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I have been having issues with chutzpa with my 8 yr old daughter lately. I tried to tell her to rephrase her words but it's not working and it's only getting worse. She is becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful.
You do not write if there has been any change in circumstances such as family life, with siblings and parents/grandparents, peers,(being left out) financial, or a hard time in school. Not to excuse your 8 year old but sometimes the anger that a child expresses is really pain. And some chutzpah comes from feeling angry because something else is going on. So before we get to what you should do, I would ask that you give some thought as to why your daughter is struggling with this if she really never did before. What I would like you to do is to take your daughter out, just the 2 of you. Do not lecture her or give her speeches. Try to have a nice time. Then lets try to build on that. Find a quiet moment without other siblings around. Try to have both you and your spouse speak to her together so that she sees that you are on the same page and both serious and involved. Tell her calmly but firmly that you love her very much and that you have been sad by her chutzpah lately. That this is not behavior for her. Give her 1 or 2 examples of what you feel has been disrespectful so that she knows what you are talking about. Tell her that this will not be acceptable anymore. Do not debate her.And be careful not to give her a long lecture-2 or 3 sentances describing the chutzpah suffice. Then tell her that you have spoken to her but she is still continuing so there will have to be some consequences in the future. You do not have to tell her what they will be or get into that. instead tell her that there is a way to be heard without being chutzpahdik, and ask her the alternatives, how she may have handled the situation better. If she cannot think of an alternative than you can give it to her...and explain that in the future this is how you would like her to handle the situation. Tell her that the choice is hers: either she speaks and acts with respect, as you have just spoken about together or, sadly, there will be consequences that she will be unhappy with. Finish the conversation with hope for the future, saying something like, i know it may not always be easy, but i also know that you are a wonderful daughter who can speak with real respect and act with great respect. If you would like to know about which consequences would work, i would ask you to look in my back by the chapter on disrespect and discipline.Be sure that you also work on your bond with her and not grow angry and disattatched . If you build on the positive your discipline will stand. When she is chutzpahdik, it is ok to give her a warning and not just an immediate consequence. It is also ok to have her apologize through an aplogy note if she is extremely disrespectful. Also, be sure to be consistant and when you say that you will give a consequence be sure to stick to your word. Best, Slovie
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