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    What Should You Do When Your Kid Talks Back?

    By Lisa Hayden / November 13, 2020
    What Should You Do When Your Kid Talks Back

    What Should You Do When Your Kid Talks Back?

    In the morning before you leave for work, you ask your child to finish his breakfast but instead of a cheerful ‘yes’ for an answer, you suddenly get a “Yes, I know!” from your child. Where do children learn this kind of response?

    In the event the child talks back, he or she is expressing a mix of several emotions like frustration, anger, embarrassment, hurt, or fear.

    One thing that talking back imply is that your child wants your attention. Kids talk back especially in the times they feel abandoned or ignored by parents. At grade school, children learn to sort event and start to filter the stories they tell to parents or guardians.

    Have you ever thought how to discipline a child who talks back? What is the appropriate punishment for talking back? When your child talks back, the best move is to control your temper and never resort to spanking. Approach your child and find out what’s going on his or her mind.

    The average age babies talk is around 2.5 yrs and be independent in their speech is around 4, but talking back usually kicks in only later, in at around preschool stage particularly by the age of four and five. Children are becoming comfortable speaking at this point. It becomes easier for them to use the language and construct replies in conversations.

    However, as vocabulary becomes automatic to children, they fail to see how their words are interpreted by the people around them. Gradeschoolers are also beginning to learn to be independent and don’t want to be reminded all the time.​

    The root cause of talking back is often connected to be problems that your child is facing. It might be about school or his or her circle of friends. Your child does not intentionally want to hurt your feelings.

    Peer Influence

    Peer pressure is very rampant in childhood. It is remarkable during grade school as children are still grasping the many concepts in life. Children are in pursuit to find the meanings of different ideas and their socialization with friends contribute to these events.

    However, child specialists recommend that parents should not forbid friendships of their children with certain kids. It is better for children to get exposed to different personalities for them to learn to pick who they want to form lasting connections with. As parent, you just need to common behaviors among kids and guide your children when dealing with these types.

    Your child may try back talk when their school mates or friends brag about it. Children are naturally curious and want to test out things themselves.

    What Should You Do When Your Kid Talks Back

    The moment your kids talk back, call them for time out and subtly ask where they picked up such action. If they argue that this is what their friends do, let them know you do not agree to this and that your family does not tolerate such response.​

    It is inevitable to keep your children from negative influences but this is also a way to strengthen your child’s personality. There are some learning that can be gained from the four corners of the classroom. Children will eventually learn how to resist peer pressure and reject actions that can lead to consequences like detention or being grounded.

    Media Influence

    TV shows and movies these days showcase characters that have strong personalities. Children have the tendency to mirror the acts they see on TV or even in other forms of media like comic books and video games.

    Parents should be there to help children explore what is real and reel as well as explain the reason why contents like that are made. Keep an open mind when watching a tv show, movie or video with your child. When a show featured a rebel child, have a discussion after watching and see how your kid perceives the character.​

    Similar to meeting new people, parents are not always there to monitor the kind of media children consume on the daily. This is the reason why children be taught how to be skeptic about media influence.​

    Does Your Child Have ODD?

    Is your child becoming too rude? Does he or she does not mind the consequences for disrespectful child?At a given age, it is normal for a child to be naughty and would like to not follow rules. However, when the behavior becomes very frequent and distinctive, it can be signs of oppositional defiant disorder or ODD.

    A child with ODD is not only a usual back talker but also who is fond of causing troubles to his or her classmates or teachers. He or she intentionally do actions that provokes elders to be angry and instead of apologizing for the conflict, he or she will blame the other. This child will also complain about anything that does not pleases him or her.​

    A child with ODD exhibit a pattern of defiant and stubborn behavior not only to his or her family but also to other individuals he or she interacts with. To evaluate if your child may have ODD, see if he or she is showing this signs for the past few months:​

    • Frequent tantrums
    • Intentional defiance to discipline methods
    • Always argue with elders and other kids
    • Does not like being in group activities
    • Calls attention doing disruptive actions
    • Seeks revenge when hurt
    • Blame other for his or her own mistakes

    A child psychologist can do a comprehensive evaluation in order to properly diagnose if your child has ODD. This is recommended to exclude signs of other disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD that is also common among children. Proper diagnosis can be a basis for correct treatment plan for your child.

    A child diagnosed with ODD are advised to undergo a type of counseling called psychotherapy. The purpose of this counseling is to strengthen the child’s coping skills when it comes to dealing with problems and emotions. The doctor can also recommended cognitive-behavioral therapy which aims to change the child’s way of thinking to improve his or her behavior. Another therapy that can be suggested by the doctor is a family therapy which will better enhance the interaction among family members Additional therapies that can useful for the family with a child with ODD are parent management training as well as behavior management plans. The purpose of these courses is to help parents formulate ways to positively change the behavior of their child.​

    What to do for Kids who Backtalk?

    Backtalking can involve blatant words that can be as simple as “whatever!” or impolite gestures like an eye roll. When a child respond to your inquiry with any of these, then it can be considered as a form of talking back to parents.

    Your child’s bold behavior should not be tolerated but remember to be careful on how you will react in situations like this. You can’t be too lenient or too strict. The way you will answer will make or break your relationship with your child.

    An easygoing response from you can lead to a more problematic behavior while if you are too strict, you r child may feel lost and not able to share his or her feelings. The most applicable course of action for you is to keep calm and analyze the situation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when dealing with your child’s rude behavior:​

    What Should You Do When Your Kid Talks Back
    • Let your children know what gestures are off-limits at home. Explain the reasons why eye roll or turning your back while the other is talking are impolite things to do.
    • Give an explanation to your children how tone and way of delivery can change the meanings of words when spoken.
    • Remind children to use words such as ‘please’ or ‘kindly’ when asking for something from someone. You can emphasize these words when you use these when giving instructions to your kids. Gradeschoolers tend to imitate what the adults do.
    • Help children label their feelings after they verbally lashed on you. Make them feel you understood they are expressing their thoughts.
    • Try to make an emotional situation to a funny one by throwing some punchlines. A funny line (“You can turn into a witch when you keep a negative attitude.”) may turn an outburst into a laughing matter in no time. It is also an indirect manner of teaching kids about controlling their tempers.
    • Make him or her feel that he or she is in control of the tasks she need to do. Gradeschoolers have already a feeling of independence and do not want to be nagged about things all the time.
    • When you child keeps on doing nasty things, set a limit until you roll out the appropriate punishment for talking back.
    • When your child back talk in public, don’t give in to the pressure to giving in the thing he or she wants. Find a quiet corner and tell your child that a bad behavior like that has a consequence. Maintain the respect you have for yourself and be a good role model to your child.
    • If you think your child is backtalking because he or she is craving for attention, devote a one-on-one time with your kid. Go for a walk in park, hangout in the mall, or eat out once in awhile.
    • On the other hand, don’t forget to recognize your child’s good deeds with praises and some sweet gestures. Positive reinforcement is highly recommended in disciplining children.

    What if it your Child Talks back to his or her Teachers?

    Children may have more guts to act out and talk back at school since there will no parents to supervise them. An unruly behavior at school is unavoidable since children usually challenge each other in academics and extracurricular activities. Parents wish for their kids is to always excel in their studies and not be labelled as one of the rude children.

    When your child has become known as a troublemaker at school, speak with the teacher and let the teacher know how you deal with your child’s behavior at home. At the start of the school year, you can already mention to the teachers or school administrators what methods of disciplining work and does not work with your child. You should keep your communication lines with the teachers always open to know about your child’s progress. Parents and teachers should work hand in hand when teaching children about discipline. It should be a give and take relationship where one should know what to fill out in case the other party is missing out on something. To better explore this situation, parents and teachers can look into these questions:

    • As parents, how can we help the teacher in his or her tasks of promoting good behavior?
    • What are the activities we can do at home that can practice the learning at school?
    • As the child’s teacher, what can I do to support the parents in disciplining their child?
    • Are there observations I can share to the parents for them to get to know their child better?
    • As a team, how can we keep this child on track to become a well-mannered individual?

    Are Kids Who Talk Back Smarter?

    Some experts speculate that talking back is a developmental activity for a child’s brain. It helps them to master the skill of negotiating and taking control over circumstances.

    It is indeed a tricky situation for parents but it is favorable to give your child the space to express themselves. It is a way of teaching them about self-awareness. You also want your child to not be a blind follower and be someone who can stand up for his or her beliefs.

    There will come a time that your child will pushback no matter what. As parent, you have to focus on the causes and your appropriate response for an occurrence like this. You would want your children to grow as smart and independent adults and their experiences during childhood contribute to this outcome.

    Similar to other unpleasant attitudes and behaviors, these things can only be eliminated when you stop it early on. Initiate building a good foundation in your child’s values by always talking to your offspring with respect. When backtalking takes place, discussed what happened and correct the wrongdoings as soon as possible. Resolving issues in behavior in a proper manner can have a positive impact in your child academic and social achievement.​

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