Dealing with 'sassy talk' or 'disrespectful' talk. - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-01-2006, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's the best way to deal with this.... and title isn't quite right... b/c I know this is more age level than anything...

My almost 4 year old.... examples....
"No, I WON'T do that!" "No, I'm not going to get my pajamas on." "NO Mommy, if you don't let me do that, then x,y,z" "No mommy."

my little over 2 year old...

"NOOO WAYYYYYYYYY!" "I not pick up toys!!" (or whatever) "NO! I NOT DO THAT!!!!!"


Right, now I've simply been saying that is not nice, we don't talk like that, and try to give better examples.

Anything else I should be doing, or should I be doing something different? Suggestions/ideas? I don't mind my oldest saying, I need to finish this first mommy... or expressing herself 'nicely'... but it's the attitude/yelling that I'd like to see changed.

Tammy
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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well...first off I would say model what you want to see from your children...that's hard for me..I hear myself coming out of their mouths...have everyone in the house do the same...they will copy your "attitude" and for me it's often the teenager in the house I have to remind because she has younger siblings watching.

Then remember their friends and tv will be models for their expression.

Keep in mind their ages

and then remind and rewind. We do a lot of "It would have been nice if you had asked that differently, would you like to say that over again?" to give them the opportunity to repeat it respectfully.

They usually(barring hungry and tired times) will happily do the "do-over"

We will probably be doing "do overs" forever since my oldest is nearly 16 and I still have to with her but there is that whole peer thing there that I have to contend with.

disrespect gets no reward but also no great amount of attention here.

Better go...Sophia is cleaning the windows...a lot
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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Anything else I should be doing, or should I be doing something different? Suggestions/ideas? I don't mind my oldest saying, I need to finish this first mommy... or expressing herself 'nicely'... but it's the attitude/yelling that I'd like to see changed.
Hmmm, I think at this point I would focus on myself and find out what about the behavior bothers me. Then I would be able to better communicate my feelings to my kiddos. I personally don't like demands, so I do my best not to be demanding(I model making requests) and if I am demanding, I apologize and explain myself, and if I am demanded of I simply state, I don't like demands, I prefer requests, or something similar.

And I'd like to point out that what they are feeling, ie. I'd like to finish this first, is the likely the same feeling whether it comes out as, NO mommy or I need to finish this first mommy, make sense? It is the expression that differs. So maybe assume positive intent and ask why NO mommy? to find out what is behind that no. At two and four they may need help expressing what it is they don't want to do and why. I have a four year old ds so I understand I really have to stop myslelf and look beyond the demanding tone and help him express himself and his wants and needs, while still expressing my own too

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Old 07-01-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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There are a variety of approaches. Stuff that works for one kid at one age isn't going to work for another. Modeling what you'd like to hear is good.

Repeating what they are saying without the "tude" is another way to redirect the convo.
"I am hearing that you do not want to put your pajamas on. Why is that? What would you like to sleep in instead?"

Saying what you are feeling about what has been said:

"I feel sad/upset/angry/hurt when someone talks to me that way."

With the 2 year old I imagine the language would have to be a little less complex, but the goal is the same. Often I think young ones don't quite have the patience or verbal skills to say what they mean politely/kindly or ask for what they need (such as more time to complete something before eating or cleaning up) without blurting it out. It's a process...albeit sometimes a very frustrating one. My Ds was really trying in this way when he was young, and it's my Dd who is sometimes snippy at the older age. (She's almost 13 so it can be really interesting. )

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Old 07-02-2006, 01:10 AM
 
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I agree with the suggestions for modeling. I've found this not only much kinder and easier for the both of us, but also much more effective!

My dd doesn't seem to respond very well to reprobations, no matter how gentle or how strong. Anything involving 'don't' or 'you shouldn't' or 'this was wrong because' just doesn't go far with her. It also makes me feel like I'm at odds with her, which is a feeling that I don't like.

If she answers with a nasty tempered 'No! My do it!" I'll pleasantly say "Oh, use nice words, please! Mama, I want to do it, please!" And usually her little face will relax and she'll echo "Please, mama?"

I don't think the kids at this age have the emotional maturity to separate their tone of voice from how it is that they are feeling. So if they feel frustrated or unhappy it will just naturally show in their voice or manner. When we leave them with a simple 'don't say it like that', they don't know where to go with it. Maybe as difficult for them as if someone told you to just 'stop hurting' after you'd banged your finger with a hammer, if that makes any sense.

Positively redirecting helps them to see a different way of dealing with the situation. Ooooooh, so I'm frustrated that I don't have my milk, but now I see that I can ask mom for it in a nice way. Hmm...who knew? And of course repetition is never ending. But the more positives they hear the more they mirror them back for you, so it pays off.
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Old 07-02-2006, 02:39 AM
 
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my dd does this.....i feel like she is ruling the house! no advice....just seeing what other moms say!:
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:08 AM
 
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well my two year old gets me restating for her. she screams "i want a drink!!" and I say "Mommy, Id like a drink please".. my 5 year old is typically respectfull but will test, and I usually just kind of stop and pretend I didnt hear him correctly and if he doesnt respond, I then restate it for him as well reminding him that I dont like being talked to like that.

I too often forget to really look at intent and try to see behind the 5 year olds words to see how he's feeling. I think that is a really good idea. I often react as though he is trying to be rude and disrespectfull. I agree with others that the less attention on it the better too.... now if I could just remember to do those things......
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:08 AM
 
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well my two year old gets me restating for her. she screams "i want a drink!!" and I say "Mommy, Id like a drink please".. my 5 year old is typically respectfull but will test, and I usually just kind of stop and pretend I didnt hear him correctly and if he doesnt respond, I then restate it for him as well reminding him that I dont like being talked to like that.

I too often forget to really look at intent and try to see behind the 5 year olds words to see how he's feeling. I think that is a really good idea. I often react as though he is trying to be rude and disrespectfull. I agree with others that the less attention on it the better too.... now if I could just remember to do those things......
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:38 PM
 
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I use a lot of, "Let's work on this together. Life is much more pleasant when we talk nicely." I'll tell them what I'm working on (ie no threats, not being bossy, not raising my voice). Then we talk about what they're working on (use polite words, kind tone etc.).

They remind me when I mess-up and vice versa. When they correct me, "Mama, I didn't like that voice." I have to accept it humbly and apologize--to set an example for them.

A big one for us is, "No, thank-you." They are always welcome to say NO if it's said nicely with thank-you. I find it much easier to take that way. "No, thank-you" doesn't push my buttons, and I can respond better.

Helpful thread!
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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Honestly, I completely ignore it and focus on what I want done.

"It's time to pick up your toys

"No I won't"

"Yep its time please put them away

"NO WAYYYYY"

"Toys away please"

"NO NO NO

[say nothing stand and wait. Your waiting shoud have the quality of a person waiting for a bus. If you can't wait put them away yourself.] Then say:

"I had to put away your toys. That was your job, not mine. Next time I expect you to do it when its time'

No power struggle. Expectations never go away. Very very effective method of avoiding and ignoring this behavior.

If there is always a struggle over one particular thing then I would talk to my child about it at a neutral time to see if we could come up with a better solution. But otherwise this method is very effective and really works wonders.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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I need to read this thread, but my ds just threw a truck up in the air and it smacked his face on the way down. I'll be back later.

~Kate
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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Anymore we tend to let it all hang out at home. I focus less on what he's saying or how he's saying it, and more on why. When DS is speaking this way, there is usually a very good reason for it.

People who feel they have some power over their own lives, do not feel the need to act this way. Children need power. When they are feeling powerless, they will do what they have to show you how they feel. I've found with DS that he actually creates situations in which to play with the idea of power and he needs me to play along. He chooses me (or DH) because he feels safe with us, and trusts us to see through behavior to meet his deeper needs. I've been reading and listening to Naomi Aldort (Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves) lately, and I was relieved when she mentioned that she prefers the "bad words" to come out at home, that she understands that kids need to experiement with their own power, and let emotions fly about, and much better to let it out in the safety of home. DS knows by DH and I's model, the correct way in which to treat others, speak nicely, etc. And mostly he does this, at home and beyond. When things go awry at home, I steer clear of directing better behavior and focus more on why he's feeling powerless in the first place. What I've found is that the more safe he feels at home to "let it all out" the more composed he is "out in the world." I love when Aldort says, "Children can deal with most any trauma or upset, if only they are allowed to play it out." This one rang true for me.

My standard response is one of playfulness. In barking orders I might say over dramatically and silly, "Yes sir! Let me get that for you sir!" And then I fall all over myself trying to get him a glass of juice or whatever. He laughs, it breaks the tension and he's thinking, "Wow! I just ordered her around and she went for it." I've got some power here! Perhaps once the play has ended, we can talk about the cause and I can validate his feelings, "You were angry with me this morning because I put you off several times to get the chores done." Or maybe we'll just keep playing at it in a symbolic fashion until his hurt is healed. Whatever he feels most comfortable with.

In moment of defying behavior such as, "No way, I won't!" I might slap my cheeks and say, "OH NO!" and see where it leads. Sometimes, he'll just smile and clean it up once he realizes that I'm in no position to argue, OR he goes with it, creates an even more dramatic game of it and I play along from there. We're pretty laid back around here, so this is not a common one for us, but when it crops up, it almost always feels to me as if he's truly 'staging' it if that makes sense. Again, creating a situation in which to feel powerful. If no one elses rights are affected, and there isn't any real danger to him, others or major pieces of furniture, I'll play it out with him. Empower him.

My .02 for what it's worth.

The best,
Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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I am such a GD failure today. I've resorted to saying "no backtalk!" Which of course dd (3 1/2) doesn't understand.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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Just signing on because my two-year-old just told me I was "ebil". There's a lot of good stuff in here. Thanks!

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Old 07-07-2006, 02:10 AM
 
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Just had to commiserate and giggle about it. My 26-month-old has recently started telling us, "Yes I tan!" any time we tell her she can't do something. Fortunately that just isn't one of the things that pushes my buttons, so I can laugh about it. (Of course, there are a hundred other things that push my buttons. )
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Old 07-07-2006, 04:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
Just signing on because my two-year-old just told me I was "ebil". There's a lot of good stuff in here. Thanks!
That cracked me up!! I am sure you have some older kids who have got this word into her vocabulary!! Does she use it in the right context also?

Peace & Love!
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SmilesALot
That cracked me up!! I am sure you have some older kids who have got this word into her vocabulary!! Does she use it in the right context also?

Peace & Love!
He totally uses it in the correct way, and he does have an older brother and sister. This is the same kid who, when people say, "Well, aren't you cute?" smiles and says, "Uh huh. And I modest!"

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