Put an End to Your Child’s Talking Back Habit


Backtalk; even if you have the most well-behaved child on the planet, he or she is going to experiment with backtalk at some point. It’s a child’s rite of passage. They try to test us as parents; to find out what we’re willing to accept, how much independence they can cultivate and exactly how far they can push our limits (and boy can they push them). Kids are great, but backtalk is not one of the finer points of parenting. Here are just a few ways you can minimize and potentially eliminate this unfortunate childhood behavior.

Let Kids Make Choices

If there’s one thing you don’t care for, it’s being told what to do all day, every day, all the time. Think about this – if your boss were to tell you exactly what to do, what to wear, how to behave, how to think and what to eat all day long, you’d only be able to hold your feelings in for so long before snapping. Your children are the same way. Give them a little freedom to make choices. Let them choose what they wear and what they take in their lunchbox (obviously within reason). Let them choose whether to do homework before dinner or after. Give them some power to make their own decisions and you’ll be very surprised just how much they change.

Stay Calm

When your kids use backtalk against you, stay calm. Don’t lose your cool in front of the kids. Tell them one time that you don’t appreciate their tone or attitude and that you’re going to leave the room and not converse with them again until they can conduct a civil conversation and then walk out. Do not speak to them again until they’ve calmed down. Repeat this each time backtalk is used, only you don’t have to warn them you’re walking away the next time; just do it.

Create Rules

With clear rules and even clearer consequences, you’re going to be able to garner better behavior. When your kids know what’s at stake, they are less likely to misbehave in the future. For example, once you set the rules and they break them, enforce them no matter what. Losing a privilege is a great way to ensure that they will think twice in the future about using backtalk on you.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)


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