How to Stop Back Talk and Whining

How to Stop Backtalk and Whining

Are you at your wits end with your kids whining, back talk, and arguing? There’s only so many times you can say “No! Stop that!” before you feel like a broken record. Here’s some ideas on how to get the behavior you want from your kids and a behavior chart to help keep the repetitive “no’s” at a minimum.

1. Nip whining at the bud. Acknowledge your child. Many times they just want one-on-one attention. Stop what you are doing, give eye contact and listen. If that doesn’t work, use “I” statements: “I don’t like it when you use that voice.” “I can’t understand you when you speak to me that way.” “If you want to play outside, try asking me like this . . . ” Model good behavior.

2. Understand what’s behind the back talk. First, it helps to understand that kids back talk may escalate during stages where they are learning to exert their independence. 7-10 year olds especially like things to be fair and if they feel that something isn’t fair, they will be quick to defend themselves. Dr. Sears says that as long as it’s not a bickering match and is respectful, parents should be open to their child’s defense and listen. (i.e. if they are accused of dawdling when they had to run inside to grab something they forgot). Apologize if you jumped the gun and realize you made a mistake in getting upset.

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