool more and just sweat this out. Somewhere in her mid to late 20s she may like me again.

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I forever say " its not my job to get you to like me. Its my job to point you in the right path whether you like it or not. If you like me later that will be a bonus. Lol"

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Oh boy!!! We have a 9 yr old & she has been very very disrespectful towards me for a few years now. Her behavior at school & home has been going down hill for about a year & we honestly are at a loss about what to do. She hates the word No, she doesn't like to DO anything, stomps her feet, growls, gives mean & ugly dirty looks, tells, screams, literally throws fits like a lil 2 yr old.... & on top of this, we have an almost 2 yr old that is gradually picking up her bad habitual behavior. Idk where I went wrong.... She's grounded quit a bit due to her lack of responsiblity at school & her citations she's gotten becuz she TALKS too much & doesn't pay attention.... Her at home, she'll take 5-6 hours to do homework, complain & yell & stomp if I instruct her to go clean her room or pick up the living room (she's never had a "set chore list") she's learned to manipulate the situation between her dad & I but he's caught on to that & that makes her even more angry & lash out. She's incredibly smart, bright, funny, loving & is our miracle..... I just don't know what to do anymore. I admit, I DO lose it alot.... I have a bad tendency to yell.... I get so fed up.... I'm up to my eye balls in stress & fear that the baby will begin following in her steps if something isn't done. HELP!!! Any advice, please...... You can email me directly, I'm rarely on here.... Or FB me. rmjperez@yahoo.com

Thanks a bunch

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I "threw away" (donated) anything my daughter decided she was not going to clean up. I told her " If you are not willing to take care of your things then neither am I. " sometimes an issue will pop up and I will calmly say, " Do you remember what happened last time you refused to clean up? " and usually she'll get right on it. The key is follow through. Don't threaten if your not willing to go through with it... they pick up on that really fast. And make her work for anything new... that will build confidence and grattitude in the right areas.

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I have a ten year old about to be 11 in June..and she just starting the stomping and pouting stage..I just tell her she looks so cute when she pouts..and she laughs...but on a more serious note. I let her know that if she doing things to purposely irritate me then their are consequences that comes along with that..and either we sitt down and talk about why she angry or things could get worse due to her passive aggression...but she usaully picks things not getting worse with more punishment...shes usaully a very good kid. But i know the teenage years are coming....I ve heard they can be hard and they can be good so im getting my boots on...LOLOL

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eish,my son threw a remote in my face yesterday it was soooooooo painful till now.....i lost it!

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I'd loose my temper too. What did you do to correct his behavior?

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WOW , thats hard...takes alot of restraint especially if he did it with the intend to hurt you

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Move your buttons. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it works. Love and logic is great but sometimes you cannot get past the button pushing. My son spent and entire summer when he was about 15 repeating "Mom" whenever he talked to me. He was purposely trying to annoy and irritate me. I told him I would not allow him to and began responding with his name everytime he said mine. Sometimes we would go back and forth for several minutes before he would roll his eyes and give up. Score the tantrums on a scale of 1-5. "I'd give that about a 3.2 because you are lacking in sincerity." If they score a "5" give them a round of applause. If this doesn't work, sit down on the floor and mimic their behavior. I actually did it in public with my 4 year old. He was so embarrassed that he asked me to stop. Check the attitude at the door. I say this to my teenagers. When they get rude, beligerent, or spiteful I walk them to the door and open it. I tell them they can stay outside as long as they care to behave that way. When they are ready to come back in my house they must check the attitude at the door. Learn to play a rough sport. I chose hockey. I knew that one day my sons would be bigger than me and I would need to restate my authority. My one son decided that as soon as he was taller than me he could talk me down. Everytime he tried he ended up on his back or his butt. I was always the last one standing. You have to take them down on the first move or it becomes a wrestling match that I knew I could not win without hurting him. It quickly became a game and he has become quite proud of me. Ask for clarification. If they are mouthing off ask them if they are willing to write it down so that you can understand what they need and to know how to respond. When they write it down red ink all the spelling, grammer and other errors and ask them to resubmit. Tell them you want to make sure that you understand exactly what they are saying so that you know respond incorrectly. You can also repeat their words back to them exactly how you heard them asking if that is correct. They may have overstated or used a word that means something different than what they are trying to say. Love them no matter what. When my daughter would tell me she hates me I would respond with, "I love you too." When my children would tell me how horrible I was I would tell them I was sorry they felt that way and I love them. It is hard to argue with someone who only says, "I love you." If they make a choice you disagree with separate the child from the choice and let them know that even if you don't agree with their choice you love them still. If they choose to behave in a way that is hurtful to everyone tell them that you love them but you will not allow them to hurt their family. If that means they must go elsewhere, than they go elsewhere. Put yourself in time-out. I did this often and would tell my children that unless the house was on fire, someone was bleeding to death or was dead not to disturb me for 15 minutes. I would let them know why I was going to my room and what would happen if I was disturbed. I would put a movie on for them, go to my room and close the door. Have a "flop spot". This is a place where the child knows they can sit down and you will listen to whatever they have to say with NO talking back. If you start when they are small then will tell you things as they get older that you may wish you didn't know but are glad that you do. If it is something that must be addressed make an appointment to discuss it later somewhere else. This gives both of you time to think things through. Let them know that you would like to hear their ideas of what the consequences should be. In our house the flop spot is the end of my bed. You will be hurt, get your heart broken, be disappointed and feel saddened by your children's behavior on many occasions. Remember that in the storms of life they need a rock to anchor themselves to. As parents, we are that rock. Children need to understand what is expected of them and the behavioral requirements of your home and society. As long as they know that you love them no matter what they will eventually quit trying to beat the rock. Make it a point to do things that are fun and filled with laughter. Have your own private jokes that bring smiles. Children are small for such a short amount of time, fill that time with as much love and laughter as you can.

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WOW!! Thank you thank you to everyone that took time to comment. Reading all these tonight has made me feel not so alone and not so crazy in this thing called Motherhood. People should really talk more about how much patience you need raising children. Mine are an almost 6 yo daughter and G/B 4 yo twins. To say I lose my cool sometimes is an understatement. I swear my 6 yo daughter has ODD and my son may have ADHD (of course my husband completely disagrees). And our other darling who eats sand but wont get her shorts wet, thinks she is/should be a privileged princess from the royal family of a long time ago! All good advice; thanks again!!!!

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Wow. So my kid seems to live with a lot of other parents... *8^D. I hear the nearly-17-year boyo's patterns all over the place here. Me, I've shut down. There's just no other word for it. When he starts ramping up (usually about 5 minutes after I pick him up from school), I just start my silent mantra: "I'll need a Jaguar and a private wine cellar to compensate this behavior. If I sell him into slavery (not that I'd get that much right now) that probably won't happen." And I shut down. I refuse to exhibit any affect at all. I answer him in monosyllables, I avoid eye contact, I pretend to be the beta-bitch in the house. Yes, massah. If I can keep to it for 15 minutes, it usually disarms the missile sequence. Now after he's gone, I have been known to spend an hour on the elliptical burning all of the repressed responses out of my system. This took 3 years to learn. Four, maybe. But I have it down cold. Do. Not. React. No sarcasm, no push-back, nada. I've figured out that *this* scares them down. No, not 'settles.' Scares. From what I can see, about every 2 hours teenagers cycle into pure brainstem awareness: Fight, flee, feed or (ahem). All based on fear anyway, so might as well give 'em something really scary to think about: You're On Your Own with This Sh*t.

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My son is now 8. He's very hard work. At home and at school. Im currently involved with a lady from the B.I.P team who will hopefully help me and my son. Splitting up from his father 5 years ago has been tough. But now I know it was the right thing to do. Unfortunately my son is not a happy bunny unless he is behind a computer screen. Which is sad on todays society. I know I've got a rocky road a head. But I will stick to my guns and do what a mother does best. Just be there for him and love him no matter what.

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Really like what you are saying fawn

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I have a four year old grandson whose mother will not let me correct. Her and my son just yell at him and expect him to listen. My daughter and I have been told we are not allowed to yell at him because he gets enought from them so we have tried other ways to discipline him but my son and his wife say there are different of parenting these days. I love my grandson but I feel he is ruling the house instead of the adults. What do you suggest?

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Fawn thank you. I like Love n Logic up till about age 12 then it just seemed more manipulative and spiteful...just didnt feel right. Being a single mom with no breaks, no help and no family..dad is completely out of the picture...its been hard to contain my temper with my 15 yr old. While I was working I had lost a lot of time with her and she started to rebel really hard. I lose my cool a lot but I am learning to take the emotion out of it..lower my voice to a whisper and clearly state the facts. Im good at being fun..good at being a provider..good with tricks fpr kids till about 12 but after that..its like the world forgets you need tools. Thank you for some of the tools, not advice...stay calm is advice...create a flop spot is a tool..TY again!!

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I have taught for 20 years. I think it's so helpful to read about these issues. I highly recommend the STEP manual to parenting. It's the best book on children's behavior I've read. Also, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and How to Listen so Kids Will Talk. Beyond that, read about your child's developmental stage. It really helps us to not take things personally and to understand that these behaviors are normal testing of boundaries. The Gesell series of books goes through each year of a child's life and describes what's going on at that stage.

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