It can start with just a hint of a disrespectful tone that catches you off guard, but that glimpse of attitude can spiral out of control into a sassy, backtalking problem almost overnight.
We're battling the backtalk at our house, and I'm not sure when it began, but it truly exasperates me.
Children sass for any number of reasons, whether they are feeling powerless, unheard by us or unimportant to us. They could also be mimicking the behavior they've seen their peers exhibit with effective results.
So, if we know we can't handle the sass any longer, and we know our children are resorting to backtalk because their other means of communication failed, how should parents respond to the backtalk?
Dr. Michele Borba, renowned parenting expert and author of Don't Give Me That Attitude!: 24 Rude, Selfish, Insensitive Things Kids Do and How to Stop Them has some helpful advice on how to curb the sass:
Monitor your child's media consumption closely. Supervise Internet, movie, video game and television viewing, allowing only what you feel is appropriate for your child to watch. Be aware of possible crude and vulgar content on recorded music: Read and honor "parental advisory" labels.
Once we acknowledge the sass and backtalk are symptomatic of a deeper issue and have become a learned behavior, we can begin to employ Borba's techniques to foster an open dialogue and mutual respect with our children, which are great steps in the right direction.
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