Back Talk-

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Back Talk-
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 3:33pm
I am having a problem with my dd (14) constantly retorting some smart comment back. If I ask her a question she does it. If I ask her to come here she does it. If I say she's wanted on the phone..... I think you get the picture.

When I ask on the phone with my mother in law she heared dd snap at me and she said "you need to slap her in the face really hard for that". I was shocked, this woman is a class act, and very gracious in every way. DD is in counciling and they think she might be Bi Polar. DD is ADD and ODD and now maybe Bi Polar? So she has somethings going on with her so I try to be understanding to a point.

This really wears on me and I need to get some relief from all of the negitivity that she dishes out. In March I lost my mom to cancer and I am feeling quite fragile myself right now.

Any suggestions on getting her to change that doesn't require violence. If I was to slap her she would hit me back in her current condition. The other day we were in the car and she was doing that I just said dd when you speak to me like that I will just ignore you until you appoligize. We rode the rest of the way home in silience then she got out and slammed the car door. I went inside and went about my business. She said "Mom I'm sorry" and I said "for what". She told me that she was being rude to me. I wonder if this will work long term.

Thanks, Shelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 4:01pm
You need to start with whoever gave you your diagnoses for ODD/ADD/Bi Polar. The DSM IV manual (the Bible of psychology diagnosticians) says that you *cannot* properly diagnose ODD/ADD/ADHD in the presence of another disorder that *might* explain the symptoms. It's called a differential diagnosis (which means it's what you call a disease when you can't find anything else to call it). If a teen has depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia they *cannot* by the definition of the disease in the diagnostic manual currently in use by the people who define the diseases in the first place, have ODD/ADD/ADHD. Any professional who tells you otherwise is probably making a living treating this set of diseases and should be questioned carefully and pointedly on the specific "tests" upon which he or she is making that determination (there *are* no tests for ODD/ADD/ADHD - not definative ones).

I'm not suggesting that your child isn't suffering from a mental disease, but ODD/ADD/ADHD are significantly overdiagnosed according to the APA, and is clearly misdiagnosed (in this instance) in the presence of another disorder that *could* be responsible for the behavior attributed to ODD/ADD/ADHD.

Beyond that, I'd say that you have a relatively normal teenager on your hands. The earliest blue joke my parents told me involved a single mother dealing with a back-talking (and blue-word using) teenage boy. Parents have had to deal with teenagers feelin' their oats and testing boundaries since Ug and Og had their little bundle of joy Erg. Set limits, enforce those limits in some way that is both effective and acceptable (*to you*) and be consistent on doing so - it should iron itself out eventually.


Edited 6/4/2003 4:07:06 PM ET by phirephly

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 8:02pm
Congratulations!!! You have probably sorted this one yourself already.

Smacking the girl as your mil suggested is definately the wrong way to go, well done for keeping it seemly.

If it goes on or gets any worse, ask her counsellor about it and see if they have any suggestions.

Best of luck,


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 10:09pm
Well,if you can find a way to stop the back-talk, you could surely bottle it and be a very rich woman! Teenager=sarcasm=backtalk. If you come up with a solution, please, please share!
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 1:01am
I HAVE a child with ADD/ODD. I KNOW children with ADD/ODD/BiPolar disorder. I graduated college with a psychology major in 1970. I have woked with & advocated for kids with pediatric emotional disorders & ADD-plus since 1981. Altho many of the symptoms of BiPolar disorder are the same symptoms as ADD, the conditions are OFTEN present simultaneously, as are ADD/ODD. And rather than be OVERdiagnosed, ADD is frequently UNDERdiagnosed. Large sample studies, using multiple sources of information & diagnostic interviews to distinguish ADD from other disorders, have proved that 2 to 5 percent of school-aged children have well-defined & pervasive symptoms of ADD. This means that between 1,000,000 & 3,000,000 children have this disorder at any point in time. This has been demonstrated in studies going back to-- Costello, Costello, Edelbrock, et al(1985), DSM-III DISORDERS IN PEDIATRIC PRIMARY CARE: PREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS, Archives of General Psychiatry, 45, pp1107-1116; Anderson, Williams, McGee & Silva(1987), DSM-III DISORDERS IN PREADOLESCENT CHILDREN: PREVALENCE IN A LARGE SAMPLE FROM THE GENERAL POPULATION, Archives of General Psychiatry, 40, pp681-687; Szatmari, Offord, and Boyle(1989), ONTARIO CHILD HEALTH STUDY: PREVALENCE OF ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 30, pp219-230.

BUT, your question is not whether or not your child has ADD/ODD/BiPolar. You have a qualifed therapist telling you that she does. You asked for suggestions on getting her to change her behavior. The tack you took with her the other day is a good example of the way to handle ADD/ODDers(& of course, ANY miserable teenager). With ADD/ODDers especially, you cannot TELL them what to do, you have to CONVINCE them to do what you want. Even with teens, a behavior modification program like 1-2-3 Magic will help. Look for the books "1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12", & "Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go of Your 13-18 Year Olds" --both by Thomas W. Phelan Ph.D.

Always remember: PICK YOUR FIGHTS. Is this fight worth chipping away at your relationship with your child?. Most kids with ODD are doing too many things you dislike to include every one of them in a behavior management plan. Decide what MUST be changed, & what can be ignored.

For behaviors that MUST be changed, pick a time when everyone is CALM and then tell her that you cannot accept this behavior any longer. You can say just what you told us--"This(backtalk) really wears on me and I need to get some relief from all of the negitivity that (you) dish out." Then tell her that every time she backtalks, she will: be ignored, lose phone priviledges, lose computer time--pick one that makes a difference to her. Every time she replys NICELY, & skips the backtalk, she will: be able to go to the mall for a stated amount of time, get to skip a chore, get to go out for a hour or two on a weeknight...let her negotiate the reward. Parents need to model negotiation, not inflexibility. Don’t worry about losing control: the parent always gets to decide which compromise is accepted. Write down what you both have agreed to. Have her sign it. Then STICK TO IT. And try very hard not to show any emotion when reacting to the bad behaviors. NO yelling. NO saying "WHAT DID WE TALK ABOUT??" Simply do what you & she agreed to. Remember, the BEHAVIOR is bad; your CHILD is DISABLED.

Here are some links that go into some of this in depth, & will help you deal with your child. Also, come to the ADD Teens & Adults board for support and help. We deal with many emotional disorders besides ADD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 9:32am
Yep. And I'd buy your book. LOL! Actually, what I do (or try to do most of the times) is say as calmly as possible "It hurts my feelings when you talk to me that way." And then walk away and ignore the kid. It works, as you saw for yourself. But don't expect it to last all of the time. Everyone lapses.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 2:39pm

What you said really makes sense to me. Today we went to dd councilor and she said very much the same thing.

What I am going to TRY really hard to do this week is focus on the positive things she does while ignoring what I can of the bad. We are leaving on a week long trip to Orlando and I will try to get the others in my family "on board with me". I have now realize that I have been giving her way to much negitive attention by begging and pleading for her to treat me in a respectful manner. I am going to print your post so that I can refer back to it in teaching the rest of my family.

Thanks for the great advice you shared with me. I will also check out the links and books you suggested.

I also agree with what you said about the behavior being bad and my dd being disabled. I have seen her pain when she tells me that she doesn't know why she acts the way she does.