Parenting With Toka: How to Handle Kids Who Talk Back

posted by Vinitha , March 20, 2019

How do we handle kids who talk back? When our children give impudent or disrespectful replies, a calm and consistent strategy always works. 

A group of moms got together and suddenly we seemed to be battling the same foe – backtalk. When had our so sweet and small, innocent children turned into back talking tweens/teens? We discussed ideas and strategies to deal with back talk. Here is what we came up with.

What is backtalk?

The dictionary defines backtalk as imprudent or argumentative replies. In general, it consists of rude remarks made in reply to someone in authority.

Here is an example,

Child: Can I stay up late tomorrow?

You: No. You have piano practice tomorrow morning.

Child: Who cares about the stupid lessons?

I am sure we can come up with many such examples of back talk. Starting at the age of 7, many kids go through phases of back talk. It is normal. Having a clear plan on how to handle back talk, helps parents deal with the situation calmly and effectively.

Here are some things to consider on how to deal with back talk

Set clear expectations

Rudeness and verbal abuse is never acceptable. Set clear expectations on language your child can use. Children pick up unsuitable words from media, friends etc. Having a clear rule on what is acceptable and what is not, makes it easier to enforce rules.

Plan ahead

Plan ahead on how to deal with back talk. It is very easy to lose composure when you hear your child talk back. Having a plan on how to deal with it, usually helps us to have control of the situation. Decide on a consequence your child will have to face if they talk rudely. Depriving them of some of their favorite privileges (mobile phone, tablet use, TV shows, visiting a friend etc) for a day or two are some consequences they may have to face.

Respond decisively

Having a plan means you have control of the situation. So respond decisively and state clearly that the tone and language used is not acceptable. Lay the consequence. “Because of your behavior, you will not be attending your friend’s birthday party.”

Follow through

Kids will whine and complain and sulk. They will try to plead and get away. Do not let that happen. Once you have stated your punishment stand on your ground. Do not negotiate or offer a second chance. Actions are much better than words.

Practice what you preach

As adults, we often say things we don’t want our children repeating. Remember if you say something snarkish and mean, your child will repeat it. Avoid being rude to others and you will see your children mirroring your actions.

Praise politeness

Always appreciate politeness and positive behavior.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

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