"How To Stop Kids From
With Rude & Impolite remarks
Spirited, Jaunty, Smart, & Sassy Comments:
You Be the role model
for your children’s behavior"
Prajaapati Vishva Aashram Foundation (PVAF)
in continues on the topic of veD
OF PARENTING in the rapidly changing world of your own culture or if
you live as a minority culture in a dominant culture in foreign lands of your
immigration from your country of your lineage ancestors.....
By discussing this very important topic of
PARENTING, PVAF IS perfroming its mandate to SPREAD KNOWLEDGE
AMONG HUMANITY FOR A HAPPIER AND PROSPEROUS TOMORROW...and
EMPOWER PARENTS WITH
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT PARENTING...
.. .PARENTS ARE THE BASIC LIFE-LONG
GUIDES OF CHILDREN....
for the pervious two days had some serious news about
Hindu Teenagers Suffering From Serious
Depression in Netherlands, Europe
and some parenting tips about
How Parents Can Talk To Children .... PVAF today has some
tips from Dr. Ruth Peters, Ph. D...Please click on the next line to listen to Dr. Ruth Peters......AND
MAKE YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF HAPPIER
Advice to parents on
how to stop kids
from talking back.
Talking back to backtalk
Tips for tackling those rude remarks
sassy comments that
come from your kids
By Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D.
MSNBC News: TODAY SHOW CONTRIBUTOR
How many times have you thought, “Boy, if I ever back
talked to my parents the way that my kids do to me, I probably wouldn’t be here
Well, if that’s a frequent thought in your home, believe me, you are not
Youth culture today, even with children as young as two or three years of
age, seems to be sassier and perhaps more rude than in past generations.
WELL, take into account that they are
- hearing and seeing some commercial-grade
language and “attitude” on TV,
- on the playground and in the halls at
- are also picking up on this stuff via older
And, as our lives have become more hectic, perhaps
we as parents have not taken the time to notice, respond to and tone down this
WHAT’S A PARENT TO DO?
Well, let’s first look at some of the most common backtalk retorts rendered
by our children:
- First, there’s the old stand by, found in every house that I know of where
kids are old enough to talk, “That not fair!” When my kids were growing up, it
was the rare week or perhaps the rare day that I didn’t have to deal with that
- The only sane response, I’ve learned, is to agree with the kid. “It may
not seem fair to you at this moment, I understand. But just because your
brother is getting new sneakers and you’re not (because you don’t need them)
is fair as far as I’m concerned. There will be other times that you get
something or are allowed to get a privilege that he won’t — that’s just how
our family works. Those who need something get it, and those who don’t do not.
End of discussion.”
- Now, will Junior be happy with this explanation? Probably not, but if you
repeat it every time that he comes up with the “it’s-not-fair whinathon,”
eventually he’ll see that you’re sticking to your guns and complaining about
it is only a waste of time.
- Got a little one living in your house that’s a bit of a control freak and
constantly responds to most requests with, “You can’t make me!”? Those are
especially fun kids — saying no to a request even before they’ve had time to
process it. This is also known as “cutting off your nose to spite your face” —
when just doing the requested action is no big deal, but it somehow symbolizes
to the little guy that he’s in charge.
- Correct parental response?
- First, keep calm: He’s just a little kid and you probably outweigh him
and are smarter than he ever thought of being.
- Plus, you’re the mom or dad and what you say goes.
- Give him the request, “Jason, you have to put your Legos in the yellow
bin. I’m setting the timer for 5 minutes. Any Legos left out will be thrown
away — it’s your choice.” I’ve found that timers and “it’s your choice” are
wonderful tools to use with ornery kids, especially little ones. The timer
makes it black or white — the kids either cleans up the toys or pays the
consequence (be it loss of the toys, a time-out, or losing a trip to the
park planned for later that day).
- And, it’s Jason’s choice — kids need to feel some control over their
actions, and by giving him the clear consequence (and you not freaking out
and yelling, but calmly applying the consequence) soon he’ll be making wiser
- Remember; never try to reason with the unreasonable. Little kids are
very self-absorbed and often unreasonable and to expect your child to see
things your way (picking up toys at the end of the evening so that the next
day starts out orderly) is probably not on their agenda.
- Now, how about the grade-schooler who all of a sudden wants to jump on
trampolines (although you’ve restricted that in the past), play with toy
weapons, ride his skateboard while holding on to the bumper of his buddy’s
mom’s car as they cruise the neighborhood? Sounds like your child has been
hanging around Evel Knievel a bit too much. And, when you say “No” to these
requests, he either does them anyway or hits you up with “Everyone else gets
to jump off the roof into their swimming pool. Why can’t I? You treat me
like such a baby!”
- Okay, after you’ve pulled yourself off of the floor, try to think of it
from the kid’s perspective — probably at least one child is doing as least
one of these things, and your son feels like he’s missing out on the fun by
not being able to join in, or perhaps is being made fun of for not
participating. Discuss options with him, such as coming home when the play
gets too rough or suggesting another activity. But, definitely tell him two
- 1. Not everyone is allowed to do this dangerous stuff, and in your
mind perhaps the parents who do condone it are not aware of the harm that
- 2. And, you are his parent and you make the decisions that are in his
best interest for health and safety.
- No ifs, ands, or buts about it. No means no when it comes to engaging
in dangerous activities.Draw the line in the sand and stick with it. The
kid may not like you for a day or two, but that’s okay — at least he’s
- That brings us to another backtalk high on the hit list — the “I’m so
mad at you, I hate you!” retort.
- First, tell your furious daughter that:
- you understand her emotion, and that you’ll be glad to further
discuss the situation later when everyone has calmed down.
- But, let her know that you will not tolerate disrespect or meanness
from any of your children.
- Teach her to verbalize, or write down, her feelings explaining her
side of the argument.
- Agree that you will re-consider her request or issue if she’s polite
in her approach, but that in no way guarantees that you will change your
mind on the issue.
- The point is to let her know that you respect her feelings — mad, sad,
happy, embarrassed — but that she is to present them in a civil fashion or
you will be less likely to listen to her message since you’re so caught up
in her rude tone of voice.
- Preteens and teens are big on the next one — answering your request,
suggestion or comment with “Whatever” or “What’s the big deal?” When my kids
were growing up these really got to me, as they were usually accompanied by
a well-rehearsed rolling of the eyes. Quite a feat, actually, but very, very
annoying. My response, after I’d tried lots of other ineffective come backs
- “That’s disrespectful and I will not tolerate it.
- I don’t want to hear that in this house.
- Maybe I’m being too picky, but telling me “whatever” is like blowing
me off, as if my words don’t count.
- That just earned you a “snotty bad point”, and
- if you get more than seven this week you will face a consequence
(restriction, loss of car privileges, my not driving to an activity).
- Let your kids know (in 25 words or less — keep it short) that you do
lots of extras for them, and that you’re not going to go the extra mile for
a kid who is being rude to you. Now that will get their attention!
Trust me. These are only a few rude backtalks that kids come up with as
they grow from toddler hood to their teen years.
It’s normal, but very, very annoying.
And, these snotty comments and poor attitude tone of voice statements will
not go away until you make it very clear that you will not accept them, that
there will be consequences, and that you expect civility in the house.
And, one last point: If you expect your
children to be civil, so must you.
Watch out for:
- how demanding you are (rather than
- the language that comes out of your
- whether you show appreciation when
they are compliant and responsible.
It’s a two-way street, and you are the role
model for your children’s behavior.
Sure, they are picking up some nasty stuff from their peers, but they can
learn what is acceptable and respectful for your own home by your actions and
Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and regular contributor to
“Today.” Copyright 2003 by Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D. All rights reserved. For more
information you can visit her Web site at: www.ruthpeters.com.