Why Is My 8-Year-Old Giving Me Attitude?

Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Single Dad In Diego

Lately, I’ve been getting quite a bit of attitude from my eight-year-old son. It was not long before I was asking the question why is my 8-year-old giving me attitude? As a pretty typical human being, my first reaction is to “fight fire with fire.” As a parent, I realized that this is not the best course of action.

Why Is My 8-Year-Old Giving Me Attitude?

It is important to remember that children, because of their inherent immature nature, are not always able to communicate with us effectively about how they are feeling or what they are thinking. If they give us “attitude” about something we do or say, they are often trying to express their feelings.

So What Am I Not Seeing?

If we constantly try to “correct” this behavior, this problematic behavior may only become worse. This will be especially true as they become more frustrated with us.

Why Is My 8-Year-Old Giving Me Attitude
We are not happy!!

So the key to solving the problem of why is my 8-Year-old giving me attitude is to understand why this type of attitude is being presented in the first place. There could be plenty of reasons why this type of behavior is occurring. As a parent trying to solve this mystery, you just need to do a bit of detective work.

Steps to Tackling The Problem of Why Is My 8-Year-Old Giving Me Attitude

Search for the Emotion Behind the Words

Start out by thinking about what you thought when you were an eight-year-old. Even if you can’t think that far back, this is still a great way to begin this conversation. You are the one with the maturity, your child is not.

What that means is that while they may not be able to think on your level, you can think on theirs. It is rare that a child acts out only to act out. Try to get to the core of what they feel to understand why they are acting this way.

You do not want the acting out to continue. If your only solution is to continue to say “stop it” the behavior will most likely continue and you will keep asking why is my 8-year-old giving me attitude?

But Do Not Let the Rude Behavior Go Unanswered

Parenting is always a balance. You want to let your kids express themselves but you also want them to do that in appropriate ways.

Without getting angry or confrontational state that the attitude and behavior exhibited is not appropriate. Give your child the opportunity for a “reset”. Guide them into expressing what they are thinking without attitude, hostility, or sarcasm.

If they are unwilling to do this, do not continue to engage them. Make it understood that until they are ready to communicate in an appropriate way you will not communicate with them. This might make them mad, leave you frustrated, and leave a situation unresolved. That said, if you allow the attitude to continue, this problem will continue to rear its ugly head.

This Is a Tough Oneā€¦but Stick to It To Solve the Dilemma of Why Is My 8-Year-Old Giving Me Attitude

If you have ever tried to lose weight you know all about this one. You slip off your diet for one day. Or maybe you skip your workout for one day. You let your kids get away with murder for one day!

One slip-up is fine. It happens all the time and to expect perfection is an unrealistic goal. On top of that, there can be a host of other factors going on that keep you from sticking to this at any given moment. All this is fine. Do not beat yourself up.

Back to the bad losing weight metaphor. If you want to lose weight how many days do you think you could skip sticking to your diet? Yeah not that many. The same goes for dealing with a child with attitude. If you want meaningful change and you want to stop asking why is my 8-year-old giving me attitude, you’re going to have to make the effort on a regular basis.

Is There a Sibling in the Mix Contributing to the Problem of Why Is My 8-Year-Old Giving Me Attitude??

I have eight and seven-year-old boys. More often than not it is the eight-year-old giving me the attitude. A common gripe for him? “You (meaning me) always take his side (referring to the younger brother).”

What makes this problem even worse is that both of my kids are pretty smart. My younger one has figured out that this is a card that he can play quite a bit to get away with quite a bit. That’s not to say it works on me (I guess????).

If you have two kids (or more) you know there are rarely situations where one is absolutely right and one is absolutely wrong. Even if my younger one is not giving me attitude, most of my conversations about this problem include both of them.

So that might be something to the effect of “let’s change that tone” to the older one. It will also include a conversation with my younger one to the effect of “don’t instigate and then cry wolf.”

The point is not to take sides or be the judge and jury when asking why is my 8-year-old giving me attitude. Sometimes there are problems that do need resolution. Most times the conversation includes both of them so they both understand that giving me an attitude is not appropriate.

Guide Them to Finding the Solution Themselves

Meaningful change only occurs when individuals decide to make a change on their own. As a parent, that means you cannot tell your kids to change. It means you guide them to the change and then they decide to make that change.

That means showing them why their current snotty behavior is not appropriate. Just as importantly, it also means showing them how better behavior leads to better results.

Take as an example an “I want” expression from your child to you. In most cases, kids who say “I want” are not appropriately asking for something. A better choice for them is to calmly and simply explain their thoughts and feelings. The added bonus is that you are teaching them a few negotiation skills as well!

This of course is much easier said than done. That is especially true for young kids that lack maturity or experience. That is why it is your job as a parent to be thoughtful, patient, and diligent in teaching them the right way to approach the same situation. That will help to keep you from constantly asking why is my 8-Year-old giving me attitude.

What do I do if there is no improvement?

One of the most troublesome parts of dealing with this type of behavior is that it can be difficult to see that progress is being made. Do not give up and do not get frustrated. Keep at it because progress is most assuredly going to be slow yet steady. If you are at your wit’s end it is always a good idea to consult a professional for help.