Kids and Back-Talking: Why It Happens and How to Handle It
Once the commitment has been outlined and understood and your child begins to protest, don't engage in a back-and-forth argument. So, if Adam argues, because his mother has turned off the TV after she's explained the commitment, and starts in with “but that’s not fair, this is my favorite show…” or something to that effect, his mother should use what Parenting with Love and Logic calls the “one-liner.”
The key, of course, is to maintain a soft, empathetic tone of voice. For example, you could say “I love you too much to argue,” or “Probably so,” or “I know, it’s a bummer,” or “There’s no time for making kitten britches.” (Some of the most effective one-liners are really strange!)
I love this method because I don’t feel like I’m the parent trying to rule with an iron fist. I’m helping my children make correct choices by helping them feel in control. (And the humor of the teaching moment is not lost on me!)
What is your biggest back-talk struggle? What has worked for you?