Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back talk first aid!

Determining what constitutes back talk is just as challenging as diagnosing when it occurs. I know sometimes when our daughter is simply getting frustrated because I am not listening or I am trying to do the proverbial “multitasking”, I can interpret her attempts to communicate as back talk. How do I assess the difference when I am tired, sick or simply overwhelmed? I know that at 8 years old, our daughter is still learning all the intricacies of communicating effectively and getting her point across. It’s also important that I create space for her to question what I asked of her, not as an act of defiance as much as a matter of learning. When our children ask “why” we have a great opportunity to teach them how to become and adult, how we navigate the world of decisions and demands.

By giving our children the benefit of the doubt, we can choose to respond to their question without feeling like it’s a personal attack on our authority. Sometimes a question is just that: a request for information. Determine the context, the tone and your own personal “hot buttons” before deciding if your child’s comment is indeed back talk. You can save everyone a lot of aggravation by responding and not reacting!

Remember, for effective parenting, only one of you can be having a meltdown at a time!

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