Help with rudeness, talking back!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there!

Haven't posted in awhile, my 3 1/2 year old DD is really going through a patch where she's being extremely rude to me, and is talking back to me most of the time when I ask her to do something. I'm looking for GD suggestions on how you all handle your children when they're acting this way? What things work best?

thanks!!!

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#2 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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Going through similar here. Interested in the responses you get. I have no answers. I find myself yelling a lot and feeling horrible about it.
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#3 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Can you give a more specific example?
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#4 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, it's so hard, because it's for everything that I want her to do and she doesn't want to... I end up getting some rude backtalk from her... more like "I don't want to", "NO, I'm NOT going to do that", etc. It's for things that there's no alternative for, things that need to be done at that moment. Sometimes it seems like she does it more when she's tired, but I've noticed more of it lately on a regular basis, especially the last couple of weeks. I need some advice on what people do when they're trying to talk to their preschoolers?

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#5 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 09:11 AM
 
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My DS who is 4 is being exactly the same way, so I think it must be the age thing. I've been getting by by using threats for example, if you do not do this you won't be doing that. I found the first couple of times that I actually followed through with my threats appears to have helped matters.

I think you can't make idle threats as they see through that, but make the threats those that mean something to your child and ones you can really follow through with.
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#6 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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I don't see it as "back talk" or "rudeness" but as an "expression of their independance"

I still don't like it. I feel like at that age, they are still so young. They have no way to verbalise their displeasure tactfully and so their opposition comes off as rude and backtalk.

For me the key was to first recognise that if I want my children to be able to express themselves freely(going against the children must be seen and not heard opinion here) then they will go through a stage where the freedom of expression may seem terribly offensive at some point.

So I take it upon myself to model tactful disagreement such as in interaction with them, their dad, my parents, inlaws, teachers etc.

I also spend lots of time talking about how we say this "kindly" and not "rudely". outside of when the actual disagreement occurs.

My older children are 14 and 18 and they are pretty good. 14 year old occasionally yells at me, 18 year old is out of the house and pretty tactful and not rude anymore..yeah it takes that long

My 5 year old is a very sensible girl. When she has a moment of "rudeness" I gently remind her "we've talked about this, you may disagree with me respectfully, you may say no respectfully"

My almost 3 year old(end of October)..she just yells at me at this point She's very verbal and I'm sure some would consider this backtalk and rudeness but I just consider it a phase and I don't really sweat it. She loves me and wants to be nice, she just doesn't know how to yet. It will come.

Also, I had to set aside my "hurt" when they said stuff like "mean mommy" because me saying no to something like chocolate icecream for breakfast, particularly if we didn't have any" wasn't mean but to them, that's how they felt I was being towards them.

After 4 kids, one thing I realise..most things pass. Most things really are a phase. I generally have a "help them through it" rather than a "nip it in the bud" attitude towards these things because I've learned that shortens the phase generally.
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#7 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 10:04 AM
 
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If you think about it you want to raise a person who has enough sense of self that they object if they don't like something - right? I really don't see that as unacceptable talking back. Irritating, sure. But, it isn't name calling or mean, it is just expressing a lack of agreement.

Acknowledge her feelings. It may sound little, but it is really big.

Try working on prevention - is it possible to decrease the number of "do it right now" situations by - soliciting her cooperation earlier, making a plan ahead of time, having a more predictable schedule. Also it may be mean greater adult flexibility. Most of us don't like if if people interrupt us and make demands on us either. Respect that her playtime is important and work with her to plan an end. Our son liked using the timer as a preschooler - he'd set it for five more minutes and when it beeped then it he was pretty agreeable about moving on because he had some control over it.
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#8 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by girlygirls3 View Post
You know, it's so hard, because it's for everything that I want her to do and she doesn't want to... I end up getting some rude backtalk from her... more like "I don't want to", "NO, I'm NOT going to do that", etc. It's for things that there's no alternative for, things that need to be done at that moment. Sometimes it seems like she does it more when she's tired, but I've noticed more of it lately on a regular basis, especially the last couple of weeks. I need some advice on what people do when they're trying to talk to their preschoolers?
I don't really consider that to be "rudeness" or "talking back"- I reserve those phrases for older kids who DO have the verbal skills to ask in a more polite manner but choose not to. A 5yo can talk back. A teenager can talk back. A 3yo, unless the individual child is incredibly advanced verbally, really can't do so yet.


There's usually SOME way to re-phrase things so that the child has a bit of control. Do you want to walk to the car or be carried? Do you want to put on your pajamas first or brush your teeth first? Or you can make it playful. Ask her dishes to put themselves into the sink, then complain to her that her dishes aren't listening and she needs to help them. Do you really HAVE TO leave the park "right this minute" or can she go down the slide one more time first?

It's also appropriate to teach her better ways of talking, if she seems to lack the verbal skills to complain in an "easier to hear" way. I've often said things like "excuse me, I don't understand whiney voices. Please talk to me in a nice voice." and "If you don't want any, just say 'no thank you'. Telling me that the food I cooked is "icky" hurts my feelings."

And sometimes you just need to validate her feelings. "Yes, I know you dont' want to do XYZ right now, but you still have to do it."

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#9 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Often, responding to the rudeness calmly with, "I will be happy to talk to you when your words are kind," or, "Oh, what a bad choice; you can come out of your room as soon as you can be sweet," works very well. It's important to be consistent and not reflect back the rudeness -- we always want to be able to use, "I will listen to you when your voice is as calm as mine."

For other ideas, Love and Logic is a great resource! -- http://www.loveandlogic.com/

Good luck!
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#10 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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I have taken a love and logic class through our church and found it to be helpful. I am getting to a point where I am getting tired of the disrespect. Dd will be 4 in August and I can't believe the way she talks to me sometimes. I am hurt that she says these things but also I have not raised her to treat people this way. She does it more to me than dh and I think it is a test for her to see how I will react, but I won't stand for it. The sassy mouth, saying things like your not my mom anymore, I'm leaving. I tell here these things hurt my feelings and that if she does leave I will miss her very much. Also that no matter how she feels about me I will always love her. She also gives me ultimatums, like if I say after many times of asking, "You need to pick up your toys or no outside play." She'll turn around and say, "Well if you don't pick up your stuff you can't go outside." I get so angry. Also that last couple of days I will see her attempting to do something she is not suppose to be doing and as I am asking/telling her not to do it, she does it anyway as she is sayong "Ok mom I won't." What has happened to my sweet little girl, why has she become so sassy and disobidient? Anyone else having this problem and any suggestions on what to do?

 Yoga loving momma to DD, Eden Raine 8/04 , DS Brett Edwin 2/08, DS Brantley Albert 12/12 and wife for more than a decade to Jason 
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#11 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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She also gives me ultimatums, like if I say after many times of asking, "You need to pick up your toys or no outside play." She'll turn around and say, "Well if you don't pick up your stuff you can't go outside."
I don't understand why when you say it, it is okay but when she says it it is an ultimatum. If it makes you feel bad to hear it, why should she had a different reaction. My suggestion would be to work with her on a way to handle it more positively - that might be: cleaning up toys together singing a song or making it a race, having a predictable schedule where toys are cleaned up at certain times of the day, etc.

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I get so angry. Also that last couple of days I will see her attempting to do something she is not suppose to be doing and as I am asking/telling her not to do it, she does it anyway as she is sayong "Ok mom I won't." What has happened to my sweet little girl, why has she become so sassy and disobidient? Anyone else having this problem and any suggestions on what to do?
She sounds like an entirely normal four year old to me. That's how many four year olds act. You can choose to take it personally or you can find ways to work around it. I think you'll be happier if you attempt to work with her and have her help make the rules and help solve the problems. And, I'd try to remember as much as the change bothers you it is hard for her to cope with too. It can be a pretty out of control feeling. She's doing what she needs to do developmentally but that doesn't mean it is easy.
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#12 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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She also gives me ultimatums, like if I say after many times of asking, "You need to pick up your toys or no outside play." She'll turn around and say, "Well if you don't pick up your stuff you can't go outside."
I don't understand why when you say it, it is okay but when she says it it is an ultimatum. If it makes you feel bad to hear it, why should she had a different reaction. My suggestion would be to work with her on a way to handle it more positively - that might be: cleaning up toys together singing a song or making it a race, having a predictable schedule where toys are cleaned up at certain times of the day, etc.

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I get so angry. Also that last couple of days I will see her attempting to do something she is not suppose to be doing and as I am asking/telling her not to do it, she does it anyway as she is sayong "Ok mom I won't." What has happened to my sweet little girl, why has she become so sassy and disobidient? Anyone else having this problem and any suggestions on what to do?
She sounds like an entirely normal four year old to me. That's how many four year olds act. You can choose to take it personally or you can find ways to work around it. I think you'll be happier if you attempt to work with her and have her help make the rules and help solve the problems. And, I'd try to remember as much as the change bothers you it is hard for her to cope with too. It can be a pretty out of control feeling. She's doing what she needs to do developmentally but that doesn't mean it is easy.
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#13 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I prefer modeling the way I want disagreement expressed and repeating what my daughter has said in a more polite way. I don't think that children are really rude, they are just blunt and need to have a model for all of their feelings and expressions, even if those feelings or expressions are negative.
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#14 of 21 Old 07-12-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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She also gives me ultimatums, like if I say after many times of asking, "You need to pick up your toys or no outside play." She'll turn around and say, "Well if you don't pick up your stuff you can't go outside." I get so angry.
I think it is perfectly normal for a youngster to do this; of course, I just say that because I'm on my fourth time of experiencing age four from a parenting perspective and that's pretty much the type of thing each of my children have done -- this last one probably the most since he gets to try out all these types of communication on everyone in the home; just ten minutes ago, he told DH to stop biting his fingernails, "Everyone knows we're not supposed to bite our fingernails!" DH and I just looked at each other because, really, he shouldn't be biting his fingernails. Rather than take it personally, we just recognize that he is demonstrating that he has internalized this concept. Instead of getting angry when your daughter tells you that you won't be able to go outside if you don't pick up your stuff, just smile sweetly and tell her, "That's exactly right! If we want to go out and play, we have to pick up our stuff!" Then give her a hug and tell her how smart she is!

Also, I find that Love and Logic is most helpful for me if I listen to the CD's every once in a while; they are good reminders! I also printed out the list from their site under "Articles" Turn Your Words Into Gold (the one under "General Articles" -- the first one you'll see is for the classroom) and I have posted this inside the cupboard where we keep the dishes so that I will have a reminder whenever I open the cupboard.

Good luck!
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#15 of 21 Old 07-14-2008, 08:48 AM
 
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Thank you ladies for all of the help. I realize I need to treat her like I would like to be treated and not force her to do tasks. I appreciate all of the feedback.

 Yoga loving momma to DD, Eden Raine 8/04 , DS Brett Edwin 2/08, DS Brantley Albert 12/12 and wife for more than a decade to Jason 
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#16 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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sometimes a good cuddling to reconnect can help.
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#17 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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sometimes a good cuddling to reconnect can help.
Exactly!!

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#18 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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Sometimes it helps to address the feelings behind the words. Eg. "I hear that you don't want to do that right now. Its hard when you have to do something you don't want to do. It can make you feel grumpy, can't it?"

It can be very disarming to respond in an understanding way. You can go ahead and gently insist on whatever it is she is trying to avoid, but be understanding of her feelings at the same time.

Avoid using the word "but." It "undoes" your efforts at expressing empathy. Don't say, "I know you don't want to, but you have to." That might be true -- but saying basically says, "I know how you feel but it doesn't matter." Just take an extra minute to acknowege feelings without attaching ultimatums to them. At least half the time the child will respond to understanding by deciding to cooperate.

Also, take time to explore why a child saying "no" presses your buttons. It is a common trigger - a lot of adults struggle with this one. It might really help to examine your own childhood and try to pin-point exactly why this response from her "feels" so much like disrespect to you.
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#19 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your responses. Many of the suggestions listed I already do on a daily basis, so I'm going to chalk this up as a phase and just go with it.

At home mommy to Paige 2004, Sydney 2006 and Cole 2009 :
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#20 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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The clean up thing is really hard at my house, we do games of it. Also, if we start cleaning up they each are usually given a number of things they have to pick up or a specific task. I think generalized cleaning can be daunting at this age, but if you say, please put the blocks in the box. I always clean along side of them as well.
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#21 of 21 Old 07-16-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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We are having a rough time with this too!!! I just read Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, and although I had some issues with it, I did learn this framework that so far seems to be very effective:
"You wanted X, so you did Y. You may not do Y. Instead, when you want X, do Z. Try that now."

Also, she suggests describing the child's behavior, saying, "You seem [emotion].", and then pausing to let the child respond. For example: "You are yelling and stomping your feet. You seem angry." I feel kind of silly doing this, but it seems pretty effective at conveying to my son that I'm paying attention to him and aware of his feelings, not just thinking about my own feelings and how they're affected by his behavior.

Speaking of which, EnviroKid is backtalking, yelling, and saying mean things to his father more often and more extremely than to me, and I think part of the reason is that EnviroDaddy is hyper-sensitive to tone of voice and just leaps to criticize it, often treating it as a more important issue than whatever that voice was saying. Since long before we became parents, it's bothered me that when I am very upset, tired, or otherwise out of sorts and I ask EnviroDaddy to do something for me, he'll flip out about the WAY I am speaking and (at least for the first few minutes) give zero consideration to the need I am expressing or the difficult time I am having. I feel like he's saying, "I don't care what you said or how you feel; what about ME?"

So, I'm working very hard at resisting that approach when I speak to EnviroKid, because I know how lousy it feels to be on the receiving end. Instead, I address what he's asking for, and then once we've started addressing that (for example, I am fixing the snack he wants), I say, "Next time, please use your nice voice," and say it the way I wish he'd said it.

Mamaduck wrote:
Quote:
Avoid using the word "but." It "undoes" your efforts at expressing empathy. Don't say, "I know you don't want to, but you have to." That might be true -- but saying basically says, "I know how you feel but it doesn't matter."
That's another thing I'm trying to train EnviroDaddy out of, when speaking to me as well as to our child! That and, "I'm sorry, but [justification of his behavior]." It IS hard to resist saying these things sometimes, especially when you're in a hurry, but I find it's worth the effort.

Oh, one more thing: Don't ASK her to do something if it's not optional. I don't know if you have been doing that, but I hear a lot of moms say things like, "Can you put your shoes on? Are you ready to go to the store?" when what they mean is, "Put your shoes on now, please. We are going to the store." It makes a big difference!

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She also gives me ultimatums, like if I say after many times of asking, "You need to pick up your toys or no outside play." She'll turn around and say, "Well if you don't pick up your stuff you can't go outside." I get so angry.
Ooohh, I know! EnviroKid recently started counting to three on me, and although it's totally logical for him to follow my example and think that whatever I do to him is something he can do to me...sometimes I want to say, "I'm the parent, dang it! Respect my authority!!! You can't talk to me like that!" : But I guess we just have to take it in stride, model behavior that's applicable to all people, and move on.

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