Here is the thing, most parents respond to the actual words their children say when their children talk back at them. For example, when the child says: “I don’t care, you’re not the boss of me!” parents respond: “Well, you should care!” or “I am the boss as long as you live in my house!”. But the words in the backtalk are actually only a very superficial layer and not the key issue at all. It is the feeling that the child experiences that makes her or him talk back at you.
“I don’t care about you"
“You can’t make me”
"You are not the boss of me”
“I'm busy! Jeez, isn't that obvious?”
“None of my friends have to!?”
Parent responding to child's feelings
“You are angry with me”
“You want to make your own decisions”
“You’re tired of me telling you what to do”
“You feel hassled by me, you wish I’d go away”
“You feel unfairly treated”
This can benefit you in multiple ways:
- A child who feels listened to and understood is usually more cooperative with your requests,
- It prevents you from getting into a power struggle,
- It maintains the relationship between you and your child,
- It builds Emotional Intelligence in your child.
Try it on for size, and let us know what happened!