Parenting Resolutions: Character

The Problem:

Back-talk and Disrespect

Your tween is talking back in a flippant, disrespectful manner. While tween back-talk and sass are on the rise, allowing it is a huge mistake. This behavior laced with "attitude" that can destroy your child's character and respect as well as your relationship. Beware: it can also spread to other siblings and ruin family harmony. Back-talk is learned and kids will keep using it when they know it works.

The Resolution:


"I resolve to curb my child's back-talk, establish the importance of respect in all family activities, and be sure to be an example of respect to my children."


From this moment on, call out any back-talk on the spot so he is clear what you expect. Then refuse to engage until your child speaks respectfully.

Kids are more likely to stop talking back if they see it's ineffective in getting our attention. If back-talk continues, set a consequence such as removing his cell phone privilege for the day.  Consider letting your kid participate in creating her own consequence--they are often much harsher than ones you set.

Any time your child acts respectfully, express your pleasure. It is one of the simplest ways to increase the frequency of any behavior. Most importantly, be sure your own behavior is the example you want your child to copy.

Michele Borba's Parenting Resolutions for 2009:


12Secrets_Borba.jpgDr. Michele Borba is the author of over 22 books including 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know.

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