Anti-Arguing Instructions for Parents

The best way of handling an arguer is to buy time. Remarks like, “Let me think about it,” and “I’ll get back to you in a few minutes, after lunch, or on the weekend,” give you time to think, and also teach your children how to wait. During this time children usually realize their walking along a fine line and make visible efforts to impress you with a good deed.

If your answer is “No,” state your reasons and be firm. Do not succumb to whining, crying, guilt trips, or temper tantrums. However, if your child brings you around to his point of view, there’s nothing wrong with you saying, “You’re right–I never thought about it that way.” Pointing out your own flawed reasoning will model for your children the way to admit mistakes. Try not, however, to make a habit of changing your mind (ten percent of the time is enough).

If your children continue to argue, send them to their rooms or give them a time-out wherever you are.

When your children eventually do give up and give in, resist making comments like “I told you so.” The more determined you are to let them know you’re right, the harder it will be for them to admit they’re wrong.