Useful Rules for Successful Parents: Talking Back

Call them on it. When your child talks back to you, you need to let them know that very minute that it is unacceptable behavior.rudeness is not allowed. Of course you don’t want to be rude back, even if what your child said as frustrated you for the 10th time. You’ll want to try and encourage them to change what they said so that they learn from the experience. I have often found the short sentence: “Please say that again using your manners.” to work with my children. You can try that that sentence or something similar. You’ll want to remember to try and keep any frustration or sarcasm out of your voice. If your child looks at you quizzically, give them the words that she would prefer to hear. If your child complains because you are not tolerating their talking back and they continue to talk back, whine or sass, then it’s time to have a full discussion with them about their rude behavior. Ask them to take a timeout and once they are calm, you can talk about it. When your child is calm down discuss the rude behavior and talk about ways to prevent it from happening again. Set a consequence. When you talk to your child about talking back after an incident has escalated or your child is falling into a habit of back talk, make it clear that there is a consequence for continuing to use this rude behavior. Here is a list of suggested consequences:

  • Loss of television privileges for one day
  • Loss of cellphone privileges for one day
  • Loss of computer privileges for one day
  • No outings with friends for one day
  • 5 to 10 minute time out

You’ll note that these are quick consequences. They have a fast reset time so that your child has the opportunity to change their behavior quickly. If you were to take their privileges away for they a week for talking back, what’s the point of them trying to change the behavior the next day? Quick reset consequences tend to work best for backtalk.

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