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Behavior Makeover: Talking Back

Generally, our eight year old is kind-hearted and cooperative. Lately, he has become mouthy and defiant. He says those little smart comments that kids usually reserve for each other to my husband and me, like "You aren't my boss," "You are so stupid," and "You don't know anything." The talking back is driving us nuts! HELP!

– Nancy, a mother of two from Tulsa, Oklahoma

You politely say to your child, "Jane, I want you home by three." And your sweet little darling in a sassy tone retorts, "Yeah, right."
You calmly ask your kid, "Can you please take out the garbage?" And your prized offspring snarls, "Take it out yourself!"

Back talk and sass are on the rise, and these behaviors seem to bug every adult. The behavior usually starts at about five years of age. If you allow back talk to continue, negative results can spread like wildfire. Believe me, no teacher, coach, scout leader, or other child's parent appreciates a disrespectful kid. Luckily, disrespectful behaviors such as whining, back talk, and sassiness are some of the easiest inappropriate behaviors to get rid of.



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From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.


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