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talking back, sassy mouth 6 year old. Help

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What else can I do to get her to understand that she can not talk to me any way she likes. I'm so tired of the sassy mouth, yelling, and back talking. I know she is learning alot of this at school from other children, but come on. I have been giving her timeouts and sending her to bed early. It doesn't seem to be working. I try so hard to talk to them respectfully and nicely, I'm not perfect. I do get to may max point and tend to raise my voice to get their attention.

How do you handle you children who talk back and are not respectful to you?
post #2 of 15
"That sounded very rude. Let's try again."
"You sound upset. Do you need to be by yourself to calm down until you can talk to me politely?" "yes? OK, I'll be here when you're calm." "No? OK, let's try that again in a polite voice."
"I don't like to be talked to like that. I'll be happy to help you when you can ask me politely."
"Excuse me? Let's try that again (in a polite voice)."

It's 6. I think a 6 yo raised in the woods without any contact with other kids might do this too.

Also, I think it helps to not take the tone of voice personally - they're learning how to control that, and it takes time. In addition, I try very hard to pay attention to the message, not the tone. If I ask ds to pick something up and his response is "OK, fine!" in a snotty voice, then I reply sweetly "thank you, dear." Since I have a 4 yo whose answer is most likely to be "no!", I'm pleased that his answer is OK, even if the tone of voice isn't what I'd like. He'll get there.
post #3 of 15
I'm very interested to see the responses to your thread. I have this same problem with my DD. Sometimes it takes all I've got not to smack her mouth. It is so frustrating! I tell her to rephrase, I tell her I'll listen when she says it appropriately, I try to ignore the tone and facial expressions, I empathize with her feelings. . .but sometimes this isn't enough. Such a hard time at this age
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post
I'm very interested to see the responses to your thread. I have this same problem with my DD. Sometimes it takes all I've got not to smack her mouth. It is so frustrating! I tell her to rephrase, I tell her I'll listen when she says it appropriately, I try to ignore the tone and facial expressions, I empathize with her feelings. . .but sometimes this isn't enough. Such a hard time at this age
I'm so glad I'm not alone. I really have to control myself from smack her also. I really do not want to do that.
post #5 of 15
my daughter is 6 years and 7 months. when she's disrespectful, it just depends on what happened to determine my response. sometimes she's reacting to stress and simply taking it out on me (i.e. her little brother is really being a pest, so she's yelling at me about it). in those situations, i just ask her to settle down so we can talk about it.....she usually isn't even aware that she's taking it out on me - once she is, she'll calm down. my dd very rarely displays tantrum like behavior, but if she did, i would definitely know something was wrong and she needed help figuring those emotions out. i would sit down and comfort her and just listen to whatever she shared and help her get through it. i would also know that she was probably overtired or hungry since those behaviors are not normal for her. lastly, if my daughter is really hyper she is more prone to bark commands at me <<MOM, I WANT A DRINK!>> and i might say, <<OK, GET IT YOURSELF-THE MAID IS OFF TODAY>> lol. then she'll realize how she asked for something and will rephrase it more politely.

in my experience with gracie, she needs a lot of reassurance, understanding, and unconditional love. she is really trying to figure herself out more than ever at this age, and i imagine it will only intensify. that's not to say there aren't consequences by any means....but try and look at what lies beneath your child's behavior if at all possible. she could be going through something at school that she isn't emotionally able to express - so she's acting out, ykwim? also, what does she watch on TV? disney is filled with sassy shows and i know i have to censor a lot of crap to keep my daughter from acting like the kids she watches on make-believe-tv planet.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post
I'm very interested to see the responses to your thread. I have this same problem with my DD. Sometimes it takes all I've got not to smack her mouth. It is so frustrating! I tell her to rephrase, I tell her I'll listen when she says it appropriately, I try to ignore the tone and facial expressions, I empathize with her feelings. . .but sometimes this isn't enough. Such a hard time at this age
Uh, yeah. The only difference in my situation is it's my son, and he's only 5. Oh, but that MOUTH. Sometimes I do want to pop him on the lips, as nothing I say nor any approach I take seems to get through to him. I stand him in the corner and every time, he screams and hollers and makes these gutteral growling noises that make me think of a boar being butchered. All I can do is hold my head in my hands and wait for him to get it out of his system. I know a lot of his issues are emotional responses to our unusual family situation - he is just getting a lot of his stress out and doesn't have the knowledge to do it appropriately - but wow, even knowing this, patience comes at a premium lately.

Luckily I have a little over 3 years before DD hits age 6 (and that 6-year old attitude really is universal I think) and maybe DS will be over his... whatever... by then... :
post #7 of 15
I think it is normal for a 6 yo to test the waters. How I react really depends on a number of factors including my mood, my daughter's mood, and the context of the situation. I try really hard to keep myself in check. Here is a list of things that I try at various time.
-Ignore it. This is a good strategy if you are asking them to do something and they respond with an attitude but still do what you asked. It isn't worth fighting over.
-Tell her that it is not acceptable to talk like that.
-Refuse to talk to her unless she talks nicely.
-Ask her what's going on. Sometimes I get an attitude because I have interupted something that seems unimportant to me but is very important to her.
-Make sure that she is not hungry. Even if she just ate, she may not have eaten enough and still needs a little extra snack.
-Mirror her behavior back to her and ask how it feels to be talked to like that. With my 6yo, this works great because she is a very empathetic person and she hates to upset people.
-Most importantly, I try to check myself because it seems that when my daughter gets the most sassy and mouthy is when I am stressed out and have an attitude of my own.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
Uh, yeah. The only difference in my situation is it's my son, and he's only 5. Oh, but that MOUTH. Sometimes I do want to pop him on the lips, as nothing I say nor any approach I take seems to get through to him. I stand him in the corner and every time, he screams and hollers and makes these gutteral growling noises that make me think of a boar being butchered. All I can do is hold my head in my hands and wait for him to get it out of his system. I know a lot of his issues are emotional responses to our unusual family situation - he is just getting a lot of his stress out and doesn't have the knowledge to do it appropriately - but wow, even knowing this, patience comes at a premium lately.
Bolding mine. This is so great that you recognize this. But if you do, I have to ask, why stand him in the corner? It seems like it might be shaming, and I personally have a hard time using any sort of reasoning when I'm feeling shame.
post #9 of 15
We find it to be an absolute joy when DS (3) "talks back" or uses a particularly rude, or condescending phrase with us, because it is almost always something we have said to him in the past. It lets us know that we need to adjust our attitude because we are modeling superiority or authority, where he clearly has the capacity to have more input in the situation (otherwise he would not have the capacity to "talk back").

I am so glad he feels brazen enough to butt heads with us, because it lets me know we are doing our job, raising a confident, independant, self-advocate.

I was raised afraid to disagree with my parents and afraid to challenge them. I suffered, my family suffered. If you cannot challenge authority, you cannot really contribute anything either.

I am not saying you should be jumping up and down when he tells you to "get bent" but I am saying that it would be more productive to focus on a more constructive form of disagreement, rather than focusing on how the words/style he chooses to use to express his disagreement.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy View Post
We find it to be an absolute joy when DS (3) "talks back" or uses a particularly rude, or condescending phrase with us, because it is almost always something we have said to him in the past. It lets us know that we need to adjust our attitude because we are modeling superiority or authority, where he clearly has the capacity to have more input in the situation (otherwise he would not have the capacity to "talk back").

I am so glad he feels brazen enough to butt heads with us, because it lets me know we are doing our job, raising a confident, independant, self-advocate.

I was raised afraid to disagree with my parents and afraid to challenge them. I suffered, my family suffered. If you cannot challenge authority, you cannot really contribute anything either.

I am not saying you should be jumping up and down when he tells you to "get bent" but I am saying that it would be more productive to focus on a more constructive form of disagreement, rather than focusing on how the words/style he chooses to use to express his disagreement.
:

We lived with MIL for 4 months and I noticed that the more my daughter felt trapped, the more sassy she got. My MIL is one of those that does not accept questioning and does not accept challenge of any sort from a child even if it is said in a nice tone. She is the adult and she knows everything. How dare a kid try to understand their world!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
Bolding mine. This is so great that you recognize this. But if you do, I have to ask, why stand him in the corner? It seems like it might be shaming, and I personally have a hard time using any sort of reasoning when I'm feeling shame.
Unfortunately, my son has a difficult time focusing on what he's being told. Gentle words, reasoning, firmly telling him without raising your voice, sometimes none of this works. He will say NO! or just lately, NEVER! and will promptly ignore me. Or he will throw himself down and refuse to respond except with anger and negativity. Sometimes I allow him to lie there and work through it but there are other times when it's completely inappropriate and he needs to focus. He needs to understand that what he is being told is serious - i.e., if he refuses to eat his dinner, even a little, and when trying to explain to him that is all he will be offered tonight, he pitches a screaming fit and disrupts the entire meal - and occasionally, standing him in the corner forces him to focus his attention on the situation at hand. I don't do it to shame him. After he stands there, usually crying and screaming, for a couple of minutes, he calms down and asks if he can come talk nicely to me. Then we discuss what happened that made him have to stand in the corner, what we should do differently, and usually everything proceeds smoothly for awhile after that.
post #12 of 15
Really interesting reading. Thought this was worth a bump up.....

--Tired mama to a very, very sassy, mean-talking, object-throwing 5.5 year old
post #13 of 15
I think Lynn is right on about not taking it personally. Easier said than done, though, if you are worn out. (And I am frequently worn out!) I will have to be better about remembering that!

You said you give her timeouts and such. I've resorted to a lot of threatening lately, and it doesn't work, like you said. I'll tell you something that HELPS . . .you say the first part of what you normally say, but leave out the threat. It's not perfect (there are better ways of phrasing things than "Do not ____") but when you are worn out, it's better than completing "Do not __ or x will happen." When I said just the first part recently, DD said, "Or what?" And I said, "Or nothing. Just don't do it." It felt so much better than adding the threat, and DD stopped.

One of the things that has been helping is a wish list. Most of DD's difficult behavior is that she doesn't get what she wants when she wants it (she's got a lot of ideas I can't keep up with). It's understandable. So, what I do now is post a wish list on the refrigerator, and she fills it out when she has a request. Some things I can agree to (like she wants me to stop brushing her hair), but the kitten is going to have to wait, as we have 3 cats now (and one is hers, that WAS a kitten last year).

I think 6 yos can be VERY reasonable . . .eventually. So, if there is some way of letting everyone cool off without any hurting being done (angry words from the parent), and then come to having a discussion, I think it really helps. Maybe we could establish some sort of system ahead of time with our 6 yos to make that happen? Like a signal that a cooling off should happen, and then let your DC pick a "safe space" ahead of time to cool off, and you do the same? I dunno. I'll talk to DD about it tomorrow and get back to you!
post #14 of 15
I don't talk disrespectfully to my children. If they talk that way to me, "Excuse me?" is about all it will take for an apology and a more polite way if talking.

When one of my sons entered K last year, he somehow got the idea that school kids were sassy and back-talked. After the 3rd day of this, I told him he wouldn't get any more chances and would go to his room the first time he was rude. He went to his room twice that day and probably the next, and then he decided he'd rather be polite instead. We haven't really had much trouble with the behavior since.

We value discussions and disagreements in our family, but we also value kind words and actions and polite talk. I think it will serve my children well as they're growing up and as adults to know how to talk and disagree without being disagreeable and rude.
post #15 of 15
Must be something about being 6. My DS has a smart mouth sometimes. I usually parrot back what he said in the same tone of voice. This cracks him up, and after he stops laughing, he repeats what he said more politely.
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