How to deal with a child's rude behavior

JoAnn Deak, PhD Psychologist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to best handle their child when he or she is behaving rudely
How to Deal With Your Child's Rude Behavior
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How to deal with a child's rude behavior

Rude behavior is something that comes up all the time. It often happens with twins. They're not quite grown up yet but it can happen in adolescence, too. So, rude behavior is rude behavior. First of all, when they're old enough to understand what rude behavior is and you have a conversation about that, it all becomes how and when. The first time you're going to deal with it, don't make it a public time that they do something rude in public. Find something when they say or do something rude to you in private then set them down. Then, follow the fine line of setting boundaries but not being too punitive. Say, "Hun-bun, when you say something like that to me, it really hurts my amygdala. My amygdala is the part of my brain that feels. You have one, I have one. And it really hurts my amygdala. Not only that, it will hurt other people too and so, I don't want you do it with me and I don't want you to do it with anybody else. That will help you become a person who other people respond to better. So, every time you do it even if it's in public, I'm going to say to you amygdala or whatever cue it is and then if you continue to do it, there'll be some consequences when we get home so you just need to understand this because my amyggdala loves your amygdala."

JoAnn Deak, PhD Psychologist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to best handle their child when he or she is behaving rudely


Expert Bio

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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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