Whatever. Don’t you just hate that term? It’s a child’s way of talking back without actually talking. That one word and an eye roll sends the message to parents or other adults loud and clear. Then there are those times when children want to argue and whine, about everything. About nothing. Use these tips to stop your child from taking back and getting on your last nerve.
Set clear rules about what is not acceptable. Each child and parent is different, so consider this carefully. If ‘whatever’ is not acceptable, state it clearly. If eye-rolls, muttering, condescending looks or tongues being stuck out get your goat, make it a clear rule that it is not acceptable behavior. Gather the family for a meeting, announce it to everyone at the same time and write the rules down and post them on the refrigerator for future reference (yes, your kids will try you and you will need the rules in black and white to prove you are right and they are wrong).
Breaking the rules must have consequences. Refuse to accept back talking and set clear consequences for unacceptable behavior. It usually only takes one day without an Ipod or cell phone to get your message across.
Talk it Out
Children lack the verbal skills to put their emotions into words, this is an ideal time to teach them how to verbally express themselves when they are frustrated or angry. When situations arise that normally would cause your child to talk back, like telling him it’s time for bed. Talk to him about what kind of behavior would earn him an extra 30 minutes of T.V or game time at night so he could stay up later. Listen to him and encourage him as he tries to verbalize his feelings. This is a skill that will serve him (or her) well throughout their lifetime.
Don’t Talk Back
When you’re teaching your child talking back is unacceptable, you can’t talk back to them or any adults in your life. Teach by example, don’t talk back. Model how to talk out a problem without being rude to the other person.
Establish a code with your kids for use when you are out in public or when their friends are around to let them know their behavior is unacceptable. For mine, I counted 1-2-3. 1 was the first warning, 2 was the second cautionary warning, 3 meant if the behavior was not stopped immediately consequences would swiftly follow when we got home. After the first time I got to the number 3 and doled out the consequences when we got home, I rarely ever reached the number 3 again.