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My 9 yr old won't stop talking back - Please help!
March 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM

New here. I am a very proud single mom to a wonderful 9 year old boy. He is a GREAT kid! Lot's of fun and personality. He's healthy, he does very well in school, and he is generally happy and almost always well behaved. Typical kid that LOVES sports and his friends. I am very blessed and grateful. He's an only child and we are very close. 

My only real problem with him is his mouth. He talks back constantly. He doesn't scream or have tantrums, and he doesn't usually say things that are disrespectful. However, I think it's disrespectful that he argues and whines when I ask him to do things. He ALWAYS has something to say and it drives me crazy!!  I rarely can ask him to do anything without it turning into a 5 or 10 minute conversation. I've tried everything I could think of. I have taken allowance away until further notice. I try not to yell, but usually end up yelling for him to be quiet. I take away TV sometimes.  But these are only short term solutions. I have told him to stop talking back a MILLION times, but even if he stops for a day or two, he goes right back to arguing. 

Should I just walk away and let him have the last word and ignore it like some 'experts' suggest? I am just afraid that if I do that, I am sending a message that it's okay to argue and talk back because Mommy will just back down. Any advice would be very appreciated. I will not smack him or hit him, so that isn't an option for me. Thanks!


  • LindaClement
    March 29, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    I think you can be bigger and more mature than your 9yo.

    It's far more helpful to acknowledge his feelings (with a more-mature model of communication, including respect) than it is to try to suppress them. Something like: 

    'You're feeling frustrated because this isn't what you wanted... that's understandable.'

    Consider what it is you're asking him to do, and how respectful you are in the moment: are you interrupting him? Are you barking orders? Are you asking questions when you mean to be giving direction? Is he allowed to do what you ask him to do in his own way, in his own time, or is immediate obedience the only choice he's allowed to make?

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