“No matter what I say, she always argues with me. Nothing I say or do seem to be right for her, there is always something to point out and criticize.
I know it is good for her to have her own opinion, but I don’t really know if this type of back talk is healthy, or am I doing something wrong? Please help!”
Do these words sound familiar to you, the parent of a teen? I know this is a scene right out of my own home, where my son and I have countless arguments, which almost always end up with one or the other of us walking away in a great huff.
If you want to know how to teach your teen not to back talk at you, then read on:
- Never forget; it takes two people to argue; your teen cannot argue by herself and with herself. The argument involves both of you equally, and what you can do is state your case ONCE, and then either stand there and hear her out when she argues and finds ways to pint out that what you are saying is wrong, or simply walk out of the room quietly. This will give her the idea that your word is final, and that you will not change it for anything. All her arguing will not affect you. Practice doing this many times, she will eventually get the hang of it.
- You must develop the patience and fortitude to let your teen argue with what you have said, as she will automatically do, no matter what, and not say anything. Some questions like ‘Why do I have to do it?” do not actually need an answer; all she is doing is complaining that she has to do it. If you say, “Because I say so,” then it will undoubtedly cause an escalation in the already frayed tempers in the room.
- Teens do love to argue, and since this will be a common occurrence in your home over the next few years, why don’t you take it positively and lay down a set of rules for arguments? For example, you can say that you will not allow name calling, shouting, screaming, and walking out, slamming doors, crying.
- You could teach your teen how to argue, by listening to her quietly, and then, only then, starting on what you have to say. This will teach her a valuable lesson in conducting negotiations later in her life, and she will thank you for it at that time.
- Talking back is addictive to your child, and when she finds that she has gotten away with it once then she will try it again and again. Handle it wisely right at the beginning, and make sure that she knows you will not tolerate this behavior. Reinforce it by cutting off her privileges and give them back to her if she shows an improvement.
With patience and constant effort, it is indeed possible to teach your teen not to argue and talk back at you.