Backchat is an inevitable aspect of parenting. Can your child be sarcastic, rude argue back? It’s really frustrating isn’t’ it and sometimes it might result in verbal ping pong?
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 its gets to you. This will often result in them feeling that they may have some power , control and attention, for all children negative attention is better than no attention at all. But you know it’s important too for your child to feel that they have some independence from you, even you feel that they are really testing the boundaries.
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 alot, 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. I know it can be hard with teenagers but most of them enjoy a smoothie or hot chocolate, take them out or have smoothie time at home twice a wee. You can even make it together. I am a therapist that believes simple things really work!!
2. Allow some independence and power in their lives
Give them positive power and some control. For a toddler, it may mean that they are able to have a choice of two clothes that they may want to wear everyday. For older children, who makes decisions at home?
You know I am a big fan of family meetings, could your children decide what they eat once a week or decide one game/family outing. Check out my video below on the benefits of family meetings.
3. This is about managing you!
How are you? 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, get some help to achieve some work life balance, limit your tasks to just the necessary.