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Parenting Skills: 5 Phrases Parents Can Teach Kids Who Argue

Parents Can Teach Kids How to Argue Respectfully

If you're a parent with kids who argue too much, you may need help. Our parenting expert and author, Dr. Michele Borba gives us 5 verbal strategies to use from her The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Let's listen to an excerpt to find out what she suggests.

Teach Kids to Argue Respectfully

Kids need to know that it's okay to disagree-just as long as they do so without bashing the other person. The problem is that most kids don't know ways to argue their point respectfully, so teach a few phrases they can adopt to get their views across, such as

1. "That's one idea: here's another..."

2. "I don't agree. Here's what I think."

3. "There's another way to look at it."

4. "Have you considered...?"

5."That's one way to look at it, but here's another..."

You might even write such phrases on a chart to hang up on the fridge as a reminder and then find a way to naturally use a different phrase each day with your kids so that they get in the habit of using them. Do stress that they must deliver the line calmly and then listen to the other person's opinion.

One Parent's Answer

A Mom from Lake Tahoe Shares:

My youngest kid never had a chance to voice his view against his older very-verbal sister. The arguments and tears drove me crazy. I finally gave him an egg timer and made a house rule that he must be able to talk-without interruption-until the buzzer went off after a full three minutes of expressing himself.

He carried that timer around for days, but it worked. Not only did the tears stop, but he actually learned to state his case against his sister quite well.


I like Dr. Michele Borba's 5 verbal strategies and appreciate her for sharing one parent's suggestion. To find out in more detail 6 more strategies like:

  • Be sympathetic
  • Don't ask why, ask what
  • Encourage them to work it out themselves
  • Intervene if necessary
  • Encourage amends
  • Suggest a compromise

go to pages 49 and 50. Dr. Borba will share what each means and how you can use them in her book:

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

  Cover The Big Book of Parenting Solutions
Available on Amazon.com


Let's APPLAUD Dr. Michele Borba for her excellent knowledge of parenting problems and solutions.

Dr. Michele Borba
Dr. Michele Borba


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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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