How To Deal With Children Who Talk Back? | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

How To Deal With Children Who Talk Back?


Jun 1, 2004
Wear the red dress and come with me. No, I'll wear the black one and stay at home. Sounds familiar? It is a typical situation found commonly in all households. Talking back, resisting the parent's attempt at laying down the rules. Can be a bit frustrating, especially when you are in a hurry. However, it is important that you do not worsen the situation by giving vent to anger. The issue of parenting here is not the dress itself but something else. It may be something subtler and unless investigated may accumulate and surface later as something nasty.

Parents give orders to their children especially the young ones with the foregone conclusion that their order will be obeyed. When it is not, and the instances are many nowadays, parents are taken aback at the child's refusing to obey and putting forth his own opinion. And if this happens in front of an audience the shock is accompanied by embarrassment.

Track down the real reason for the back talk
Be rational and try to see if there is any specific reason for the child to be behaving as he or she is. At times the cause could be as simple as a short temper due to hunger or tiredness. And the confused child is trying to make his discomfort known. Even if the cause of the outburst is not physical like hunger or fatigue, remember there is a reason and any caring parent would like to track it down and do the needful to put the child at ease.

Now how does one zero in on the cause? At times the cause may not be very apparent. Under such circumstances try this method recommended by experts in child counseling. Note down each incident involving backtalk and try and evaluate it. This will help you look beneath the surface and find the real underlying cause for the child's behavior and once that is done you may be able to work with the child to find a constructive solution.

Control with an iron hand always backfires
Be realistic and accept the fact that even though we try it, is almost impossible to control or impose our wishes on anyone. The only person whom you can really control is yourself. So go ahead and do it. Be in absolute control of yourself and do not give free rein to negative feelings like anger or worse, violence. Anger can cloud reason, so steer clear away from it. Let your guiding thought be - this is my child I am dealing with. It does not matter if I come out of this a loser. Your real win is having your child on the right track.

Be a role model
A common mistake that parents make is to compare the child's behavior with their behavior at the same age. This is wrong. The set of circumstances and people that the child is dealing with is entirely different. So why expect him to react in the same way you did? Think back and you will realize that you were far more in awe of your parents than your children will ever be of you. That in itself makes the ground ready for back talking.

Set ground rules, but for yourself. Remember children do imitate their parents. They will try to achieve the standards you set for yourself.

Back talk is not an insult but is the child's opinion
Never take an instance of your child's backtalk as a personal insult. That is the way the child is voicing his opinion. Listen. It is possible that you are in the wrong. Analyze the situation. If it does not really matter then give in and let the child have his own way. This will be a major confidence builder. And when he sees you listen he will also make an attempt to be like you. And the next time when you talk he will listen.

No personal insults
Never ever belittle them, no one either young or old likes it. Do not attack them with your powerful weapon- harsh words in a loud voice.

Let your action plan be zeroing in on what is bothering the child. Find the means to get out of the problem, enlist the child's help in this endeavor. And most important figure out how to prevent similar situations in future and implement the method. The process may take time but then your children are worth it.


Mai Harinder Kaur

Oct 6, 2006
British Columbia, Canada
I'd like to know where this article came from. It has excellent advice. (Of course, my son was perfect:) and never, ever talked back winkingmunda.

Or did our good Aman Singh ji write this himself?

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

Shabad Artee appears on Ang 13 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The translation in blue font is by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa. Please see the vichaar of respected forum moderator findingmyway...

SPN on Facebook