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7 Easy Strategies to Help Change Your Child's Misbehavior + Video

By Jean Tracy, MSS

If you've been accused of spoiling your son or daughter and you know it's true, it's you who must change. Today you'll hear the story of an overindulged girl who felt contempt for her generous mother. You'll hear the daughter's insults and the mother's confusion. To avoid raising a spoiled child, consider using the 7 simple methods below.

You'll find a brief video at the end of this article for creating a better relationship with your youngster.

The Mother Who Was Too Kind and Not Firm

As a child and family counselor, many caring parents brought in their self-absorbed children for me to “fix.” The parents didn't know they needed to change first.

I remember a mom who smiled as she quietly said, “I don't know why she treats me so badly. Ever since she was little, I've tried to please her.”

The daughter was 12 years-old.

After getting some background from her mother, I asked the child to come in.

When I saw the daughter's sneer, I wasn't surprised. With arrogance, the girl said, “I hate my mom. She's pathetic.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I can make her do anything I want.”

By being too kind, the mother wanted her child's love and to make her happy. Instead she received contempt. By being sassy and demanding, the daughter over-powered her parent and got what she wanted.

Don't let this happen to you.

7 Typical Insults from Selfish Children


1. You're so mean.
2. I'm not listening to you.
3. Leave me alone.
4. You can't make me.
5. I hate you.
6. Go away!
7. Why should I?


If your child uses words like these, of course you're hurt. You might feel angry too. If you yell, lecture, or hit, you lose. Yelling, lecturing, and hitting will be used against you by your child. Besides fuming with hurt feelings, you'll end up feeling guilty too.

What can you do?

Make the choice between being too kind and not firm to becoming kind and firm. Let go of hoping your child will love you by giving her what she wants. It's time to become the parent she needs and take a stand.

Think with firmness not anger. Decide how you will react to your child's disrespect. No longer will you be the victim of her moods.

Pull back and see the bigger picture. If you remain too “easy,” her behavior will worsen.

Tell yourself, “I won't keep putting up with her insults. I am going to change.” She may rebel even more to get you back to being her doormat. When she realizes you've changed for good, she may too.

Kind and Firm Parenting


1. Stay calm and present a serious face.
2. Think before you speak. If you need time to think say, “I'll consider what you just said (or did) and get back to you.” If a consequence is needed, think of 3 fair ways to handle the situation. Pick the best strategy.
3. When you return, focus on the behavior not the person. Say something like; “Because of your behavior…” tell the consequence you've chosen.
4. Follow through with the consequence even if it inconveniences you.
5. Realize that poor behavior and consequences are teaching moments.


When your child knows that you say what you mean and mean what you say, she may become angrier. In time, if you always stick to reasonable discipline, she will come to respect you.

7 Fair Discipline Strategies


1. If she breaks something out of anger, she pays for it.
2. If she texts a friend while you're talking to her, you take her cell phone for a time determined by you.
3. If she comes home late without your permission, she can't go to a friend's for the rest of the week.
4. If she insults you when you're chauffeuring her, drive her back home.
5. If she refuses to do her chores, keep her allowance.
6. If she turns the TV on louder while you're speaking to her, turn off the TV and take the controller.
7. If she's rude to you in front of her friends, tell the friends they'll need to leave.


These 7 strategies take very few words. They rely on your action. None of the actions are unreasonable and they do take thought.

Conclusion for Changing Your Approach to an Overindulged Child

It's tough when parents are too nice and children are not. If you've been too kind and don't like the results, you can change. It takes taming your temper, thinking and acting with reason, and determining to take action. You CAN be a kind and firm parent.

The brief video below reinforces the effective parenting method described in this article.

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Watch this Brief Video How Loving Parents Can Discipline Kids Yes, YOU CAN Raise children who respect you!

Pick up Discipline Tips for Parents with specific solutions for raising respectful children who think clearly because of your great parenting.

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