Does this sound familiar?
You tell your kids you’re all going to the store and one immediately responds with a whiny “Whhhhhyyyy?”
You calmly explain that you need some groceries and a response comes back immediately: “I don’t waaaaant to go! Sophie’s mom never makes her go grocery shopping!”
Managing to stay calm, you explain that different families have different rules and in your family, you don’t do things the way Sophie’s family does. And then, you ask your kids to put on their shoes.
(Yaay for a calm positive parenting moments, right?)
But instead of being appeased and hopping up to put on her shoes your child responds back with “And Sophie gets twice as much pocket money as I do!”
And in a matter of seconds, the conversation turns from pocket money to the ‘fact’ that everyone else at school has a mobile phone.
And you find yourself having a full blown argument over the necessity of a mobile phone for an eight-year-old!
How did that happen?
All I did was asked my kids to get ready to go to the store! And here I was embroiled in a completely unrelated power struggle with my child.
If you have a strong-willed child with a mind of their own, you know what I’m talking about…
They have an opinion about everything and a rebuttal for every request.
Talking back is a way of life for them – as natural, and perhaps as involuntary, as sneezing when pepper gets in your nose.
They don’t do it to be disrespectful. They do it because… that’s just who they are!
On the one hand, you don’t want to squash their spirit. After all, there are studies to show that kids who talk back are likely to be more successful in life.
On the other hand, you are only human. There is only so much back talk you can take. You can’t afford for every request to go to the grocery store to turn into a debate over something entirely unrelated.
I’ve been there and I know how you feel. And over the years, I’ve found a way to deal with back talk without being drawn into power struggles, and without squashing my child and her wonderful spirit.
Here are the 5 tricks I use –