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Responding to rude preteens

Being rude to Mom and Dad may be common preteen behavior, but you don't have to tolerate it. Here's how to respond:

[BOLD {"I'm sorry, did you say something? I thought I heard you speak rudely."}] Give your child a chance to correct himself.

[BOLD {"That's back talk, and it's unacceptable. Come get me when you're ready to talk politely."}] Instead of saying something vague like "Watch your mouth," point out the problem and then walk away to make it clear that you won't respond to rude language.

[BOLD {"Are you trying to say that I'm being unfair? Can we discuss this rationally?"}] Sometimes kids talk back because they don't know how to vent in an appropriate way, so help your child learn to discuss his feelings calmly.