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How to Stop Any Argument With Your Child Instantly

by Tiffany Raiford

You don’t really come out on top when you argue with your child; feeling good because you won against someone less than half your age doesn’t say much about you. In an ideal world you wouldn’t have to argue with your child at all, but some days it seems that most of your time is spend arguing about everything from which shoes are appropriate for a day at the park to why chocolate chip cookies are not a breakfast food. Take heart: If you want to stop the arguments instantly and get back on track with your child, you can.

Stop responding when your kids start an argument with you, advises Scott Wardell, contributing writer for EmpoweringParents.com. If you don't engage, there's no argument. For example, the next time your child starts to argue with you about something, simply state that you will not argue with her about the situation and if it's safe to do so, walk away. If it isn't, simply don't respond to argumentative statements.

Another approach is to ask your child to stop arguing with you and provide a consequence should she decide to continue, advise the experts on FamilyEducation.com. For example, if your child tries to argue about bedtime with you, tell her that she needs to finish up her bedtime routine and go to sleep or she will not be allowed to go to her friend’s house tomorrow. If she doesn’t stop arguing with you, enforce the consequences.

Use authority instead of power, advises the Family Education experts. For example, the next time your child starts to argue with you after you tell him to come inside and get ready for dinner, use authority to end the argument. If he says he wants to stay outside, tell him that he cannot stay outside because it is time to eat, shower and get ready for bed. This provides him with the exact reason why he needs to listen to your authority and increases the likelihood that the argument will end right then and there. Providing reasoning beyond “I’m the mom and I said so, that’s why,” it might make him less likely to continue to argue because he understands why you're making your request.

Talk to your child about the consequences of arguing with you to prevent future arguments, advises Wardell. For example, if your kid knows that arguing with you will result in losing his video game privileges for 24 hours, he’s less likely to argue with you. However, if he does argue with you, all you have to do is remind him that if he continues to argue he will lose that privilege.

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