How to Get Your Kids to Stop Arguing With You


how to stop arguing

Oh, boy, can my children argue a point to get what they want. Even after I’ve explained why research shows this or that, or why I have certain rules, they keep on coming. I know that, as the mom, I can step in and shut down the arguing with “I’ve listened to your point of view, and I’ve made my decision, but now this discussion is over.”

But I’ve come across a new phrase that stops them in their tracks and is virtually argue-proof. It gives my children a broader perspective of why I make the parenting choices I do. Intrigued? Are you wondering how to stop arguing in your household? I’ll share it with you, and how you can use it to make your parenting less argumentative.

The phrase.

Okay, read on to see the phrase, and how I used it in a real life situation in my own home:

Me to Child, after I find him watching TV before he’s made his bed that morning: “What are you supposed to do before you watch TV in the morning?”

Child: “Make my bed. But why do I have to?”

Me: “We talked about that. It’s part of our morning routine and it helps keep your room organized.”

Child: “But I don’t care if my room looks organized. Just close my door.”

Me: “This is how we do things in our family.” (And here’s the phrase…) “When you have your own family you can choose how your house will run, but in our house, this is what I choose.”

See? They can’t argue with that. I’m telling them that ultimately, I am the mom, and dad and I get to choose how we live as a family in our home. {Tweet This} Of course, I do dialogue and give my children input, but having this phrase at the ready is a whole lot better than, “because I’m the mom and I said so.”

It gets them thinking about how a home works, what they’ll want their home to be like, and it doesn’t invalidate my children’s feelings, it just shows them that in this time and place they have to defer to my wishes, their day will come.

(You an also ask yourself these questions to see if you’re disciplining effectively.)

If the badgering and disobedience continue.

If your child continues to argue, prepare to end the argument decisively and calmly.

Child: “I’ll make my bed later.”

Mom: (Parrot what you’ve already said. Focus on your end goal—having your child make his bed.) “You are welcome to watch TV after your bed is made. And as I said, when you have your own family you can choose your rules for your family, but in our house, we make our beds in the morning before we watch TV.”

Now, calmly walk away. If your child continues to argue, repeat, repeat, repeat and stay calm.

consequence calculatorMom: “I’m happy for you to watch TV after you make your bed. I have some other work I need to do.”

Walk away.

(Our Consequence Calculator can help you determine the right consequences for your child.)

The phrase in action.

You can use the phrase in many situations. If your children complain about chores, homework routines, or other choices you make for your family based on your values and long-term goals for your children, it can work well.

It’s also a good way to convey to your children that you are not making your choices to punish them or make their lives miserable. Here’s a slight variation of the phrase, with that in mind.  “I am not making you read instead of watching TV to punish you. I just believe that it’s good to have the right mix of screen time and reading. When you have your own family you can choose what you would like to do in your home, but in our house, this is what I choose.”

You can even take the conversation further by asking your child, “How much screen time do you think you’ll let your kids have when you’re a parent?”

What is your magic phrase that works in your house with your kids?

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