When Our Babies Talk Back!
I grew up in an era where children were ‘seen but not heard’. More often than not, children did not talk back to an adult, especially if they were not being spoken to. Somehow, over the last two decades or so, things have certainly changed. Maybe it’s my memory, but these day kids talk back – they are defending themselves with words.
When this discussion comes up, I like to say that it is the food we ate while pregnant, or what kids are eating these days. Seriously, though, has anyone noticed that children seem to be much more outspoken with each passing year? My 5-year old son doesn’t just say, “Yes, Mom or No, Dad” like we used to when spoken to by our parents. He has to give a reason for everything, or defend his stance if he disagrees with something we say.
In fact, when reprimanded, one of his favorite responses these days is, “I’m not perfect.” When told that we are not expecting him to be perfect, but he needs to try and do better, he responds with, “But, I’m only a child.” I’m sure many parents of preschoolers and older kids can relate.
It takes patience and understanding to tackle these ready responses that our babies have. Sometimes, I find it hard to remember that I’m not dealing with a teenager, but a very young child. I’m sometimes stymied to find an appropriate response or punishment when faced with such philosophical answers, but I’m not complaining too much.
I like that children have their own personalities. Plus, there are far too many dangerous things out there. I strongly believe that an outspoken child is less likely to buckle under peer pressure as they grow.
While I allow self-expression, I underscore the importance of being polite and courteous. It can be frustrating dealing with a child that talks back, but I also like having a child who is not afraid to speak out.
So what do you do when your son or daughter talks back?