I received an email from a colleague who is a behavior specialist that I want to share with you. You may also find this helpful...
Today I want to talk with you about the dreaded behavior of "talking back." Are these things you hear from your child when you tell or ask them to do something?
- You can't make me!
- I don't want to!
- Go away!
- I won't do it!
Hearing things like this from your little one can have you feeling embarrassed, sad, angry, and hopeless... Nobody likes to be shouted at and it can be especially painful and irritating to be yelled at by a child.
Usually, parents and teachers who are dealing with back talk feel out of control and helpless about changing the situation... So here's something you can do as the adult to help your child or student start being more respectful toward you...
It's something totally within your control... It's not a magic pill, but it WILL eventually have the desired effect thatyou want.
Here's the scoop... If you want your child to start being more respectful to you, you have to start being more respectful to your child or student.
I'm not talking about giving in to whatever they want and saying yes to everything that they ask for. That's not respecting them... that's just rolling over and playing dead! What I mean by respecting your child more is for one thing, not talking back to THEM.
So when your child asks if they can go play outside and you snap back, "Not now - dinner's almost ready," that's a form of talking back TO THEM and it's teaching your child how to speak. It's not your fault that you're talking that way to them...
You're trying to juggle a million things and get dinner ready and make sure that the rice doesn't burn and then your kidc omes in and wants to go play and you just kind of snap at him without thinking about it.
I totally get how it happens... But when you're dealing with a child who is frequently talking back, as the adult, it's so important that you bring your attention to your own style of talking to your child.
It's amazing how quickly kids will pick up language and words from those around them... especially you as their parent or teacher.
So if you want to combat the talking back in your home or classroom, start being more mindful of how you talk to your child. Notice how you snapping, "Not right now- dinner's almost ready," isn't much different than your child saying, "No,I'm in the middle of my show" when you ask him to put on his shoes and get ready to go to the store with you. Or your student saying, "I don't want to do Circle Time."
Instead of talking back to your child,or student, try to connect with him and respond more politely.
"I know you want to go outside right now. Dinner's almost ready. Let's do something fun after dinner."
"Yeah, playing outside does sound like fun. Let's wait until after dinner and then we can play outside for 10minutes."
"I understand that you don't want to do Circle Time and you'd rather stay where you are. Will you come sit next to me?"
It may take a few seconds more time tothink it through and say it gently... But by talking to your child like this,you're showing him or her that there areother ways for people to talk to each other than with back talk.
Until next time...
P.S. If your child or student is talking back to you and it's really pushing your buttons, instead of taking it out on them by saying something you might regret later, take a deep breath and send me an email telling me aboutwhat's going on.
This way, you can get it off your chest and your child or student doesn't have to receive your anger and frustration.
I really mean it. Send me an email when you're really frustrated with your kids so that you have a healthy place to vent your frustrations and hurt.