An article written by
Amna Nawaz:

Raising a child never has been an easy task, especially in today’s modern world. With an increasing exposure to the world, today’s children are becoming quite unmanageable. They throw tantrums, refuse to follow their parents’ instructions, emotionally blackmail, and even threaten their parents. They also fail to empathize with their parents, are usually too much engaged in self-loveand even terrorize or embarrass you until their parents give in to their unreasonable demands.

amna nawaz1 Ms. Amna Nawaz currently works as a clinical psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. She has done MS in clinical psychology and B.Sc (Hons.) from GC University, Lahore. Heath counseling, addiction counseling, subjective well-being and intellectual disability are her areas of interest as well as her educational expertise.Earlier, she has also supervised trainee child psychologists working in a special education institute being run by the Government of Punjab.

On the other hand, parents are often seen to find excuses for the outrageousness of their children. Such disruptive children actually are the bullies but most parents do not see it that way. When parents lose all the powers to establish their authority, the essence of a parent-child relationship is ruined. The good news is that parents can reteach their children to follow discipline by setting certain boundaries.

It is established that surrendering, punishing, and negotiating with a disruptive child are the strategies that offer only a short-term relief to his bullying behaviors. They only manage the symptoms of emotional bullying on temporary basis but it neither addresses the causes of bullying nor provides any long-term solution. Studies have suggested three vital behaviors that, if adopted by the parents, can help in dealing with child’s emotional bullying effectively. These vital behaviors include de-escalating, validation and praising.

Since, our mirror neurons in brain tend to mimic what we observe in our surroundings, we all learn shouting, yelling, screaming, name-calling, hitting, or frowning from each other, generating a chain reaction. Parents’ impulsive and emotional reactions to children’s disruptions usually escalate the tension and intensify the emotional bullying itself. It also exhausts the parents as well. Instead of wasting one’s emotional resources by yelling at, threatening or punishing a disruptive child, parents must learn to de-escalate the ongoing conflict by maintaining emotional composure and practicing leadership in such crucial moments.

Instead of displaying knee-jerk reactions, parents must learn to stand firm on their stance without being overly dramatic. It involves hitting a “pause button”. Parents should take a time out from a situation and give themselves and their children a chance to calm down as it is quite useless to reason out with your children in the moments when their emotions are escalated and intense; when they are frustrated and also non-receptive. They can sometimes get more frustrated if confronted logically during the heated moments.