nav-left cat-right

How Do I Stop My Kid From Arguing When I Tell Them to Do Something?

How Do I Stop My Kid From Arguing When I Tell Them to Do Something?

An arguing child is one of the most annoying behaviors that parents experience. Rarely are you asking your child to do something unreasonable. You might be asking them to put their dishes in the dishwasher, clean their room, or even take a shower.

To figure out what you can do differently to stop the arguing, start by asking yourself these questions to figure out what you are doing that isn’t working.

  1. Do I sound like I’m asking rather than telling by using statements like:
    • Would you please…
    • I would like it if you …
  2. Do you believe that when your child knows the logic behind your request that they will agree with you and then comply without arguing?
  3. When they argue and ask you, “Why do I have to?”, do you answer their question even though they already know the answer?
  4. Are you arguing in return which keeps your child engaged and gives them hope that you may get w0rn down and give in?
  5. Have you given in in the past because it wasn’t worth the hassle of arguing?
  6. Do you get angry because you are trying to get cooperation in the same way each time and you feel that your child is being stubborn and not reasonable?

I am asking you these very important questions because we can only change our actions when we evaluate and then change our thoughts and feelings first. After we understand our unhelpful thoughts and feelings, then we can embrace helpful ones and effectively carry out new parenting strategies.

After you self-reflect, then you can try effective Director Strategies that won’t lead to arguing. My favorite is the After-Then approach, or Work before Play approach, which goes like this:

After you (do the work I want you to do) then you can do (the play I have agree is okay to do.)

After you clean the bathroom then you can go to your friends house.

Read more on the After-Then approach to get it right because your child will probably argue and you need to know how to repeat your statement without engaging in an argument.

If you are at the point in your parenting where you are looking for solutions by changing yourself first, I have a Step-by-Step Process that will guide you from unhelpful strategies to strategies that work. You can get a preview of these steps that are in detail in my book, Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation.

©2017 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, private parenting coaching sessions, and her book, Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. She works with parents of 5 – 25 year-old children.

To learn how Cynthia can help you solve your specific challenges, contact Cynthia at,,  or 650. 679.8138 to have a complementary 45-minute discovery session. Why keep suffering? It’s time to change!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *