Q: My child is beginning to talk back and be sassy.

I know that is how her friends talk and she thinks it is OK. How do I deal with this? Why is she talking this way?


A: Kids begin to pick up on their friends’ behavior and they “try it out” at home. The most important thing you can do is stop is as soon as it starts. Here are some tips to help you with this:

  • Talk to your child about the way you expect her to communicate at home.
    Be specific: rolling of your eyes, using a sassy tone, saying “whatever,” not answering
  • Share with your child what will happen if she talks inappropriately to you.
    “Each time you do this, you will go immediately to your room until I decide you can come out. There will be no warning.” “Every time you talk back to me you will lose 10 minutes of your computer time.”
  • Follow through. Each time your child does the behavior follow through on the consequence. No warning or lecture is needed because she knows what she did was wrong.
  • Model. It is important for your child to see you communicating with respect to your friends, family members and people in the community. She may copy other children at school, but you have the biggest impact on her.