As a mom, sometimes I swear that many of my days are filled with almost never ending backtalk. Like anyone, we have our good days and bad days, but as my boys are getting older, the amount of lip they’re giving me seems to keep increasing.
The majority of sass comes from my seven year old and I know most of it stems from one of two things. Frustration and jealousy. He gets frustrated about having to share his toys with his brother or the fact that I can’t give him 100% of my attention every time he needs it. I don’t blame him. I’m the oldest of three, so I get where he’s coming from…I really do. On top of it, he gets jealous when he sees his little brother get things he doesn’t get (ie when he was potty training and I gave him reward gifts for the progress he was making). I did sit him down and explain that he, too, gets things that his little brother doesn’t get. Mainly, he gets privileges, and I do realize that it’s hard for a little kid to accept that staying up a little later in lieu of a toy is actually a reward, but one of these days I swear it will click with him.
With my older son, he’s the type of kid who always has to get the last word. The thing is, I’m also that person and sometimes it really is hard to just let it go, but if I didn’t, we’d be there all night.
So, what do I do? I ignore it. Repeatedly responding to his arguements just fuels the fire. To a kid any attention, even negative attention, is still attention. Here is an example of a typical conversation between myself and my seven year old:
My son: “Can I stay up and watch just one more show before bed?”
Me: “No, sweetie, because you have to get up early for school in the morning”
My son: “No, I don’t. I’m not even tired anyways”
At that point, I literally just walk away. I don’t need to convince him that I’m right and leaving it alone, makes that pretty clear. Or at least I think it does. Besides, if I responded, he’d just keep at me in hopes that I’d give in, and there I would be arguing with a child about something that he really has no say in. I tried time-outs, but my silly kid actually liked them, so that’s didn’t work out so well as far as punishment purposes went.
Then, we have the case of my four year old who want to be just like his big brother. He repeats almost everything his big brother spews out of his mouth verbatim. He’s still to young to understand half of the stuff he’s saying – he just knows I don’t like it, so that eggs him on.
I think as a parent, it’s important to realize that our kids aren’t going to like every decision we make, but we are all doing what is best for them. I always say to my husband “they’ll thank me someday”.
How do you handle sass from your kids?