The Dreaded Attitude Problem

As I go around the country teaching parenting seminars and trying to help parents make healthy changes in their family relationships, I notice there are two things which get asked the most.

1. What do you do for attitude problems?

2. How do you stop tantrums?

I an not going to expound on tantrums today, but I will say that attitude problems are just tantrums at a different level. The difference between the two are that tantrums usually happen when a person is small and they often include uncontrolled body movements and crying, and attitude problems are usually mostly verbal with abrasive body language. Attitude problems are usually more controlled than tantrums. Both tantrums and attitude problems are signs of frustration, anxiety and lack of healthy communication skills.

I am pretty confident talking about attitude problems, because I was the attitude problem queen of my house when I was in my teen years. I think my poor parents earned all their gray hairs during my attitude problem years. Luckily, I had a very insightful young women’s leader who saw my problem and wasn’t afraid to tell me how to change.

One day I was at her home telling her daughter that my parents wouldn’t let me go to a youth party because they never let me do anything anymore. I went on to explain how me and my parents spent a lot of time fighting and that I didn’t like being around them anymore. I said all this in front of my friend’s mother. I think I was secretly hoping someone would help me.

At this point my friend’s mother said, “Have you ever thought that if you just do what they say then they will let you do what you want?”

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