Look at the above picture. I wonder where he learned that pose! So young to be sassing back, don’t you think?
Unfortunately, if parents don’t change their ways, their kids’ response to them will become a habit and can be found even more ingrained later, as in the picture below.
What often happens when parents and kids reach a point where kids act like the above girl is that parents start to dislike their child and think of him or her as “the bad one”. Hugs and displays of affection decrease and the child resorts to more and more anti-social behavior to get any attention at all.
So, what can be done to nip “sassing back” in the bud?
First, parents need to monitor their own behavior to determine if they’re doing a lot of ordering and snapping at their kids. Okay, we know that life is stressful and the bills pile up and you may not be getting enough sleep BUT you must begin to control your angry reactions and model self-control to teach your kids to handle stressful situations of their own. Being told “No” to requests should not trigger temper tantrums and angry responses. Kids have to learn that there are limits, that they can’t always have what they want when they want it. But parents need to “look in the mirror” and ask if they’re being fair and responding to kids’ questions respectfully.
Do you speak to your child the way YOU would want to be spoken to? Monitor yourself.
What should you do if you already have a kid who’s talking back to you?
1. Say once and once only: “I don’t talk with someone who speaks to me like that.”
2. Turn your back and walk out of the room, possibly to the bathroom where you have a good magazine to read until things quieten down outside the door.
3. Reappear on the scene when things are quiet. If your child starts to talk back again, simply turn away and leave the scene again. You don’t have to say a word. She’ll get it.
4. The minute your child speaks properly to you, give your positive attention, hugs and smiles. You’re ignoring negative behavior and reinforcing positive behavior.
5. Discuss the issue the child objects to in a quiet manner. Ask her to tell you her feelings and objections without raising her voice and becoming aggressive.
6. Be very vigilant about how you speak to your child. Don’t give orders, ask her to do things you don’t feel like doing and do them “right away!” She is not your servant and must not be treated like one. Yes, she needs to participate in family life and have tasks to do as a member of the family but there is a way that jobs can be allocated that is fair and rewarding to all. I can teach you how to do it.
I’m here to help you and hope you’ll contact me with your questions and concerns, taking me up on my offer of a free chat.
Stop the situation, now, from snowballing into an extremely challenging problem.
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