Backtalk is Normal

Backtalk is developmentally normal. 🧠

We call it a lot of things…backtalk, pushback, being sassy, etc…

It doesn’t feel good in the moment…but it’s part of growing up.

Kids need space to find their voice and need to learn how to disagree if they don’t like what’s going on.

We want them to learn to stand up for themselves, and if they can’t stand up for themselves with us where will they?

It might come out all wrong…even rude. 😢 But that’s all part of the process of learning how to disagree appropriately.

We don’t want them to be a pushover. We don’t want them to blindly comply, with whatever their friends say.

So where better to practice than with us? 🧐

We really don’t want them trying to figure out how to disagree with other adults or at school…those adults might not give them the benefit of the doubt if their disagreement comes out wrong. We have to be the place where they learn to do this.

We can be a safe place for them to learn to 🧭 navigate this.

We can help them move through it and get it wrong.

We can let them practice with us and not take it personally ❤️❤️ when they backtalk or the way they disagree sounds a bit harsh, rude, or disrespectful. We can come with empathy and help them learn to disagree appropriately.

My oldest was 2 when he started pushing back. I was shocked, hurt, felt personally attacked. Didn’t he know I was his parent? I felt that role deserved respect. I made it all about me.

I was frustrated, 💔 hurt, overwhelmed, and upset. It really threw me off and I wasn’t sure how to handle it.

What I was totally missing at the time was this had nothing to do with me.

It had everything to do with him.

He wasn’t attacking me when he was back talking.

👉 He was learning how to have a little bit of say in his world.
👉 He was figuring out how to respond when things didn’t go his way.

But I didn’t recognize that. In those early days of being a mom, things were busy.

I had six kids in eight years.

We were all trying to cope with the changing dynamics of a growing family. I felt overwhelmed a lot of the time.

I wasn’t playing and connecting with the kids and it impacted everyone.

It’s easy to miss the clues and get confused about what’s going on with our kids.

During these initial years of parenting, instead of leaning in and connecting more with my kiddos, I resorted to timeouts, consequences, and ultimatums.

Later I realized a better way. 🙌 🙌

It helped me understand what was really going when they backtalked to me.

💥 They were just trying to navigate their world and speak up when things weren’t working for them.

My whole attitude changed.

I was able to start meeting them with compassion, curiosity, and empathy.

If I can do it so can you!! 😘😘

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Andee Martineau

Andee’s a mom of 6, reformed yeller, and the creator of Connect Method Parenting. She’s on a mission to help moms feel in control, bring the fun back into parenting, and ditch the yelling, corrections, and endless feelings of failure!

Can you imagine your kids happily listening to you, helping around the house, confiding in you, and getting along with their siblings? She’s got you covered with simple, scientifically-sound steps to do just that (that actually work. For real!)

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