back talk! what to do? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 8 Old 01-21-2007, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well my sweet little boy has developed a sassy mouth these days. I am trying to figure out what to do when I'm getting back talk. I don't want to ignore the behavior I want it addressed but how?
Basically if he doesn't want to do something he'll say loudly "No" or "I don't want to". Sometimes we just don't have a choice weather he is to do it or not (wear a coat, get in car, pick up toys etc.) I don't agree with arguing with a 3yr old... I want him to have his own opinion and stuff but I also want him to respect what I'm saying.
I just want to know what others do when getting sassed by there children. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks.

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#2 of 8 Old 01-21-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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I wouldn't call this backtalk. To me backtalk is blatantly disrespectful and meant to be rude and sassy. The examples you gave are just typical toddler expression of opinion.

When my little guy says no to something that isn't negotiable, I often just tell him, in an empathetic and casual voice, something like "I hear ya! I wish we could stay home too. It really stinks that we have to go right now. I can't wait to get home so we can play together again. What do you want to play when we get back home?" as I'm sort of ushering him out the door. 9 times out of 10 he just wants to be heard and acknowledged.

If there is something that pushes his buttons every time, you can give him choices from acceptable options:
- "I think wearing a coat is a bummer too. It's very cold so I'm going to chose my warmer coat today. Do you want to choose this coat or that coat? Which coat will you choose today?"

And last, my little guy loves games so if we can make it into a game, we do. "I'll race you to the car, last one in is a rotten egg!" or "I bet I an get more toys than you put into this big bin before the timer goes off. 1-2-3 GO!"

And, of course, decide if it really is worth the fight. If you are going from the house to the car, does he really need to wear his coat or can he carry it instead? (He shouldn't be wearing a coat in a car seat anyway) Is it imperative that he keep his room clean? Obviously there are things that will go down that will be necessary but often times what seems necessary to us really isn't all that black and white. I think most of us can afford to drop at least 50% of the power struggles we have with our kids and if we succeed, the other 50% will be WAY easier to deal with!

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#3 of 8 Old 01-22-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamanicki View Post
9 times out of 10 he just wants to be heard and acknowledged.
I totally agree with this.

I tell him that he has to at least bring the coat - he will feel cold (and has) and then he puts it on himself. He wants to be a big boy and do things his way - it's in no way a 'trying to get back at mommy' thing. It's totally what he needs to do to learn and figure out what he is capable of. Sometimes we adults think of what comes out of babes mouths in an 'adult' manner. To hear that from an adult it would be 'back talk' but you have to think as the kid thinks.

and definately make everything you can a game. totally works

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#4 of 8 Old 01-22-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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If it's opinion, acknowledging the opinion as the pp have suggested works wonders. "How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen" has some good ideas on how to frame things. He's a bit young for some of the ideas to work well, but that'll give you a year or so to master the techniques!

If it's a rude demand ("Get me some water!"), I will say "That sounds rude. Please ask me politely and I'd be glad to help."

It also helps to phrase things with a 'forward' look -- "let's pick up the toys so we can read a story!" "We need to get in the car so we can go get Daddy!"

And look at what is negotiable or not. Wearing a coat is negotiable in our house. dd is hot blooded and often doesn't want a coat for the first few minutes. We bring one and then she puts it on if she gets cold. Wearing seat belts is not negotiable.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-22-2007, 01:47 AM
 
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I am going to jump into this thread, since my 3yo and i are having these same power struggles, but they are SO intense! I am just not figuring out what to do here! I'll go read my How to Talk book... it's been a while since I've opened it, but I did remember it being geared for older kids.

We're having issues like the coat, etc. But when I give options, he just still says no. Well, I can see how to resolve the coat now, by just bringing it along for when he's cold... but same with getting ready for bed. Or we need to go out and he's buck naked. I (where's that bag on the head smilie when you need it?), after doing all the ideas (making it a game, giving options) end up yelling at him - drill sargeant style almost, it makes me SICK! Or actually having to hold him down to do things like dress, brush teeth, etc. The games and options and all those things, he doesn't really care about... I know being headstrong and stubborn can really be great features for an adult if used right, but as a 3yo, his mother is going crazy!:

I'm trying to pick my battles wisely. Like he has to brush his teeth, he has to have clothes on before he leave the house. But I need more ideas on how the heck to get him to cooperate. I'm feeling like the nasty mom I don't want to be

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#6 of 8 Old 01-22-2007, 03:54 AM
 
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Great replies. When it's cold I'll suggest my 28 m/o Ds wear a coat. If he says "no" then I carry the coat until he asks for it.

As far as toys, do you have a toybox or shelves? Shelves are much better. Little kids are organizers by nature. Toyboxes are jumbled, which makes them overwhelming and confusing. Also when his room is clean I like to observe with him, "Hey look, all your cars are in that bin where you can find them and your train stuff is there! And look at all the room on your floor!" He likes doing things like cleaning his toys when it clearly benefits him.

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#7 of 8 Old 01-22-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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Great ideas - we live on the Calif coast and just had a really cold snap -- I think DD was finally actually COLD for once and now resists less when I saw it's time for pants!
Just tonight my DH compared my DD's tone of voice and manner of demanding her juice to the ugly stepsisters in the cinderella book. He reads her that book with dramatic voices and all, so she got what he meant right away. She stopped in her tracks. The rest of the night saw lots of pleases and calm requests. I'm curious if it will improve. I think his explaination really helped her see what we mean when we say abstact words like "polite", "rude", tone of voice" etc.

I've also noticed that i get better results when I make sure I'm not interrupting her plans. She needs lead-time to adjust to the next situation, and so I have to let her know "after you finish that book we will xyz, so we won't have time to start another book but you can bring one in the car" because if she cracks open the next book or starts drawing on the next page it's like pulling teeth to get her to pull away and follow my agenda.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-22-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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