How to Deal with Sassy Kids

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Discipline Strategies

Most kids demonstrate disrespectful behaviour from time to time and think they can get away with it. But, if not checked in time, mouthy behaviour can soon spiral out of control to the point that kids start to misbehave all the time. Here are some tips for dealing with sassy kids.

Don't Argue

If your child can see that talking back to you annoys you, your child will know just how to push your buttons. If you respond aggressively, you’re only encouraging obnoxious behaviour.  Instead, remain calm and patient. If you don’t, you’re showing your child that aggression is an acceptable response.

Teach Respect

Be deliberate about teaching your kids to respect others. The best way is to lead by example. Talk courteously with others in the presence of your child and don’t be sarcastic, even in good humour. When interacting with your child, listen carefully and treat your child with respect. Show your child how to speak courteously to others.
Look for Reasons
Sassy behaviour can be triggered by deeper causes that your child is not talking to you about. It is important to get to the root of the issue. 

Explain Carefully

Tell your child that disrespectful behaviour hurts other people and explain the Golden Rule: treat others as you’d want to be treated. Be rational in explaining your feelings and make it clear that rude behaviour is unacceptable.

Implement Rewards and Punishment

It is perfectly acceptable to punish children for sassy behaviour. Take away privileges such as video games, cellphones, computers, sleepovers, and hanging out with friends for a specific period of time. You can also offer positive reinforcements (ice cream, candy, little gifts) when your child behaves exceptionally well. Be consistent as well; discipline your child every time bad behaviour is demonstrated, not just sometimes.
Hold a United Front

Often, kids will try to play one parent against the other in an attempt to get out of trouble for being mouthy. Don’t let this happen. Discuss punishments with your partner so that each of you enforces the same consequences for bad behaviour.

Establish Family Rules

It is good to have a family code of conduct with rules such as ‘no name calling’, ‘no bullying’, ‘no tantrums’, ‘no sarcasm’ and so on. 

It is unpleasant when your sweet child suddenly starts talking back to you. But remember that this is a normal phase that almost all kids go through, so it is crucial to remain patient and be consistent. Do not tolerate impolite behaviour from your child even if it means being the ‘bad guy’ sometimes. In the long run, you’re doing your kid a favour.

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