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Why do kids talk back?

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Model Your Expectations

It's very important that you model the behavior you expect from your child. Children learn by imitating what they see, especially at home, says Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., a family psychologist in Houston. If your 5-year-old overhears you using a snarky tone when speaking to your spouse or your mother-in-law, she will learn it's okay to treat others (including you) in a similar manner. So make sure you speak and treat others (family, friends, neighbors, and strangers) respectfully, even when you think your kid isn't around (little ears often hear everything).

In addition, examine your own interactions with her. "If you see a pattern of back talk developing with your child, sometimes the best thing to do is grab your phone and record audio," says Erik A. Fisher, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of The Art of Empowered Parenting: The Manual You Wish Your Kids Came With. You don't have to let your kid know — simply glance at the phone when your kid's talking back and hit the record button. The recording gives you a chance to listen to your child's tone as well as your own. Many times when parents listen, they realize that they used the same sarcastic or disrespectful tone as their child, which is how the child learned it, says Dr. Fisher.

What is disrespectful behavior?

Disrespectful words and actions are rude and show a lack of respect. If you want to “dis” someone, be disrespectful towards them. Disrespectful behavior can range from blatant rudeness to just not acting impressed or awed by something others hold sacred.

Why every kid should talk back to their parents?

Talking back gives children the opportunity to learn how to be assertive. Show them how to express their opinions respectfully with this advice.

6. Talk calmly after the situation

Put the conversation on hold and wait until you’re both calm. Only then can you discuss what led your child to talk back. All will have been forgiven by then, and she’ll open up without fear of punishment or losing your trust.

Analyze the instigators. What causes her to talk back? Do you notice a pattern? Did she need to transition from one activity to the next? Was she looking for attention? Could she have been hungry?

Discuss these issues once you’re past your initial emotions so you have a better idea what to do next time.

Discover 5 effective tips to stay calm when you’re losing your temper.

Praise Good Behavior

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, kids included. When they communicate properly, reward their behavior with a hug, a thank you, or a compliment. 

Kids who receive positive reinforcement are often less likely to act out to get attention.

Be sure, however, that kids understand that simply asking respectfully doesn't necessarily mean they'll get the outcome they want. You may say, "I liked how you asked if you could play another game, but it's time for bed."

Stopping Backtalk Through Teaching

Backtalk is completely normal – but that doesn’t mean it feels any less horrible when it’s directed at you. 

Teach your child about their brain during a calm, non-explosive time.  Then, when they use backtalk to communicate, master the freeze and respond calmly.  After a few times of doing this, your child will start changing what they say after you point it out.

They’ll be able to catch their own backtalk and apologize when you deliver your freeze and stare.  At that point, you can hug them and go on with your day.

Give and Ask for Respect

When your child expresses her opinion about something, it’s actually a good thing. In fact, research published in 2011 shows that kids who have their own thoughts and opinions and aren't afraid to express them are less at risk for going along with peers who may experiment with drugs and alcohol.

That said, it’s important for parents to balance understanding with a requirement for respect. While children should know that they're safe to express their opinions and that mom and dad are listening to what they think and feel, they must also know that cheeky comebacks and rude gestures aren't acceptable.

Be sure to emphasize the message that you won't listen to what they have to say until they're able to speak to you in a calm and respectful manner.​

7 Ways to Deal With Disrespectful Back Talk From Your Teen

Getting to the heart of the matter

After calming down a bit and reminding myself that my daughter’s outburst was probably unrelated to me, I knocked on her door.

“What, Mom?!” she replied.

“Can we talk for a moment about why you don’t want to put your choir dress on?”

Still defensive, my daughters’ answers were anything but helpful: “I just don’t want to.” “I hate that dress.”

“So it’s just that you hate your dress – that’s the reason why you don’t want to get ready to go to your choir concert?”

And then it came out: she was tired, there was too much going on in her life at the moment and she didn’t feel like driving back to school.

“I’m sorry you feel that way. But won’t your friends and choir director miss you if you’re not a part of the performance?”

Later, I added: “Next time when you’re feeling frustrated like this could you please try to communicate these feelings in a calmer way? It’s easier to work together if we speak calmly to each other.”

Slowly but surely my daughter came around to getting dressed. Instead of putting on a dress she wore pants – which were also acceptable for the performance.

We arrived on time and with a smile on her face, she sang and danced. Like so many similar instances, it was as if the earlier rude gestures had never happened.

It isn’t every time that I’m able to hold my composure and not raise my voice. But when I do take a step back and resist the urge to lash out, more often than not we reach a resolution more easily and peacefully.

You may also find helpful:

How to Raise Responsible Kids, Not Just Obedient Ones

The One Skill That Will Transform Your Parenting

How to Help Kids Cope With Failure

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Besides the available experiences of the team, Howtolinks also welcomes the contribution of all people. Usually, we give users helpful solutions for Why Do Children Talk Back​ based on the real experience of experts, but once receiving a better one for it, we will be gladly receptive.

3. Stay calm

Staying calm, hands down, works wonders when dealing with irate, frustrated and challenging kids.

It’s so easy to snap back with a sarcastic retort, a harsh punishment or a raised tone of voice, but try to stay calm and respond—not react. This will further the conversation more effectively than giving in to wild reactions.

Changing your child’s habits won’t happen overnight—expecting her to change after one talk is unrealistic. Instead, remain calm when she’s rude. You’ll set an example for the changes she needs to make.

This doesn’t mean enabling or allowing her to get what she wants or continue to misbehave. She won’t get that cookie or watch the extra television show, especially with the way she’s talking to you. But you can still remain calm while holding your ground.

Determine the Root Cause

Back talk isn't always a true expression of your child's feelings, and the reason might be rooted in something unrelated to you. Maybe your son is having problems with a friend in school and taking it out on you because he feels you're a safe target. Or perhaps he's stressed about homework and screaming at you to get out of his room. If this happens, remain calm and collected, and ask questions to get to the root of the problem. ("Did something happen today at school?" or "Did you say that because you need some time alone?") Figuring out the reason behind the snappy comeback can make it easier to understand and resolve the issue.

child with loud mouth Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Master the freeze

When my daughter yells at me, I freeze.  

I don’t yell.  I don’t react. I get eerily quiet.

In fact, I’m mad.  Inside I’m a boiling rage of fury and emotions with tons of thoughts fluttering through my head:

  • Doesn’t she know how much I do for her?
  • I just spent all afternoon driving her around.
  • I totally don’t deserve this.

But, I don’t say any of those things.  Why? Because as a teacher, I watched a few other teachers yell at students.

These teachers weren’t effective with behavior.  Their students weren’t scared into suddenly being quiet and doing all their work.

Instead, kids laughed at them.  These teachers were labeled “crazy”.

No, the yellers had no control over their classes.

Who did have control were the teachers who showed tons of love to their students and then, when a behavior was out of bounds, they got eerily quiet.

They stopped.  They froze. They didn’t yell.

Rather, they quietly walked up to the student, leaned down to their level and spoke to them in such a low voice that no other students could hear. 

Usually, that student listened and chose another more acceptable behavior. 

But what about the disrespect?

Just because we demonstrate to our kids that we’re willing to listen to their opinions doesn’t mean we have to roll over and put up with a disrespectful attitude.

While parents should let their kids talk back to them – in effect, let kids express how they really feel – possibly even more important is that parents coach their kids on the right way to be assertive.

But before delving into how to teach kids the right way to behave, know that most of the disrespect kids voice is usually coming from a place of feeling hurt, fearful, frustrated, not feeling a connection with others or simply being hungry or tired.

Taking a step back and recognizing that kids’ disrespectful behavior usually isn’t intended to be an attack against you personally can begin to calm that urge we feel to put kids in their place.

Final Word

Now that you know why kids talk back and few ways to handle them, life will be a little easier and peaceful at home. Kids who talk back can upset you and even frustrate you but your calm and positive behavior towards them can correct their behavior.

Ava Jones Hey welcome to my blog . I am a modern women who love to share any tips on lifestyle, health, travel. Hope you join me in this journey!

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