16 answers

Help with 5 Year Old Talking Back to Teacher & Parents

My 5 year old daughter talks back whenever she doesn't get her way or gets an answer she doesn't like. Time outs don't seem to help. How do I get her to stop making ugly faces and back talking, this happens several times during the day every day.

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Featured Answers

In my work as a therapist, I talk to children about "The Magic Three": Good faces, good voices and good words. I tell them they can say anything to their teachers/parents if they use the magic three. I also practice with them saying things with different words, faces, and tone of voice to help them realize the difference. Maybe after talking with her about the Magic Three, you can stop her the next time she talks back and ask her to say it again with good faces, voices and words. Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful

I would look at other options of punishment. Take things away from her that means something - a toy, a playdate, an outing that she is looking forward to, etc.

Good luck with this.....

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

L.,
This is a very normal problem but thank goodness you realize it is a problem. Have the talk about it and say that while her anger or unhappiness is OK, we all are not happy when told something we do not like her reaction to it is not acceptable.
Hopefully she is not hearing others in the family snipe at each other or be sarcastic. We always have to look at ourselves whenever a behavior shows up.
Tell her she can go in her room and be mad and write or draw about it but it is not OK to make faces or be rude to any adult or even other children. Tell her that she can use her words to you to express what she does not like.

"Mom I really wanted to do that and it makes me upset when you say no." Then you can emphathize with her while remaining firm.
Then think of a consequence that does work. Time out works if you are truely extinguishing all attention. If they have to go away from you and are not receiving any attention good or bad it will work, but also taking away something she likes like a tv show or movie or something she wants to do like play with somebody.
"No I am sorry but you were rude and disrespectful and you can not do this because of it." Especially if you get any word that she did this at school.
This resurfaces around the adolescent years and is really ugly then and I stopped all of it that way.
"You will not be going to the mall or to that party because of the way you were disrespectful to me." Then you do not show any emotion to their meltdown except empathy.
"I know it IS really sad that you can not learn to control your rudeness. I would have been glad for you to go to the mall with your friends, but I love you too much to allow you to act that way. It is so unattractive."
OMGosh it so works.
Be calm and firm as a rock. Good LUck

3 moms found this helpful

I have twin 5 year old daughters so I know how infuriating that behavior can be. In those instances, it is very hard for me to remain calm and be the parent I want to be.

Personally, I don't think punishment ever truly works long term except to create people sneakier or angrier people. My goal is to teach long-term self-discipline and have my children treat themselves and others with respect. If it were me, I'd try to talk to her at a time when you're both calm and content (lying in bed at night tends to work well at our house). I'd explain that you feel concerned about her talking back and making faces and that it seems disrespectful and is not acceptable behavior. Then, I'd give her the floor and try to let her explain how she's feeling when this happens and then brainstorm some ideas about what she might do in the future to express her frustration, anger, etc in a way that is more acceptable to both of you and is respectful of you. For example, we had several instances where we'd ask one of our girls to do something and they'd say "No" or "Why do I have to do that?" We discussed it and decided that when asked to do something they really didn't want to do, it was not acceptable to just say "No", but it was acceptable to say, "Mom, I really don't want to do that, can we discuss it?" and then we'd come to a compromise about doing it later or me helping or whatever. And, sometimes, the answer was that they just had to suck it up and do it. This style takes more time initially, but has made things more peaceful long-term and fostered the type of decision making and conflict-resolution that I'd like my children to use in their lives.

Also, we have had some success with a slightly different type of time-out which is more like a sports time-out than a punishment. We use it as a chance to stop, calm down, and re-evaluate what is going on. So, if my daughter was starting to talk back, I'd try to say as calmly possible, "I can see that you are frustrated or angry and want to express that. But, it is not acceptable to be disrespectful to me. Let's take a break and take some deep breaths and then talk about this again"

2 moms found this helpful

The talk back beast rears its ugly head every once and again in our home, and right now our 11 year old is struggling with this. Be prepared for it to come back later even if you deal with this now...but don't be afraid to work on this. One of the tools www.nogreaterjoy employs for something like this is a video camera. Catch them on tape being ugly and let them know what it looks like...chances are when they see the camera they're behavior will change...no one wants to see just how ugly they are being...or maybe a mirror.

I've started assessing fines and yes there is always the magic wand applied at the first sign of complaint over what is being asked...don't wait for things to escalate into an angry battle... Definitely punish the behavior she's already exhibited.

At school (or home too) you can use a penny jar (full) Whenever, the whining and complaining begins take a penny out everytime (have teacher do this too) at the end of the week (or time agreed) give child rest of the pennies (you can use 100 so that its easy to pay in the end)

Remember this is an area of training, our first step is to get their attention and then fill them with how they are supposed to act when parents and teachers ask something of us.

Watch Shirley Temple movies like the one with with the airplane scene where she sings "On the Good Ship Lolly Pop" and the other little girl is a real brat and breaks her doll.

There are some great verses in Proverbs like: "He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend." Proverbs 22:11

Dress her up like princess and have dad be her King for the day, teach her how to respond to requests and instruction in a gracious manner as a princess. Make it imaginative and fun. Remember: "The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value." Proverbs 10:20

At the end of your day you could give your little girl a charm bracelet with a little silver heart to remind her of the that her words should be "choice silver" and remind her that you expect her not to mouth off to you or her teachers

Your girl's 5, help her see what goodness looks like rather than just consequences and expectations.

We talk with our 11 year old on the decision she can make to add sunshine to our home, and work with her on her sour attitude towards school (also at home) This year I'm adding an hour of art to her schedule in the morning before she does anything, in an attempt to fill her cup so she will desire to serve instead of feeling like she's alway's being put upon to do what we want her to do. We want her to obey out of a spirit of love and respect, how we get there is a journey of the heart.

2 moms found this helpful

In my work as a therapist, I talk to children about "The Magic Three": Good faces, good voices and good words. I tell them they can say anything to their teachers/parents if they use the magic three. I also practice with them saying things with different words, faces, and tone of voice to help them realize the difference. Maybe after talking with her about the Magic Three, you can stop her the next time she talks back and ask her to say it again with good faces, voices and words. Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful

Have you tried "sassy spray"??? Either lemon juice diluted with water or vinegar and water in a small spray bottle. You can even make a funny little label for the spray bottle.
I know mom(also a teacher) who found this HIGHLY effective. The mere reminder was enough.... Neither item will hurt your child and the spray tastes terrible.

1 mom found this helpful

A 5 year old needs immediate consequenses. When my daughter would do this I would immediately say that I could not talk to her because her rudeness was hurting my feelings. After that initial comment I would not say another word for at least 10 minutes or so. Totally ignoring her behavior and not even looking in her direction. If we were at home I would go into another room and explain to her that I needed some space because her behavior was upsetting me. It worked wonderfully. She learned very quickly that I would not engage in any discussion with her when she was disrespectful. Also, this helps to eliminate the chance or getting involved in a back and forth power struggle. The most important thing is to stay calm and in control because if you lose it then you are reinforcing the disrespectful behavior.

1 mom found this helpful

You MUST stop it now. Sit down when it's not part of the confrontation and talk to her about the behavior and tell her it's not acceptable. That you understand her feelings, but sometimes life isn't fair, it's not always about her and that when you or any other adult tells her something, she needs to obey without the drama and back talk. That that kind of behavior is disrespectful and there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. Tell her what they are, or better yet, have her make suggestions as to what should happen - write it down. She's probably not reading yet - make a picture. When she goes off, don't say anything, just point to the picture and FOLLOW THRU. Tell her that you'll be speaking with her teacher and that you'll be making it clear that you expect the teacher to contact you if she acts that way at school and that the teacher may punish her there, but she'll also have to deal with the consequence once she arrives home too. It will be HER choice. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

I would look at other options of punishment. Take things away from her that means something - a toy, a playdate, an outing that she is looking forward to, etc.

Good luck with this.....

1 mom found this helpful

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