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Are you handling backtalk the right way?

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 23-09-2011

Raising kids that are respectful and polite is a challenge for any parent, especially once puberty is in sight. During those awkward tween years, your well-behaved children can temporarily transform into rude and snotty versions of their former loving selves, demanding all kinds of new gadgets and talking back when scolded. Dealing with backtalk is tough, but it doesn't have to ruin your relationship with your kids.

First, remember that you're a parent – not a friend. To your kids, you're painfully uncool, so don't try to win them over by giving in to their demands. Instead, earn their respect by setting boundaries and sticking to them, and doling out appropriate punishments when your kids misbehave. You can do that by being clear about what will happen when they talk back, and following through with the consequences no matter what.

It's also important to make sure you explain why your child is being punished. Parents may want to be firm with their children in order to help them see that there will be consequences for their actions.

Backtalk may be irritating, but it's also a sign that your child is developing a healthy, independent mind. Just make sure he uses it to challenge the things that really need questioning – not his parents.