Back Talk

I need advice on how to handle a 4 year old little girl who talks back like a 13 year old. Time out has not worked, telling her we do not talk to mom or dad like that has not worked and many other tactics. What tips can you offer for this issue??

Here's a simple one to try...

Let's say you ask your daughter to, "Go and pick up the toys in the bedroom." And you get a response like, "murmur, murmur, back-chat, back-chat, no-thank you" (or something)...try instead giving her a model of the right way to respond and just tack it on to your question. So, it would go like this, "Go and pick up the toys in the bedroom [change to a higher pitch] Oh, sure, mommy, I'd love to."

Just assume there will be some back talking, because habits are hard to break. But you can preempt her and try and replace the habit with a new one.

This is just a side note (and something that I have thought about for awhile). I know that when my kids approach me with a question like, "We're hungry can you get me something to eat...Will you play trains with me...Come see this, Mom..." that a lot of times I give the "in a minute" answer. It is a mom's own version of back talk. So, I've made a conscious effort to answer, "Yes! I'd love to..." if the answer will eventually be a yes. I try to make the yes something they hear me say. And think about the way your husband, or father responds to your questions. Is it will a, "Sure, honey" or something else? The more you can model the behavior you want your children to exhibit, the better!

Painting byMorisot: Artist's sister with her child

1 comment:

Mason Manor said...

Angie, I love what you say--especially the end part of making sure to model the behavior you want to recieve from your child. I noticed that I tell Hannah "in a minute" a lot. And--even at 19 months--she whines when I say it. I'm excited to try the "yes" tactic.