Talk-Back Boot Camp

It’s an ugly thing when a child talks back to his parents.  It’s humiliating and infuriating with he talks back to another adult.  

This talking-back thing has gotten worse and worse the past few weeks and I really don’t know why.  My reprimands are not working so I’m about to take things to a whole new level.  After a particularly annoying situation on Easter where Bailey was asked by another parent in our “village” to not wrestle with one of his brothers, Bailey said, “I wasn’t wrestling.”  A.  He argued with an adult.  B.  He basically called the adult a liar.

On they way home I discussed my rudimentary plan with them.  I know their favorite moment of the entire week is our traditional Friday Night Movie Night where we watch a movie, pop popcorn and the boys then get to sleep in the living room.  I told them that they’d have ten strikes and when someone reached that point, they had lost FNMN for themselves.  No movie.  No popcorn.  No camping out in the living room.

By the end of Monday Hayden had one strike, Carson two, Bailey five.  He had managed to rack up three in a 10 minute battle over cleaning up one of his own messes.  He’s half-way to losing his favorite event of the week and there are still 4 days left.

I hope this works but you can bet I’m pulling out my handy-dandy “Creative Correction” book.  I’ll take suggestions and hints.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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15 Responses to Talk-Back Boot Camp

  1. We know how you feel. Izzy is being stubborn and hard-headed. Natural for a 19 month old but sometimes it’s almost too much to handle. Hope your new plan works out. Talk to you again soon.

  2. Kerri80 says:

    This is a big problem that we have with my 6-year-old, Conner. But also, with him, his “backtalk” is physical (making faces, sticking his tongue out, etc.) as well as verbal. I may steal your 10 strikes idea and see how it works with him. Good luck with your boys!

  3. jmbcc says:

    Was this 10 strike thing something you got out of your Creative Correction book? I am curious because it sounds like a great idea and I wonder if there is a kind of modification for a 4 year old. Abigail is doing this too and I don’t want it to rub off on her brother. I am going to try a modification with her and see if this helps. One thing I did with my oldest child was similar to this but he had to take a favorite item and choose to “Lose it for now and buy it back over time” or donate it to the homeless shelter. He went without allowance over this time too. Then as he straightened up, he could decide if it was worth buying back with his allowance or, since he had been without it for some time anyway, he could use the allowance for something else and let someone less fortunate make it their favorite item. He did much less talking back and he also learned a bit about making choices with his money. I hope things get better for you!

    • Jennifer says:

      I came up with it on the spot while driving home after an Easter outing on Sunday. I had the idea all by myself, but I must say that I’ve read Creative Correction there times and there’s chance it’s in there!

      If I were to modify it for a four year old I’d do three or four strikes a day with a reward at the end of each day. Or maybe start over each day with zero strikes and if she goes 5 of the 7 days without getting three strikes then she gets here weekly reward. She’ll likely need a daily reward or at least something more often than once a week. A week is like a million years when they’re four!

      LOVE the idea of “Lose it now and buy it back over time” idea!! Awesome!! Thank you…

  4. smilindown says:

    I have similar issues with Jaina! But she is quick to correct herself Jayce isn’t. He has trouble understanding that what he’s saying isn’t appropriate to say to an adult. Like, if I say, “Jayce, you need to go get your shoes now.” The next day, he’ll say, “Mom, you need to go fix me juice now.” Its been an ongoing program!

  5. When I’m on my A game, I make the children immediately say something kind or respectful in its place. Starting around 18 months I did this with the boys and made them give me a hug and a kiss. The teenager still catches me off gaurs with the “corrective back talk” like what you described. And when I am on my A game with her, I ask her to reword what I said. It is interesting to see her scramble for a word to replace the one she didn’t like…they just feel like they are being falsely accused of something and take offense and become defensive, yet when they have a hard time calling it something else too.

  6. Jennifer, I know that it may seem like it just all of a sudden that it’s happening with all three kids…but I can tell you that ALL kids do it as it’s a way to test the waters on “how far can I go”!
    A. did it when he was around 7, C. did it when she was 6, and P. is doing now….it’s much easier for me to see it is one by one as mine as so far apart…and as you said H. has one and B. has more…you’re just getting all of them all together as they are close in age. The one thing you have to remember is that you have to let them know that you ultimately have the last word/saying/decisions. The kids are not seeing it as being disrespectfull until you tell them that it is….they are just stating what it’s in their mind….it’s now our job as parents to teach them the difference. I’ve noticed that sometimes my kids gets comfortable with our adults friends and they “start the talk-back”…because they are comfortable with that person they not afraid of expressing themselves. P. has a habit of talking or I should say “commenting” when an adult is talking…not paying attention that he’s not part of that conversation…LOL…it’s very annoying to me. I had to explain to him that he’s not allowed to do that to his father or myself , so that means he can’t do that to our adult friends either….I think that what you are doing by explaining and then telling them the consequences, the boys will eventually understand that this is not a behavior that is accepted in your house. You’re doing a great job and your boys are great….!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for your kind words about the boys. I love your kids and would love for mine to turn out like yours, so I will be following your advice, for sure! 🙂

  7. Is the 10 strikes per week? If so, great! Have you ever read John Rosemond whose articles appear in The Charlotte Obsever? His parenting beliefs are straight out of the place bible. A great resource. Look him up online. He likes to use the same method you are using now for behavior modification.

  8. Pingback: Talk Back Boot Camp – Part 2 | thehamricks

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