How to Stop a Child from Talking Back

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Many parents struggle with controlling the behavior of their child because they are either inexperienced or simply not willing to assert dominance and take things under control. As a parent, the worst thing you can do is to ignore the predicament that’s lingering over your kid’s childhood, and just let the problem solve itself. This will only worsen the issue and make it orders of magnitude harder to solve.

Talking back is one of the most common unwanted behaviors parents have to deal with when their kid is growing up. It’s quite an alarming sign that must not be ignored, and in fact, should be prevented before it becomes a habit. Many parents don’t realize the fact that their child will stumble upon a lot of social obstacles if they’ve struggled with authority in their early years.

If you’re looking for advice on how to stop a child from talking back, take a moment and check out some of the points we’ve made in this article. They aren’t necessarily hard-written rules, but rather a collection of do’s and don’ts that should give you a better idea when it comes to solving discipline issues.

How to Stop Back Talking From Your Child

There are dozens of things you can do in order to stop your kid from talking back. It doesn’t matter which one(s) you choose to go with as long as you think it’ll yield favorable results.

Here are a couple of tips and tricks you can resort to when needed:

Look for the Root of the Problem

If your kids start acting sassy, it’s probably because they want to express frustration, anger, fear, and discontent in general. Now, rather than being judgmental over their tantrum, you should focus on finding the cause. In most cases, the cause lies somewhere deep within your own concept of upbringing, and should probably be fine-tuned before it affects your child. Many parents tend to think they aren’t the center of the issue, but the reality is quite different.

The sooner you accept the fact that your kid’s behavior patterns are your responsibility, the sooner you’ll straighten them out. The most important thing you should remember is to avoid making your child feel ignored and neglected, especially in times of radical transitions (new school, moving, having another child).

Stay Calm and Composed

This is probably a step in which most parents make a crucial mistake of showing how frustrated they are with their kid’s behavior. While you shouldn’t hide your emotions from your child, you should definitely pay attention to the way you’re doing it. In other words, rather than letting the frustration get the better of you, stay calm, composed, and try articulating your stance and opinion so that your kid can understand you instead of focus on pushing your buttons.

Kids often look up to their parents and mimic their behavior, because they don’t know any better, especially if they are under six or seven years old. That’s why it’s important for you to turn a bad situation into a valuable lesson rather than ignoring it altogether with the “I am the boss!” attitude.

Image of parents disciplining son

Set Boundaries and Enforce Consequences for Disobedience

This step is usually the hardest one for many parents because it requires you to stand firm and explain to your child that they aren’t entitled to everything. It’s a difficult thing to do because no parent wants to watch their kid cry or be sad. However, the sooner you realize it’s a necessity, the sooner you’ll be able to cope with it.

The principle is pretty simple – for every disrespectful behavior (such as talking back) there is a certain penalty. The crucial thing here is to familiarize your child with the rules before you enforce them. This way, your child will be aware of the consequences and will certainly think twice before acting sassy. With that being said, make sure to keep the consequences mild and reasonable. Otherwise you might end up doing more harm than good.

Teach Your Child about Respect

Respect is a good foundation for many things in life, including good parenting. While it is recommended that you assert dominance over your child, it’s kind of a double-edged sword, especially if you’re not too experienced. However, mutual respect can balance these relationships out and help you keep the fine balance between being your kid’s friend and parent at the same time.

This is also a good step if you’re looking to eliminate tantrums and hysteria. In other words, you should emphasize the fact that you won’t listen to what your child has to say unless they say it in a respectful manner.

Reward Good Behavior

Rewarding good behavior is just as important as punishing bad behavior. In fact, it’s crucial to keep the fine balance between punishments and rewards so that your child can comprehend the benefits and shortcomings of both. On top of that, children who receive positive reinforcement are less susceptible to throwing tantrums and disobeying their parents.

This is a good universal model for corrections, especially if you’ve already established a relationship based on respect.

Keep Things Positive

Being negative about anything is often quite detrimental for your kid. In fact, negativity will very rarely yield any results, let alone positive results. While you have to take a firm stance every now and then, that doesn’t mean you have to deliver your point across in a negative way.

Children are quite sensitive and emotionally fragile. Being negative towards them is only going to make things worse rather than better. Therefore, you should focus on finding positive things and pointing them out instead of acting like a cold-blooded parent.

Image of mother and son with tablet

Be Wary of Modern Technology

The modern technology has brought great wonders upon us. It allows us to stay in touch with people who are important in our lives, watch videos on demand, research scientific conundrums, and much more. However, the World Wide Web is also filled with gruesome content, which is, to say the least, a bad thing for your child’s upbringing.

That’s why you should pay attention to what your child is watching and filter things accordingly. This doesn’t only refer to content like porn or war videos but also shows and movies that depict kids talking back to their parents. The internet is an inexhaustible source of knowledge, but it’s also a rabbit hole full of pretty nasty stuff. Monitor what your child sees, and you’ll significantly minimize their exposure to horrible things.

Seek Professional Help if You Can’t Handle Things

Not all issues are easily solvable, especially when it comes to disciplining stubborn kids. Don’t beat yourself over too much if you can’t handle your kid’s behavior; many parents share the same sentiment. Sometimes, there is much more to those tantrums than meets the eye. That’s why it’s important for you to hire a behavioral therapist to help you battle against your child’s bad habits. An expert is qualified and trained to recognize different behavioral patterns and find the right methods to fight against those patterns. On top of that, an expert can diagnose various disorders, including ODD, and treat them accordingly. Bear in mind; untreated disorders tend to get increasingly hard to treat as time goes by.

While it is quite frustrating and annoying to fight against the habit of talking back, it’s something you’ll have to face, sooner or later. Instead of being caught off guard, you should prepare yourself for this rather exhausting adventure and discipline your kid while it’s still somewhat easy. The more they grow up, the harder it is to establish discipline.

Of course, you shouldn’t take things too far. Your kid should still be the center of your world, regardless of how often they misbehave. It’s a matter of keeping a fine balance between discipline and fun parenting.

As the timeless Jim Morrison said,

“Take a long holiday, let your children play.”

Author: Jonathan M. Ward
Author: Jonathan M. Ward

Himself a father of two, John is obsessed with getting the most out of every children’s product on the market, finding value wherever it can be found. His years of study in developmental psychology coupled with his passion for parenting make him an invaluable asset to our team.

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