Backchat is an inevitable aspect of parenting. Can your child be sarcastic, rude argue back? It’s really frustrating isn’t’ it and do you find yourself arguing in response!
Why do children Backchat?
From toddlers to teenagers, children often feel that they don’t have much control in their lives. When they argue back, they can see it gets to you. This will often result in them feeling they have power, control, and attention. Negative attention is better than no attention at all. It can also be about separating and becoming independent too.
My top three Solutions for Managing Backchat
1. Give them your full and positive presence to fill their need of your attention
I know I may go on about this a lot, but how many times do you actually offer your full presence and attention? Children will seek any attention even negative. So offering them your full attention 10 minutes at least twice a week is really going to help. If you are unable to manage that, here are some ideas below.
2. Allow some independence and power in their lives
Give them positive power and some control. For a toddler, it may mean they can:
- Choose what clothes to wear ( two choices)
- What story to read
- A healthy snack
For older Children, they may be able to choose:
- A Film to watch
- A game to play
- A favourite meal
- Cooking together
- A sport, ball games, cricket, football, climbing tree together
- Go for a smoothie or hot chocolate
- A meal
- Choose a film
- Sport, games
Give them some choice within your family rules but be really clear what you are going to tolerate. Start Family Meetings
3. This is about managing you!
How are you right now?
Do you feel threatened by your child when they answer back, do you lose it and start shouting back? Do you get into verbal ping pong and escalate the situation, so we need to take a few breaths and you may want to try to say some statements like:
- We are starting to get into a ping pong match and that’s not going to help either of us
- Could you try and say what you really want and I will make an effort to really listen
- I am going to take a few moments to calm down and I will come back and we will talk. It’s really okay to disengage if it prevents a major blow up.
- This is frustrating for both of us isn’t it, what can we do now?
If you are feeling stressed, seek help to achieve some work-life balance, limit your tasks to just the necessary.