A 4 year olds back talk

Laura - posted on 03/23/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




My daughter just turned 4 and is gets to be really mouthy and argues with me already. Grant it I was that way as a kid, but not this young. She's not out of control or anything, but she is crazy smart and leaves me speechless sometimes. I don't want it to get out of hand, but I still want her to express herself, just to do so with respect. Any suggestions?


Gwen - posted on 03/24/2011




I tell my daughter "You are not allowed to talk to Mommy like that. I am the mommy and I am the boss." I try to give her choices and allow her to feel "in control" when it's appropriate, but I will not allow her to grow into a child/teen/adult who treats authority figures disrespectfully.

Jenn - posted on 03/24/2011




Personally, I have little tolerance for kids who talk back or are generally disrespectful. With my son, I use a firm tone of voice and tell him that he is to speak to me with respect, just as I do to him and ask him to apologize, and if he does it again he will have a time-out. He hasn't had to go to time-out in quite some time now, and the back talk is to a minimum.

Amber - posted on 03/23/2011




Whenever my son, who is also 4, starts getting an attitude I ask him what the problem is.

I try to get down on his level and say, "Honey, why are you so angry?" I generally get an answer from him because I've asked him.

For example:

A few days ago, I told him to get his shoes on. He wanted to wear his snow boots instead and I said not today.

He went stomping down the hallway. I called him back and asked him why he was stomping and said he looked angry.

He said, "I am because you won't let me wear my snow boots."

Then I explained to him that it was a warm day (70 degrees) and that his feet would be sweaty and uncomfortable all day if he did.

Because I got him talking to me and was able to explain why it wasn't a good idea, he wasn't upset anymore and put on his regular shoes.

And now he's been asking me what kind of shoes are good to wear in the mornings instead of fighting me on it.


View replies by

Louise - posted on 03/24/2011




Just explain to her that you like to know what she thinks about things but she has to be polite as well. if she is getting to much then just firmly say please sit over there and think about what you are saying to mummy. Think about things and then come and tell me what you think. If she has time to rephrase things and really consider what she is saying then things will not just come tumbling out of her mouth and be hurtful.

If she is just arguing with you when you have already said no then again change the tone of your voice and say "I have said no and that is it" and walk away. The tone change in your voice should be enough for her to sence that you are serious.

Iridescent - posted on 03/23/2011




I'm sure I'm not the best parent out there, but for the most part we enjoy it. We can turn and smart off right back to them, and I have to say I really love the personalities each of my kids has developed from that. We also teach them who it is not appropriate to speak that way to, and discipline accordingly (time-out honestly is enough for them a lot of the time, or taking away games or tv for our older ones), and when they cross the line, our smile goes away, we tell them that is not appropriate, and leave it at that. If it happens again (or if it was really way too far the first time), they are disciplined. It's pretty rare they mouth off too much though, because we all do enjoy the banter.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms