Parents can easily get frustrated when dealing with an angry disrespectful child who is talking back. How to deal with a child who talks back is one of the biggest concerns that many parents have to handle in their daily lives. Though backtalk is a normal part of children’s development, many parents find it hard to solve the problem easily.
Backtalk happens at almost any age, starting almost as early as when the child masters their first “No!”. For many parents, kids talking back is really upsetting. They have a feeling like a ball of fire is rushing toward their heart. They always suppose that their kids cannot talk to them that negatively way. What kids hear most from their parents might be like “You are not allowed to talk to me that way. Remember I’m your Mom. You need to show me respect!”
There are many causes of talking back. It can stem from a child who wants to exert control over his own life, for example, what he eats, wears, or does. It can also a child’s way to draw his parents’ attention or to test their boundaries. It can just be their expression of feeling hungry or tired.
Whatever the cause, parents should always take measures to address immediately if your kids talk back. As parents, it’s your responsibility to teach your children how to express their desires, wishes and opinions in a respectful and constructive manner.
So, what can you do to end the backtalk in your home?
Best tips on how to deal with a child who talks back
1. Keep your composure
Being patient is the first tip on how to deal with a child who talks back. Of course, you don’t need to put up with the backtalk of your child. However, it’s important to be careful about the way you react. Just keep in mind that your response can either strengthen or weaken your relationship with your children.
If you are too lenient, your child might have more worrisome behavior. But if you are too strict when addressing their backtalk, your kids may feel that they cannot express their thoughts, leading to a communication shutdown.
Your child may feel some intense emotions at that time, so everything can surely be worse if you cannot keep your reaction as mild as possible. Never yell at your child, make threats or scream at your kids with negative words. Under those circumstances, it’s best to hold your tongue, take some deep breaths, and ask yourself if what you are going to do can help the situation or not.
In case you still feel so angry and lose control, if your child also loses control try to keep calm and continue the conversation with your child later when both of you have cooled down.
2. Determine the root cause
Not all time is backtalk, a true expression of your child’s feelings. The reason for it might be from another matter that is even unrelated to you. Maybe your child is having some problems with his friends at school. Or perhaps, he may feel stressed about his homework and want you to get out of his room.
Parents need to try to remain calm and collected to get to the root of the problem. You will find it much easier to understand your child and resolve the issue when you figure out the reason behind your child’s snappy comeback.
3. Establish expected behavior
How to deal with a child who talks back? Parents should be clear with kids about acceptable ways to express themselves. Be more specific so your children can know that yelling negative words is never a good manner. That same goes for some rude behaviors such as eye-rolling, giving you the death stare, or lip-smacking.
Young kids may need a few reminders to really learn what their parents expect from them. That’s why you should give them a few chances to correct their bad behavior.
4. Give and ask for respect
Actually, that your child expresses her feelings or opinion about something is a good thing. A research published in 2011 indicated that children who have their own opinions and thoughts and dare to express themselves are less at risk for going along with friends who can experiment with alcohol and drugs.
That said, parents still need to balance understanding with a requirement for respect. While the kids know they are safe to express what they think, they must also know basic rules in their conversation with others. Teach your kids that cheeky comebacks, rude gestures, and backtalk are never acceptable.
Emphasize the message that you don’t agree to listen to their thoughts until they are able to speak to you in a calm and respectful manner.
5. Monitor what children see
These days, there are more and more TV shows and movies that depict children talking back to adults and expressing sarcasm and a sassy attitude. While that behavior is considered good for comedy, let your kids know that imitating that type of behavior is neither funny nor acceptable in real life. Monitor what your children are watching on TV so you talk to them about the part they are seeing.
6. Praise politeness
Everyone loves to be appreciated, kids included. When they have a proper way of communication, parents should reward their good manner with a hug, a thank you or a compliment.
It’s wonderful when parents pay extra attention when their child performs positive behaviors instead of negative ones. Don’t hesitate to praise your children when they talk and express themselves in a respectful manner. Show your approval by telling her “I highly appreciate the way you waited your turn to speak” or “You did a very good job expressing your feeling without raising your voice.” This makes your child feel good and know that parents also pay attention to good things. This is a very important tip on how to deal with a child who talks back. Your child will therefore talk back less often.
Knowing how to deal with a child who talks back is important. It cannot be denied that your child’s backtalk is really frustrating and upsetting. But please keep in mind that your positive parenting will keep this behavior in check. Be a patient mom and remember that the calmer you are, the less you let yourself be affected by your child’s negative behavior. That helps your children learn more positive ways to express their feelings and opinions.