Many parents face this challenge. Backtalk may be annoying and sometimes maddening, but it is a commonplace symptom of gaining independence and growing up. Kids of all ages have a formidable sense of individual power on an emotional level. As soon as they can’t get it because they are commanded or everything is done for them, they retaliate by lashing out with words. Here are 5 tips on how to stop backtalk from your child.
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Shift The Power to Them
Look for opportunities where you can allow them to take some control, for instance, allowing them to choose their own outfit. When children feel their need for power is not adhere to, they start acting out. In most scenarios, children have the upper hand because you cannot physically force them to eat their cauliflower or force them to fall asleep.
We as parents also cannot regulate what they say. The best way to start seeing improvement in this behavior is through proactive parenting. Where talkback is concerned, the more positive power that is given to them proactively, the less it will be necessary for you to react when they use power in a negative way.
Take Your Role Seriously
Communication involves two people and you as the parent must own your role that you play in the power struggle. Mind the way you communicate and try not to direct, order, and correct the whole time. Parents often contribute to these power struggles unknowingly by bossing children around too much, subsequently encouraging talkback. If you place yourself in your child’s shoes would you be able to not say anything if you were told what to do constantly? Instead, dedicate time to intentionally play, listen, and engage with them. This is the best way to proactively avoid backtalk.
Pay Attention to them
Children need constant attention. All humans have an elementary need to belong and feel like they matter, and for kids, the only way to meet these meets is by giving them your undivided attention. This involves three things:
- It must be centered around the child
The child decides what happens. Giving them the opportunity to regulate this time spent with you, you are giving them attention and power.
- No interruptions are allowed
This means putting away your phone, and stepping away from the TV, or whatever you were doing. It can wait until your time with him or her is finished. You do not have to allocate hours towards this time. I could be half an hour or fifteen minutes a day. But this means giving your undivided attention with no interruptions.
- Name it and Claim it
These few minutes or half an hour is your special time with them. Involve them with coming up with a name and make sure they know that this time with them is significant and meaningful.
Name the Rules
Kids need a constant routine and structure to thrive. Power struggle soften occur with kids that are not sure of what is expected of them or that are unsure of what to expect. Backtalk is a form of pushback to a vague and unenforced expectation. There is nothing wrong with having a more flexible approach to parenting, but there must be some stability and consistency in a child’s life to reach long time success.
Do not lose your cool
No matter how good of a performance they are giving, you need to remain unimpressed. As soon as you get upset and respond negatively, they gain control. Rather tell them that you are hurt by the way they are talking to you and as long as they talk to you like that, you are walking away. As soon as they are ready to speak to you in a respectful manner, you are ready to listen.