When a child back answers

You have brought up a child in a religious setting, cultural and moral ethics had been instilled in him even as you have ensured that he has the minimal exposure to media and internet abuse. Yet, here’s a child talking back at you for the umpteenth time in a month. Your reaction is likely to stem from frustration. Your aspirations in bringing up a well behaved and responsible child could be under threat. Below  are certain measures to ease the effect of a talk back, resettle into the friendly parent/child relation and help a him/her to be mannerly expressive in the future.

》 Maintain your comportment despite the annoyance.


Adam! Your assignments are waiting…

I don’t care! He snapped.
Assuming this is a conversation between a 10 year old and his mother. There’s an elderly aunt visiting from the village and friends were invited for dinner to honor the aunt. Any mother could lose her temperance as a result of the child choosing such a night to talk back at her. However, its important to keep one’s head cool as the mother’s reaction could be irrational, disrupt the feast and signal a lack of self control in the mother. The mother can do better by calmly telling the child to be more polite and do the needful. The child can be accompanied to his room by his mother and corrected instead of resorting to spanking, yelling or insults.

》 Understand the cause

Not every talk back is resultant from ill manners. Peer pressure, the need to be expressive, parental influence, frustration, fears etc. could be reasons why a child answers back in a cheeky manner. It’s imperative to study, speak with and understand changes in the child’s behavioral patterns to fathom the cause.
Limiting his exposure to films and adult oriented tv programs, helping to overcome or alleviate his fears or controlling his frequent playdates with a saucy friend could put him in check .

》 Permit a child to air his/her views and choices

Children too are human beings with ego and self esteem. Giving out orders, controlling every aspect of their lives and being too critical of their actions especially in the presence of visitors will likely result in frustration.
Children who answer back sometimes do so because they have no options to chose from but orders to be obeyed. Offer advises rather than tell a child what you want him to do. Consider these statements and the reply they could spark in a child;
“it would be nice of you to help with the dishes” and “go wash the plates right away!”

》 Express your dislike for the habit.

If talking back at an elder was an acceptable thing, it wouldn’t annoy you the way it did. This is why a child needs to understand your displeasure with the attitude. Rather than postpone the evil day, threatening to report them to daddy or waiting for a next time, tell him/her why you’re not happy with the sauciness and why you won’t condone such behaviors.

》 Educate him on why talking back isn’t mannerly
Many children would snap back at elders because they saw others doing it, not really understanding which reply suits what person and which situation. In the real sense, they neither understand the meaning of foul languages nor its implications. For this reason, correctional measures must include explaining the folly in the usage of such words and the harm done to the feeling of the one addressed with such words.

》 Praise his efforts at understanding and adjustment.

Your child had answered back at an attendant at the grocery and you had made him apologize for being rude. Praising him for accepting faults and making amendments would not only reassure him of your love but would instill responsibility in his heart so that the rudeness won’t be repeated.

》 Don’t compromise your standards.
Many parents employ double standards in the discipline and culture of their children. A child answers back at home and she’s made to face the consequence. She does worse at a park or function and the mother plays the affectionate role excusing the child’s rudeness for anger or childishness.
Children are always checking for opportunities and limits and they know the characters of their parents. That is why a well behaved child at home may become recalcitrant and unyielding at a function. Well, the child knows her mother would cover up for her because outsiders are present.

》 Expose him to other means of expression.
A child may answer back at her parents because he’s unaware of other means of expressing his troubles or dislike of an idea. Expose him to the many pleasant ways of rejecting an offer, proffering his idea and expressing his displeasure about a request or comment. A mother could correct a child who has refused to follow her home from the park thus: “next time say mummy please let me stay a little longer instead of I’m going nowhere mum!”

》 Designate a title/role to him
Children are important individuals who love to be so acknowledged. Despite her rudely behaviors of late, tell her she’s the role model for her born or unborn siblings. Be sure to witness a positive behavioral changes in an effort to safeguard her newly attained status. Likewise you could say; “I would like you to be mildly in speech just like the angel that you are”. You can bet he would learn to tame his tongue just to remain angelic.

》 Discipline
This could be the last resort to instill manners in a child. Discipline could come in the form of limiting play time with friends, depriving him/her of watching his/her favorite cartoon series until he changes for better or spanking. However, some experts advise that children shouldn’t be hit as it could be counter productive. Personally, I believe there’s a reason behind the ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ proverb.