Is your child talking back? Here’s how to stop it

  • PublishedMarch 5, 2020

It may come as a shock when your child first talks back. As a parent, it’s important to remain calm and devise ways of nipping this behaviour in the bud before it becomes progressively worse. Some ways of stopping talking back include:



Punishments vary in different parts of the world. E.g. spanking may be illegal in one country but completely legal in another. Most African parents in particular administer reasonable physical punishments for their children. They go with a common saying; spare the rod, spoil the child.

You can also do time-out and deny children activities they do in their leisure time to instill in them the understanding that there are consequences for talking back.

Admonish bad behaviour

As soon as they talk back, call out that behaviour and admonish it. Do not let it slide or deal with it another time. If you deal with it as soon as it happens, they will stop with time.

Praise good behaviour

In equal measure, praise and encourage good behaviour when they do something right. Children love to be complemented and praised when they do something right and will continue doing it as long as they know it pleases their parents.

READ ALSO: Raising children to be successful adults

Monitor the company they hang out with

Study the kind of people the children hang out with and the content they watch online and on TV. It could be that their company uses foul words, language and even talk back to one another. Children are master imitators and will sub-consciously pick up most things they are exposed to.

Be a good example to them. Stop talking back at neighbours, your spouse or anyone else in their presence and they will be exposed to positive behaviour.

Respect them

Don’t punish them unnecessarily. Sometimes some parents have a bad day at work and come to the house in a bad mood. When the kids do anything, they are meted with punishments. This will make them feel as if they are being punished for anything and everything. Apart from fear, they may also start to resent the parent.

Establish rules

Make it known that certain behaviours in the household are wrong and if done, one will suffer the consequences. Once the rules have been established, children tend to avoid all forms of punishment and will most likely avoid talking back as well.

Find out underlying issues

Could your child be frustrated, angry or resentful? Some children could be acting out because they they are frustrated at school or are being bullied. Before administering any punishment, find out if there is an underlying issue that is causing your child to talk back.


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