Vicki: What a challenge, dealing with a rude disrespectful child That is so hard. It sets things off inside you really fast.

Paul: That's something that triggers parents more than anything.

Vicki: Yeah, yep. So, the very first thing maintaining respect yourself. This is a challenge when someone is being disrespectful to you, especially someone younger, it is really challenging. We have got to find ways that we can maintain respect ourselves. We have talked about that quite a few times. Become very aware of the way you show up in your own body. So, with your face, is it calm? Are you reflecting back anger? Are your eyebrows calm? Is your voice calm?

Paul: You know Vicki, as you introduced this idea of maintaining a respectful demeanor yourself, because that is how you are going to model behavior for your kids, obviously. I remember this group that I was working with in a facility for juvenile delinquents.

Vicki: The kids who practice disrespect. (haha)

Paul: Some have been rude and disrespectful in a lot of ways, and each of them had their own story. I remember sitting in a group with a bunch of kids who had been involved with gang activity. That was the context. These were kind of tough kids. I remember this kid sitting over in the corner and he's leaning back in his chair and we were talking about respect. He said, “Oh, I respect those who respect me.” And he's all tough about it and stuff, and I'm thinking, “How hard is that?” To respect someone who respects you? Wow.

Vicki: There's no challenge there.

Paul: I am so impressed. No. We are talking about being respectful because of who you are, not because of how you are being treated. We've got to be really careful about allowing the disrespectful behavior of our children to trigger us into the same thing. We are going to be respectful no matter what. Remember, your job is to love them no matter what and even if. Even if they are disrespectful?

Vicki: Yeah.

Paul: Maybe especially then because that is when it becomes the most challenging.

Vicki: Remember that loving them does not imply that you remove all consequences. Absolutely not that implies that you are going to put those consequences in. That's part of how it's easier to get back to the place where you can show respect is to remember that you've got to distance yourself a little bit from the consequences, the behavior and the child.

Paul: Right. So, the you that shows up is that respectful, loving, benevolent, kind generous parent that you are. That is who you are. Show up that way. Let's model it for the kids. That's the first step. For the second step I'm a really big advocate of giving people the tools and the resources that they need to do their job. Your job as a parent is to love them no matter what and even if. We've also shared with you three stages before, and remember, it’s about stage, not age. I will put some videos below that you can reference for that information. I think it is good to teach our kids about the three stages.

Vicki: Yeah, you know, a lot of times people think, “What? Talk to them about it?” Yeah.

Paul: Yes.

Vicki: This brings me up a situation in school where I was working with a young girl that has some trouble with her behavior towards other kids. She often engages with other kids, and we use instead of bad behavior, I don't use those words, I use expected… Expected and unexpected behavior. And we were talking about how… you know, unexpected behavior often… Other kids kind of treat you a little bit weird. They think you're kind of weird or they might treat you weird if you have a lot of unexpected behavior. So, we talked about what she wanted and what kind of behavior would drive the situation so that she could get the results she was looking for. And then we had to talk through how she had to show a little bit more expected behavior so people would trust her so that she could then get more friends at recess. That's what she wanted, is somebody to play with her at recess. We explained to the kids the different stages and helped them see that the consequences that you get are related to the stage that you are acting on. And so, go ahead and teach them the stage and what they get, what kind of consequences follow the behavior in that stage.

Paul: Think about how benevolent and generous this is for you as a parent to actually teach your kids the three stages. This is our second step. Teach them the three stages because that is how they are going to get what they want. And if you don't teach it to them, the world will. The world is not going to give them what they want just because they demand it or because they are rude or disrespectful. They need to understand that kind of behavior will actually restrict their choices and their freedom. This is how the world works. Really, you are doing them a big service by teaching them the same thing that we are sharing with you here on the channel. If you are not sure how to teach your kids that, we have a resource called The Parenting Power-Up which you can connect to. We also provide coaching opportunities

Vicki: Once they know the stages, you are going to really hone in when they are showing disrespectful behavior. You are going to separate that –your emotions from the behavior, and you are going to apply the appropriate consequence according to the behavior. Not your expectation of respect.

Paul: Right. So, this separation that we are talking about is probably one of the biggest pitfalls we run into as parents. Because we allow their behavior to determine our mood. Are you okay with your kid controlling your mood? Let's reclaim that. In separating the emotion from the discipline, they have to connect a little more cognitively with the impact of their own behavior and maturity on their level of freedom. That is why we've put this in a step number 3 that we wanted to be able to implement. Separate the emotion from the discipline. Focus on the behavior with appropriate consequences for that behavior. And then as you model like we talked about in stage 1, a respectful approach, that is where they are going to learn some of the skills that they need to be less rude and disrespectful. And to bring their behavior back into alignment. You may want to check out our Live On Purpose TV Channel on YouTube about how to deal with a difficult teenager. A great place to start your positivity power-up is to pick up a free copy of my book, Pathological Positivity. Go to All you do is pay the shipping and we'll get that into your hands. That also is a great starting point for positive parenting.

There's one called teaching children responsibility where you can pick up those 3 stages. Or if you're in our Parenting Power-Up audio program. That's where we go into it in detail. I think that it's good to teach those 3 stages to your kids.

Don't be deceived by the title, this is really about helping kids get what they want through appropriate behavior based on those stages of moral development. 

Teach your children the three stages of moral development.