I have to admit that my two “grown” children are really awesome. I am so proud of them and how they turned out to be such wonderful adults. I talked a bit last week about manners and back talk comes to mind when you are thinking about manners. One way to teach your children respect is to never allow back talk in your house. I never allow my children to raise their voice to me. Even when my daughter was a teen I sometimes had to remind her not to raise her voice when speaking with me. It is OK to be mad or angry but it was never OK for my children to disrespect me by yelling at any time. That was one of my lines in fact. I used to say you can be mad all you like but you will not raise your voice to me.
Some people think this keeps my children from communicating with me and that is not true, because if they want to have a conversation with me at any time they are more than welcome but we don’t scream at each other. I don’t like being yelled at so I treat them just as I wish to be treated.
When my daughter was three years old she raised her fist at me in a fit because I was not letting her do whatever it was she wanted and I told her if she hit me I would hit her back and I am much bigger so I would hit much harder. She looked at me and then at her fist and put it down. That was just the first time she tried to cross those boundary lines, but each time I have stopped her short and reminded her where I draw the line.
I have seen teens yelling and cussing at their parents with disrespect and the parents seem to act like their child is the one who is in charge! That is just ridiculous.
I am in charge of my child’s upbringing and welfare, and obviously since I am the adult I should be the one in charge. This should be a no-brainer but even for educated professionals like pediatricians this seems to escape them. My son’s pediatrician in Maine seemed to think that me allowing my 2 year old son to sleep with us often was a mistake and lectured me about giving him too much milk. (Four cups is not too much!) Anyhow, I saw this pediatrician in the grocery store with her three children. Her 6 or 7 year old was clearly in charge screaming at her mother and pulling things off the shelves and running off. All the while the mother pediatrician was saying in a voice that was so soft and uncommanding to come back and if she does not stop pulling things off the shelves they would have to leave the store. Well of course they had to leave because she was not commanding any respect and so the child won. I am sure that was the reason for the whole episode, she did not want to be grocery shopping. Do you really want your child to control your life so much you are not allowed to take them to buy some groceries?
It is possible that they were just having a bad day and I happened to witness that moment but children need to know where you draw the line. They are always going to test you and the only way you will get respect is to not allow anything but. Really!
Once at our house some family members were visiting with their new lady and her 16 year old daughter from another marriage. The daughter started telling her mom what she wanted them to do, and when the mother tried to say no, the daughter through a huge walleyed fit and stated yelling screaming and cussing at her mother, in my house no less! So I said that this was not acceptable in my house and she was not allowed to talk that way to her mother here. The teenager looked at me with her mouth gaping open but had shut up. She stomped off and then her mother thanked me for controlling her own child! Crazy!
Take charge that is your job. If you let a two year old tell you what to do and back talk then imagine what you will have to deal with when they are 16! I would love to hear what you think about back talk and what your experiences are.