dealing with a backtalking child

How to Handle a Backtalking Child: 4 Genius Strategies for 2022

Last Updated on August 26, 2021.

No parent likes backtalk. It is frustrating and can lead to a lot of arguments. A backtalking child might not seem that big of a deal, but it can be one step closer to much more serious behaviors such as lying or stealing. In this blog post, we will discuss 4 ways you can handle backtalk in the most productive way possible!

What is backtalk?

It is when a person talks back in an argumentative way. This could mean talking back with words like “no”, “stop it” and any other word that might sound disrespectful.

Backtalk is common in children and is a form of testing limits and boundaries.

Why do children backtalk?

There are many reasons backtalk happens. It may be because they want to create a sense of power in the home, or it could also just be because they feel misunderstood and know that their parents will listen when they have something to say back.

It can often happen as a result of feeling ignored by adults or not being given enough attention.

the backtalking child
how to handle backtalking child

RELATED: Best Positive Parenting Books

4 Genius Strategies for Backtalk

If you’re ready to banish the backtalk in your house, use these 4 genius strategies.

Give Kids Attention

If backtalk is about getting attention, then give them the attention they need. Proactively spend quality time with your kids. For kids, time is love. And when fill their bucket with plenty of attention, we’re less likely to experience backtalk.

Give Kids Power

Allowing children to make choices can alleviate some of the tension that causes backtalk. Power can be given back to the child when they are trusted to make decisions in certain day-to-day situations. For younger children, this could mean letting them pick out their clothes for the day or deciding on what food is served at dinner time.

If backtalk comes up as a result of feeling powerless, giving kids power can help take back some of the power they may feel is lost.

Don’t Engage

Sometimes backtalk is pressing your buttons. Sometimes kids just like to get a rise out of us. Whatever the backtalk, it’s important to not engage. It might be hard at first but ignoring this unacceptable behavior might just eliminate it. If kids don’t get the satisfaction of upsetting you, they’ll likely stop.

Rely on Routines

Let the clock and your established routines dictate what happens during the day. If you aren’t the bad guy (i.e. determining when it’s time for bed), there’s less opportunity for backtalk. So, automate and schedule anything you possibly can! Let the clock be the bad guy, and you won’t experience as much backtalk.

The Bottom Line

As backtalking becomes more prevalent in the playground and on social media, it may feel like we’re losing control. But there are ways to nip backtalk at its roots before it has a chance to take hold. Try these four strategies to handle your backtalking child today!

What You Should Do Next…

1. Snag Our Connected Parent Challenge

Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).

2. Join Our Free Online Community

Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.

3. Take a Free 60-Minute Parenting Webinar

Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.

Scroll to Top