Hey you how’s your week been?
Did you see the video yesterday about the language of love? If not check it out below, it’s great to see how kids feel love as well as ourselves and partners. It really helps with the kind of connection we spoke about last week.
All kids back chat, some more than others! For my kids, it happens when they don’t want to do something, I have asked them to do or if they are tired/hungry. What does it mean when they back chat? It doesn’t mean they don’t love us.Often, it just means they’re struggling. We can try to ignore it, but is that the best strategy? When kids are irritable towards us, they’re often trying to tell us something, and if we don’t listen, it can escalate. If we go in hard with a conversation about disrespect then again, it get get out of hand.
The aim is to reestablish connection and model the respect you want in the family but still lay out the expectations.
3 steps strategy
Monitor your own language and model respect even when they are back chatting you watch your own language and tone of voice. Set limits but that might be easier to come back to if you are not feeling calm yourself. Shouting won’t get them to listen or gain you respect. Don’t worry about coming back to them later, when it’s easier for you, they won’t forget what they have said!
Don’t take it personally – it’s not about you
Be aware that no matter their age, they are still learning emotional regulation and right now they are struggling. Acknowledge them and their problem, offer help if needed, even as you set a limit about their tone or their words. Kids think twice about hurting the feelings those who support them. (The more we connect with our kids, even if it’s only 10 mins a day, the less likely to back chat)
When your child speaks hurtfully to you, stay calm and clearly enforce your expectation for respectful conversation:
Try something like this –
“Those words are harsh, You must be really upset to speak to me that way. I son’t speak to you that way. Can tell me what you’re upset about without that tone?
” The way you are speaking hurts my feelings can you Please tell me what you want to say in a different way.”
“I hear that you’re very angry at me right now. I hear how much you wish I would say yes to what you’re wanting. I want to hear more about this, but I can’t listen when you speak to me that way. Let’s talk about this when we’re both more calm.”
This isn’t just a good model for your relationship, but modelling for future relationship dynamics and sets future boundaries for them
If we react disrespectfully to their rudeness, we perpetuate the behaviour because we’re modelling disrespect.
If we ignore their disrespect, we escalate the behaviour, because we aren’t responding to what they’re expressing.
If we acknowledge that they’re having a problem, offer to help them with that problem, and set the expectation that they treat us respectfully, then the child learns to communicate respectfully, even with big emotions.
Hope this helps