We have all seen kids do it. We may even have a vague memory of doing it ourselves. It is the old tradition of backtalking our parents. This can include: the famous eyeroll, the shoulder shrug, the famous word of the age such as whatever in a sarcastic tone, all of this type of behavior general comes with being a parent and it is known as back talking. The question is how does a parent handle it?
1. It can’t be ignored. If it is ignored it will only continue and it will only get worse. Then eventually your child won’t respect you at all. This is and should be one of a parent’s greatest fears. If your child doesn’t respect you, he/she won’t listen to you.
2. Being by setting some basic rules. You need to decide what these rules are in advance. What are the most important rules, at the moment? What do you want your child to do? Make sure your child knows what these rules are. They may even need to be posted somewhere.
3. Tell yourself and your child that you will not be disrespected. Then explain to your child that this is what is occurring when he/she rolls his/her eyes, says the offending word whatever or whatever the act is that he/she is doing as he/she is backtalking you. Then explain that if it happens again a punishment will occur.
4. Tell your child that he/she has the right to be angry and frustrated. He/she also has the right to disagree with you. But he/she has to learn to do it a more mature way. Then explain ways in which he/she can express this anger. One definite way to do this is through communicating to you why he/she is angry in the first place.
5. If your child is acting act out or backtalking in public, explain that this is even more disrespectful to you. If your child is young and does not seem to understand when he/she is backtalking to you, you might want to come up with a code word that you can use to signal to him/her that this is occurring. Teach him that when you say this word it is time for him/her to kindly be still and quiet. This can not only help you get out of an embarrassing situation it can also teach your child to recognize his/her own behaviors.
6. Don’t engage the child. It can be easy to rant and rave with the child. It can also be easy to act as immature as your child is. Try to avoid the temptation.
Being the parent and being the mature one isn’t always easy. Yet, nobody said it was. Learning what to do when your child begins to back talk you is the first key in teaching your child to be more respective to not only you, but to others in general.