Today's little blog came from a mummy of a nearly 3 year old who was constantly saying NO in a very loud voice. I felt it needed a share as I'm sure this is not the only toddler who back chats!
Back chat, talking back and conflict are your toddler’s way of establishing independence and ‘control’.Sometimes they are unsure as to where the boundaries are and they are testing them out by testing you! And I'm sure it feels like it at times.
Parental disharmony and the good cop, bad cop, that often occurs can add fuel to this. It’s important to try and get unity between yourself as parents to try and resolve some of these issues.
Back chat feels challenging and it can test even the most patient of parents. It often gets worse at the end of a long day and around mealtimes and bedtimes.
It’s often not the opinion we take a dislike to, it’s the way it is said and the attitude that comes with it!
So what can you do to manage it?Stay calm, count to ten.
If you need a bit of space, tell your toddler you’re going to sit down for a moment and think about what he/she has said. That buys you thinking time. It also gets them off guard. They’re used to a quick response.
When they say ‘no’ our usual response is ‘Because I say so!”
Try to claim and own the feeling that your toddler brings out in you. So by saying, ‘When you say no I feel sad. It makes me feel that you don’t like mummy’.
Own and identify the problem, call it as it is
Look your child straight in the eye and holding their shoulders say ‘That is back chat and not a proper way of telling me what you think’.
‘What I want to hear is you using your manners properly and asking me...(for more time in the bath, more time for the park etc.)
Look out for bad influences. Where is the back chat coming from? Is it from playmates, older siblings, childcare or TV.
Do not get involved in an argument or a discussion.
Don’t ignore back chat. That makes the child think it's OK. We have to respond to it every time it occurs.
Try and keep calm and don’t shout or slap your child. That teaches them that violence is OK and you’ve lost control. What it also does is praise the back chat in a negative way and the way we respond badly to negative behaviours is 10 times more powerful than a single occasion of praise for a positive behaviour.
Getting caught up into the backchat empowers the child and then it’s child = 1 versus parent = 0.
If the child insists on saying no and back chatting then go into either quiet time or time out, depending on how bad the situation is. This allows you both time to calm down.
The first good thing that your child does after that you need to praise. It’ll encourage most positive behaviours to occur in future.
By sticking to these pointers back chat will be vastly reduced. Remember it’s just a phase and by managing it correctly it’ll disappear just like the rest of those irritating toddler behaviours!