When a child back talks you have a few options, you can ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen, and thus have to deal with it on a daily, if not hourly basis for the rest of your parenting life, or you can do something about it. So, what can you do when your child back talks? Consider the following:
First and foremost, never let back talking happen without letting your child know how you feel about it. If you yell at them, or fly off the handle in any way, the whole purpose in doing this backfires on you. The idea is to let them know you are disappointed without giving them something to rebel against. Be calm, collected, and simply say something like, “it is not okay for you to talk back to me.” Then walk away and revisit the problem when you are calm, and they are not in the heat of being rebellious.
After you both have a chance to calm down some, go and talk to your child. Say something like, “You back talked earlier, and that is not okay, so we need to come up with a reasonable punishment for your poor choice.” This lets them know that you did not forget, or allow them to back talk, but that you are not going to blow it out of proportion either. It is helpful if you already have a set consequence for when a child back talks, like a privilege being revoked. This way, they know what is going to happen, and the risk they run if they choose to back talk.
It is critical that you consistently enforce the punishment or consequence for talking back to you. If you let things slide, they are not going to get better because your child is so full of gratitude, but rather, get worse. It is like they think they can get away with it, so they keep pushing to see if they really can.
Children back talking is something that is going to happen to every parent. Even the most reliably well-mannered child is going to talk back at some point. So, what you want to do is give them a chance to explain their behavior, and then let them know why it was wrong. They might disagree with you on whatever it was that you talked to them about. Make sure they know that they are allowed to disagree with you, but must treat you respectfully. Thus, instead of back talking, they need to act more maturely and discuss the situation with you. Approach back talk with as much rationality as you can, as it will help your child overcome the urge to talk back, and embrace the idea of finding more appropriate outlets for their feelings. This is important for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens.