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Parenting: How to put an end to the habit of talking back

Parenting - By Esther Muchene | September 28th 2020 at 10:55:00 GMT +0300
One major issue you often have to deal with as a parent is your kid's disrespectful habit of talking back (Shutterstock)

Let’s be honest, children can sometimes be rude whether knowingly or unknowingly. They’re not always sweet, kind and angelic and that’s just the reality of things.

One major issue parents have to deal with is the disrespectful habit of talking back. Luckily, you don’t have to deal with this forever if you arrest it early enough.

There are many techniques you can adopt right away to teach them how to start behaving in a proper manner.

This is a list of four techniques worth a try.

  • Ignore them

Kids often talk back as a way of testing your boundaries. By the time they decide that it’s okay to talk to you in a certain way, they’re already ready for retaliation. If you choose to engage them at this time, you’re less likely to get the results you want.

Therefore, don’t start getting worked up. Instead, give them a stern look that shows you’re not happy and then walk away from them. They will gradually realize that they’re not getting that power they are looking for and they will drop the habit.

  • Be a role model

The environment we grow up in shapes our behavior. That means the home environment we are exposed to is primarily the reason why we act the way we do.

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Try and assess if you’ve been good role models for the kids and whether you could be the ones that have modeled this behavior in them in the first place. Some parents discover that their children are actually mirroring their exact words and expressions back to them.

It could be time to work on yourself first to make sure your children are on the path to change. And, if you have to apologize for being rude to them at one point, do so.

You don’t have to deal with this forever if you arrest it early enough (Shutterstock)
  • Find time to talk to them about it

The best time to have this conversation is when they’re in a good mood. They’re more likely to listen to what you have to say without resisting.

First, start by acknowledging them and the good things they do. This is crucial because they might only be crying out for your love and attention. They need to be heard.

From there, with a calm and non-combative tone, let them know how their backtalk makes you feel and hopefully they will understand that they need to change.

The most important things here are your timing and approach.

  • Teach them how to communicate effectively

Kids often don’t have the right words to express how they feel yet so they opt for this style of communication.

For example when they tell you to wipe the table yourself after dinner when you’ve repeatedly asked them to handle it, they might be saying that they feel criticized for not doing it perfectly every time they try.

And, if they tell you a straight ‘no’ when you ask them to put the toys back in the toy box, they could possibly be trying to say that they’re just tired.

When they start to talk back, help them communicate in a respectful way instead of being rude.

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