What to do about snotty behavior?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about the posts that talk about ignoring bad behavior and I'm still at a loss as to what to do about my difficult child's snottiness toward me. His outbursts and physical struggles with-me have all but ceased (yay!) and I feel ready to tackle his rudeness.
    When he doesn't want to do something (which is most of the time, and in particular, when he hasn't had his medications) he will imitate me, and exaggerate it with-a nasty expression, curled lip, raised shoulder, etc.
    I used to bark right back at him, but that would exacerbate the situation. Now when I calmly say, "That's disrespectful. We don't do that here," he imitates that, too.
    So I've started withholding priviliges but then he says, "I don't CARE!" (You know that scenario, LOL!). It seems that the response needs to be immediate, almost like a dog, where they forget if there's too long of a time period between the transgression and the response.
    Sometimes I just turn my back and walk away, which actually works well to at least stem the flow of obnoxiousness, because he's lost his audience. But I really want him to just stop it immediately.
    Advice?
     
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    That is one of my big buttons as far as attitude goes so I don't know how much help I would be! lol I think the walking away whenever possible sounds good. If you can't walk away, turn away and/or ignore it. I really doubt anything short of a smack in the mouth would make it stop immediately and that's probably not the best solution either! lol (as tempting as it may be) I would also, at a calm time, tell him that whenever he speaks to you in that manner, you will simply refuse to respond or acknowledge him until he can speak in a civil manner. It will probably take awhile but it could work.
     
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    TerryJ2, my difficult child is the king of the Snots. He's done it since he was a toddler and it doesn't matter the consequences, it has never, ever ceased. The older he gets, the more I hate it. I've retaliated in any way, shape, or form that anyone has ever suggested and it never gets better. He's totally DISrespectful and thinks it's okay, I guess. My grown, easy child daughter is appalled at his guts, but she also has no idea as to how to curb it. Good luck, and I'd love to know what you find that might work.
     
  4. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style="color: #660000">clearly he knows this is a hot button for you. i'd tell him once you don't like his attitude & then ignore all requests or conversation until he addresses you the way you want him to. it will take awhile for him to *get it* i'd bet.....and you'll have to be extremely consistant.

    this comes under the do to get philosophy....you speak with-respect & you get your needs met.

    kris </span>
     
  5. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I like Kris's suggestion, and that is what I would do, without a doubt.

    Although, my kids aren't snotty. However, my wonderful, lovely 10 year old has developed my sense of sarcasm :rolleyes: which is truly annoying. Am I as annoying? Probably :surprise:

    I can't imagine living with someone like that. I'm really sorry you're going through it. If you can ignore it, please do try.

    When my son was raging, his TSS taught me this art of "flat affect" and how to say it once and then it's over. So, for example, he'd ask for the TV, knowing good and well he didn't have privelages. He asked if he could watch tv, I calmly reminded him he didn't have privelages, and he whined, walking behind me for almost two hours LOL! Obviously, it was nerve racking, but over time, it stopped.

    I guess my point is, if you can ignore it consistently, and let him know you won't tolerate it, hopefully over time, it may subside.

    Hugs,

    Janna
     
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You've already found something that seems to nip it in the bud - walking away. With my kids, talking to them as you have tried WOULD work most of the time (then I walk away), but every kid is different, which is why it's a matter of trial and error.

    Can you think of where this could have come from? Where did he pick up this bad habit? A classmate? A friend? Some time way back when a teacher was sarcastic? These kids can be amazingly quick to learn the wrong ways to behave, especially when they succeed in pushing our buttons (as he has done in the past with a lot of success). It's the question of where did his first bit of snottiness come from... it might give you a clue on how to attack it.

    Example: easy child used to get REALLY snotty. Not imitative like yours, thank goodness, but still really superior and sarcastic, even with me. Really horrible and over the top.
    We have a close friend with an exceptionally talented (now adult) daughter "Sharon", who has also been snotty and a behaviour problem. This young friend (much more mature now, but still a long way to go) would pontificate on any subject and you still CAN NEVER have a normal conversation when she is in the room - she HAS to dominate. easy child would get annoyed and frustrated with her. While admiring and valuing her talent and ability, her behaviour would rile her immensely.
    So whenever easy child got snotty, I would begin calling her "Sharon". She got the message darned quick. And if she was a bit slow to pick up, or insisted her behaviour was nothing like Sharon's, I offered to videotape her.

    Imitating to annoy is very childish and petty. It would really rile me - you gotta work hard to not react to that one.

    Is there any way you can have a serious, grown-up talk with him when he's NOT being snotty? Something along the lines if, "I've really appreciated your good behaviour so far this morning. Thank you. I wish we could get on like this all the time - do you think we could try?" And if the opportunity then arises to ask him what makes him do that, see if you can discuss it with him in a non-judgmental way. Has he had kids do this at school to him? Or is he doing it at school to teachers? Did you ever have someone do it to you when you were at school?
    If he's experienced it, ask him how it felt. Not good. Then ask him why he wants to make you feel that way - is he so angry with you that he wants to make you sad or upset?
    You will need to work hard to keep this a conversation (him and you) and not a lecture (you only). If he stops contributing, stop talking. You need the sort of "let's chat over milk and cookies" type of talk. You need to be able to finish the talk on a friendly note, with a hug if he's into hugs. Agree to BOTH keep trying to be good to each other. And if he falls of the wagon (which he will) - just walk away again.
    THAT walk away will do more than all the others, in the long run.

    But it will depend on how you handle it and how receptive he can be.

    Another serious suggestion that did work for us - the clinical psychologist we took our kids to would work on issues like this but using their professional skills. They then fed back to us as parents, what strategies they had worked out to handle the problem. Even a reward system can help, once you have made some progress and the kid is prepared to own their behaviour. But you would really need professional help with that one, I think.

    We didn't need long series of sessions with the psychologist - we only see them for a few blocks, when we ring up and ask for another series because we have a specific issue to deal with. We have a different clinical psychologist for each of the kids - it's just how it worked out.

    Snottiness like this can happen in PCs too - as I said, easy child was one of my worst. But where it's taken her - she's a darling, now. But nobody's pushover, which is what she needs in order to survive professionally. I guess I went overboard to make sure she had all the confidence I lacked when I was her age.

    Good luck with this one.

    Marg
     
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Let's see - my response to attitudes is "excuse me - please redo that".

    It's taken time, but it's sinking in for kt in a big way. Foster mum is taking the same approach with wm; taking "a bit" longer for tweedle dum.

    My husband chimes in with "that's my wife you're speaking to & I will not tolerate disrespect". For some reason, when husband speaks of me as his wife versus your mother, it makes a much bigger impact. The tweedles cave.

    Good luck - this takes time, repetition & a high level of detachment.
     
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "He asked if he could watch tv, I calmly reminded him he didn't have privelages, and he whined, walking behind me for almost two hours LOL! Obviously, it was nerve racking, but over time, it stopped."


    Yes, this is what he does. And it IS nerve wracking.
     
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "It's the question of where did his first bit of snottiness come from... it might give you a clue on how to attack it."

    I don't know Marg, but at this point, he'll never remember. He doesn't even remember where's he's put his shoes! So I'm dealing with-the behavior and not the origin.

    "Imitating to annoy is very childish and petty. It would really rile me - you gotta work hard to not react to that one."

    THAT's for sure!

    "Is there any way you can have a serious, grown-up talk with him when he's NOT being snotty?"

    Yes, we've done that several times. He's contrite... for a few hrs.

    "the clinical psychologist we took our kids to would work on issues like this but using their professional skills."

    Yes, I'm going to focus on this at our next session.
     
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Oh I hated when difficult child did that to me. I would ask for a re-do, like TM and sometimes H would step in and advocate for me and that was sometimes helpful. But the best (and more difficult) thing to do was ignore it and walk away. Oh! And I would blast the stereo or car radio sometimes and that worked to drown her out or make her laugh and stop.

    Of course, now her snottiness has changed, just a little. Tonight she told me she isn't talking to me anymore...lol...I thought, "Thank you God!" I don't know why she's not talking to me, she won't tell me. But after she snatched a freshly baked cookie and said, "Yum" I reminded her she wasn't talking to me and she said, "Oh yeah, I forgot - nevermind!" LOL-

    Bite your tongue, walk away, go hide in the bathroom with the water running, blast some music, go sit in your car with the stereo blasting, anything.
     
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, difficult child lost a ton of privileges yesterday. He's still sleeping, but it will be interesting to see whether he'll be compliant or defiant when he wakes up. And how much he remembers and admits.
     
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