Monday, February 8, 2010

An Advice post

So, share with me your expertise. What do you do when your child back talks? Does it work?

Do you use soap?
Time outs?
Send her to her room?
Hot sauce?

I'm listening intently to what you have to say.


Susan said...

We don't spank, and I personally would never put soap or hot sauce in my kids' mouths. I imagine I'm more laid back about "back talk" than many, but here's how I feel about it:
I don't mind my kids questioning me (well, sometimes it would be *convenient* if they simply complied, but I don't require it of them), but I ask them to be respectful. In return, I offer to really listen to them when they object to things. So, if I say it's time for bed, and Sam falls apart and says, "That's not fair! You said I could finish reading this book and I'm NEVER going to bed until I WANT to go to bed," I would usually slow him down, say, "Sam, whoa. I'm willing to listen to you, but you need to calm down and talk to me respectfully." At this point, he usually composes himself and says something like, "Okay. Mom, you told me I could finish reading this book, and I haven't finished it yet, so I want to stay up to finish it." And I might say, "That sounds reasonable. I'd like you to go brush your teeth and put on your PJs, and then you can finish your book before bed." Something like that. With Lucie, I more often have to actually suggest a polite way of talking, if she's upset. So, in the same scenario as above, but with Lucie, I might say, "Lucie, you're being rude and that isn't going to get you what you want. What do you want?" "To finish my book." "Okay, well, then how about saying, 'Mom, you had said I could finish reading this book, and I have a few more pages; could I please finish reading it before bed?'" And she'll usually respond with some version of what I've just said.
There are a few things we don't tolerate, primarily name-calling. So when Lucie calls Sam "Poopy-face" (one of her favorites), one of us will step in and say, "Lucie, I know you're angry at Sam, and I'd be happy to help you talk to him about it if you need, but calling names isn't okay." If she keeps it up, we might say, "Lucie, if you're going to keep talking like that, you need to go to your room where no one has to hear you," and take her to her room, if necessary.
In general, I guess I try to encourage respectful discourse--between the kids, between the parents, between the kids-and-the-parents--by helping them to see that they can accomplish more that way than by being explosive, insulting, rude or rash in the ways that they talk. The impulse to snap at us and each other is still there (it's still there in me, too), but they are relatively to correct themselves these days, and I have high hopes that they will one day talk nicely without any help from me.

Susan said...

At what point does a "comment" become a "monologue"?

Tracy said...

Susan- thanks! that was helpful! (and not monologue-ish at all...)

Elizabeth said...

Depending on the type of back talk but most of the times I get a stern voice and tell Adison not to speak that way to me and if he continues he will get a time out. If he wants something than he has to ask nicely.

Ambitious Blonde said...

We do 1st time warning and then time out, consistently. Sometimes it take the warning and a reminder and they will stop, but sometimes not. When they come out of time out they must apologize for speaking that way to us.

Kelly said...

We've tried a few things...for a while the "Please try that again" request worked with Emma.

Usually quietly/calmly explaining that the tone or what they said is not acceptable or okay and if it continues we do timeouts...sometimes if it results in a meltdown then they are told to take a break in their room until they can talk politely.

Jennifer said...

When Boober does this to us we tell him in a firm tone that it is not ok to talk to mommy or daddy that way. If he does it again it is time out in the corner. If it happens again he loses his favorite toy for a few days. He must apologize to us for talking that way as well. Hope this helps.

Tracy said...

thanks, ladies! Keep them coming!

Rumour Miller said...

I usually start with a firm tone and getting down to Piper's level. Telling her she does not talk to Mommy that way and she needs to apologize.

It usually works.

Other things that we do are time outs.

We are really trying to focus on Positive Parenting... it can be so tough to be patient and "kind" when disciplining, but we are working on it.

Allison said...

I start with a firm tone of that is unacceptable. Then if that does not work I talk quietly to whichever child is not cooperating and tell them calmly that it is not ok to talk to me that way. If they continue I ask them to please go their room or somewhere away from me until they can talk nicer.

I try to talk/treat my kids how I want to be treated. If I expect them to treat me with respect then I show them some as well. Of course they are 4.5 and 2 so it has to be scaled down to age appropriateness.

Sarah said...

Pretty much ditto to what Susan said, and also, like Kelly, we will often raise an eyebrow and say, "Um- let's try that again!" rather sternly.
If I'm feeling less patient (!) I'll sometimes just say sharply, "Who are you talking to in that voice? 'Cause I know you know better than to talk to your mom or dad like that!"

d e v a n said...

I usually suggest that they talk in a polite voice, or ask politely or sometimes, if I'm irritated, I tell them I can't hear whining, demanding, etc. Screaming at me, etc is usually a time out.