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Putting an end to backtalk: Tips for handling arguing with ease

Charles Fay is a nationally known speaker, parent, and school psychologist with the Love and Logic Institute in Golden, Colorado. His new video, Hope for Underachieving Kids, and his book, Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speech...

Parents can put an end to arguing, backtalk and disrespect with some easy-to-learn tips from the Love and Logic Institute. Parenting can be exhausting! It's even more draining when our kids say things like: "Not fair!" "None of my friends have to do chores." "But he started it!" For quick relief from the stress of back talk battles, follow these powerful steps.

Step one: When your child starts to argue, go "brain dead"

When kids are arguing, what comes out of their mouths doesn't make much sense. When we think too hard about this nonsense, our faces tend to turn red. Lectures start to flow from our mouths. When this happens, we lose control while our kids gain it.

Do yourself a favor: The next time your child begins with the back talk, go brain dead.

Step two: Select your favorite Love and Logic one-liner

While resisting the urge to provide a lengthy yet ineffective lecture, pick just one loving statement you can say to your child. Listed below are some favorites from the Love and Logic collection:

  • I love you too much to argue.
  • I know.
  • Probably so.
  • Thanks for sharing.
  • As you say your one-liner, be sure to do so in a loving yet firm manner. Yelling, "I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO ARGUE!" won't have the desired effect.

    Step three: If your child continues to argue, repeat yourself like a broken record

    Regardless of what your child says, continue to say the very same one-liner. The louder your child gets, the softer your voice should become. For example: Child: My friends get to watch rated "R" movies.
    Parent: I love you too much to argue.

    Child: But why are you so old-fashioned?

    Parent: I love you too much to argue.

    Child: If you loved me, you'd let me watch! Parent: I love you too much to argue.

    Step four: Walk away

    It is much harder for a child to have a successful argument with a parent when the parent is not there. Joking aside, wise parents turn around and put some space between themselves and their angry child. Some parents lock themselves in the bathroom. Others step outside on the porch. Others call a friend who'll watch the kids�and charge the kid for the baby-sitting!

     

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