Being a parent is one of the best privileges in the world, but it's not easy. You thought you were over the hurdle when they stopped wearing diapers, but now your bouncy little bundle can be a straight up sassy-pants with more attitude than Beyonce. When your kids begin to talk back, it can be one of the most difficult things to conquer. If behavior spirals out of control, it can seriously damage the parent-child bond. We all have moments when we want to tear our hair out in frustration, but how can we deal with it in a way that's beneficial?
According to Parents, the first step requires some serious patience on our part. We've all been guilty of snapping instantly, but try to take a breath and take stock of the situation. Our initial reaction can be a key marker for how our children react to situations themselves, so the last thing we want is to blow our lids at the first sign of trouble. Parenting is a fine art that requires a lot of balance. Be too strict and your children may feel restricted and nervous, be too lenient and it made lead to worse behavior down the line.
After taking a few moments to decompress, you can then decide if we feel ready to continue. If you still feel too angry, then there's nothing wrong with hitting the pause button and telling your child that the conversation will be had later on when you've both had a little room to think. Just be sure that the issue does get addressed later, and not left up on the shelf to resurface at a later date. When you do get down to business, it's important to try and get to the root of why the back-talk happened. Is there something going on elsewhere?
Why do they feel it was acceptable? Laying down some ground rules about what is and isn't acceptable is imperative. Talking about consequences - such as no TV, or limited screen time - can help set the tone for future disputes and will help them to know what will happen in the future.
Arguing with your kids is never fun. It's frustrating for everyone involved, but checking our own behavior is a big step, too. Children often follow our leads, so if we can keep our cool in a situation then it's telling them to do the same thing.
You got this, mama.