San Diego Family Psychologist, Dr. Joanne Wendt, Releases Tips to Help Misbehaving Children

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Dr. Joanne Wendt, a psychologist practicing in San Diego, is providing tips to help parents raise successful, independent children. It's never too late to correct destructive habits that might be damaging to both kids and parents.

Dr. Joanne Wendt, Clinical Psychologist

It's sad to say but the breakdown of the American family and children running amuck starts, in part, with well-meaning, loving parents centering their lives around their children's wants and desires.

Many parents enter the new year aware that their children are behaving badly but unsure what's causing this bad behavior and how to correct it. Dr. Joanne J Wendt is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing in San Diego, who specializes in marriage and family therapy. During her 27 years of practice, Dr. Wendt has found these tips to be helpful in addressing parents' unhealthy habits, which can lead to entitled, misbehaving children. Parents may have the best intentions, but sometimes they don't understand the consequences of giving children whatever they want and refusing to say "no."

1.    Parents must recognize that a child's behavior is destructive and problematic. Often what parents perceive as the "best"—always saying "yes" to a child's demands—doesn't make a child happy or healthy. Dr. Wendt states, "It's sad to say but the breakdown of the American family and children running amuck starts, in part, with well-meaning, loving parents centering their lives around their children's wants and desires. They want to provide the very best for their kids." Parents must recognize that a child's behavior is unhealthy before they can begin to correct the problem.

2.    Parents must make sure they're emotionally healthy. Parents can't live through their children or rely on them for emotional support. Oftentimes parents spoil their children because they were deprived of things by their own parents, they want to be a "buddy" to their child, or they want to avoid conflict. But when parents behave like a child's friend, they can't instill their children with a sense of respect and personal responsibility.

3.    Parents must accept children's emotional outbursts. Sometimes children will say "I hate you" or will overact when a parent simply tells them "no." Although it may be painful to experience a child's anger, parents are building the foundation for a child to become a happy, confident adult. This prevents children from developing a sense of entitlement. Entitled children often act out when they don't get what they want, or they act in, becoming depressed and withdrawn.

4.    Make sure appropriate behavior and accomplishments are rewarded with praise and extra privileges, not material things. Chores don't need to be rewarded with pay and the same is true of good grades. Children should be motivated by internal rewards of high self-worth and a giving spirit, instead of external rewards.

Dr. Wendt continues, stating, "It really comes down to maintaining an appropriate boundary between parents and their children. The parenting style that tends to be most effective is a benevolent dictatorship. Here, parents provide appropriate discipline with a lot of love and guidance and their wise decision-making is not swayed or trashed by emotional or angry pleas from their children." Dr. Wendt's website contains numerous parenting resources, as well as tips for creating better relationships and encouraging personal growth.

About Joanne J. Wendt, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendt is a Clinical Psychologist who for 27 years has been helping individuals, couples, and families find peace and harmony in a respectful and caring atmosphere. She specializes in relationship issues, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Wendt's goal is to help her clients discover the strength within them to achieve their highest possible potential. Her approach to the therapeutic setting is one of optimism and great respect for an individual's readiness to meet difficult challenges and gain a greater understanding of who he/she aspires to be. Visit her online at

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