5 Y/o = Back Talk. AUGH!!!!

Updated on November 30, 2010
N.L. asks from Laguna Niguel, CA
11 answers

Hi all, I wrote in a couple of weeks ago about my son throwing tantrums and I took the advice I received on here and it worked GREAT!!!

Now I have a new problem with him. He talks back A LOT. Here is an example – yesterday he went to the backyard, brought his ball in the house, went up the stairs and threw the ball downstairs from our balcony. The ball bounced and almost hit a vase. He knows the rule is no bouncing his big balls in the house especially not down to the second floor and he has never done it before. I took the ball and told him to take his ball outside and if he did that again I would take his ball away! He in turn said to me in a very sassy matter of fact tone that he would just go get it while crossing his arms. Staying very calm, I told him if he talked back to me again I would just throw it away he said again in a sassy matter of fact tone that he would just reach in the trash and get it or he would just ask Daddy to buy him a new one = HUMPH!

OMG! I was stunned and speechless. What happened to my sweet kid?? LOL!

O.K. so I conquered the tantrums, and figured out what to do. I essentially went from giving him a 10 minute warning to go inside after playing to 20 minutes, per his request. I had several moms on here suggest that, and it worked wonders. Now this? His back talking sassy attitude has been getting worse and now its everyday, going on for about a week now.

Seriously, I have one problem at a time with my DS but this new one has me feeling like I went wrong somewhere! I think it’s his sassy attitude more so then what his responses have been.

How do you handle back talk?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Williamsport on

My kids would never try that. Out of respect as well as knowing they would not get away with getting a full sentence like that out. They could see it all day long in shows or hear other kids do it. They still know better.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Austin on

Yay! took care of the Tantrums!

With back talk , whining and sass talk, use this.

Back talk.
"I think you need to stop and use new words about your frustration."
"You need to go to your room and look for a better attitude."
Or "If you want to stick with what you just said, you can go to time out."
"We do not speak with each other like that."
"You may now go immediately to time out."

"I need you to use your regular words."
" I do not understand you when you whine"
"Go to your room and find your regular voice."

Sass talk
"In our family , we speak with respect to each other."
"I can tell you are upset, frustrated, angry (pick one), but you may not speak to me in that tone ever again."

Also if you make a threat and it needs to be followed through.. by all means follow through and make sure your husband does too..

I am sending you strength.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

This is nothing. Don't overreact, you haven't done anything wrong or lost your sweet son.

Just cross your arms back at him and say, "Oh you will, will you?? I don't think so." And leave it at that.

This is normal 5 year old behavior, just calmly and subtly remind him who's in charge. I don't think you need punishment for a little sassy backtalk.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Yep, they do this about this age... from about 4 years old and up.
My son is 4... and he has been in this 'phase' since he turned 4 years old. He was previously... such an Angel with a mouth of sweet honey. And he can now.... debate like an Attorney... just like your son and back-talks and can be very....sassy.

Next, will be them doing this talking back as a Tween and Teen.
So this is a 'window' into what it will be like later... maybe.

Nip it in the bud.

Next, the book "Have A New Kid By Friday" by Leman, has great tips. Not derogatory. Practical applicable tips... for engaging the child in respectful.... behavior and reactions.

For me... I don't debate or negotiate with my kids... when they are back talking or acting like that. I just say NO... and then walk away. They may protest or scream/tantrum... but I hold my ground. I say NO... that they are being disrespectful... to their MOMMY.... and I will not put up with it. I tell them I can either be "nice" or "mean and strict" and it is THEIR choice. Then I walk away. They get the point.

Oh, once my son wanted chocolate. I said, sure you had a nice lunch and ate well, you can have 1 piece only. He understood. He said okay. He ate the chocolate. Then he wanted another one and brought me the box. I said NO. He then started to argue about it quite madly... I told him I said only 1 piece and that's all... and he understood. But now, he is having a tantrum about it. So I told him, if he does not stop I will throw it away. He didn't believe me and kept arguing about it and getting so sassy about it. So, I got the box, and then threw it away... right there. He was aghast... he did not believe I would do it. But I did. It stopped him right in his tracks. I then explained, that now... no one... can eat chocolate.... not even me... and that was unfortunate... but that screaming at me for a treat... is not going to work.

all the best,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Another good tool you may want to check out is: "1-2-3 Magic!"

It is a quick read, but SO worth it. After having read the book, you might find your response to that would be: "That's 1." It's much easier than "debating" with your child, lol.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

he does not beleive your threat. Is the ball in the trash??? Will dad not back you up??? We go to disneyland all the time and my kids threw a tantrum right after we got there. We turned right around and took them home. Never have we had a problem with them again like that because they believe what we say will happen. Your husband needs to have your back and your son will know you are serious.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I like what Laurie said! I would also add that we very carefully monitor the TV, videos, etc....that our kids watch, and have watched for 19 years. Think about what he says. Does it mimic anything he watches on TV?
There is so much back talk and down right RUDE conversation that occurs on TV & that effect very much is impressed on our kids. It doesn't help that the laugh tracks are used on shows that "teach" our kids that speech like that is funny and will get you laughs.
We screen what they watch. We let them watch only a little and we often try to watch with them. When we hear the back talk and the attitude, we pause the show and dicuss it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would have plunked his butt in Time out... And he would have sat there the whole 5 minutes.
What is his currency? Does he love TV? Take it away. Does he love video games? Those go away with the TV.
You need to nip it now, because as bad as it is now, when he's 15, it will be worse.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My first thought is, I sure hope you threw that ball away... an empty threat makes bad behavior worse! I would probably put a "time out bin" in the garage - where his toys go for a "time out" whenever he sasses. This way you aren't tossing toys in the trash all the time. Then he has to earn them back from time out... and if things get really bad you could start donating toys from time out to Goodwill or something. I have a daughter who is strong willed and difficult - she HATED to be alone so I would send her to her room... but with another of my daughters she LOVES alone time so I'd make her sit by me... you just have to find out what the premium is for each child as an individual.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Teach him how to speak to you with respect. let him know that if he doesn't treat you with respect then he will have two punishments. Immediate time out for 5 minutes and ground him from TV or video games or whatever for a couple of days. Treat this like any other thing that needs discipline action. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If he knows the rule is no bouncing big balls in the house then I would have put him on time out right away for doing it. And I would have walked away and ignored the sass. You say you told him to take his ball and go outside and if he did it again you would take his ball away. If he knows the rule, why give him a warning and a second chance? He purposefully did something he knows he's not supposed to do - you should have given him an immediate consequence. Ignore and don't engage in the backtalk, just put him on time-out and walk away. He can get off time-out in 5 minutes if he's acting appropriately, if he's not then he stays on time out until he is. Engaging with him when he's backtalking just invites a power struggle. Show him his backtalk has no impact and he'll be less inclined to resort to that tactic.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions