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Reality Check: Child Talks Back

Q. Whenever my husband and I correct our kindergartner, she talks back to us. I think she should respect our input, but he says it's no big deal. Who's right?

Kids often save their most ridiculous, irrational behavior for the ones they love the most: their parents. But your daughter shouldn't disrespect you when you've pointed out her pitfalls. Don't get angry when she does -- get quiet. With as little emotion as possible, let her know that you understand she's frustrated but she still has to treat you with respect. When she's calm, the two of you can talk about how to fix what's wrong. Make sure your husband is on the same page, too; if he ignores her outbursts or appeases her, she'll never take his discipline seriously.

It's also good to keep in mind that she's dealing with new authority figures other than you at this age, like teachers. She's being told how to hold her pencil, how to stand in line -- it's a lot for anyone, kid or adult. So don't be surprised if she's grumbling; she knows she's safe showing you her true emotions.

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