"Disrespectful" talk

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Since I have been coming to this forum, I have seen that other parents have to deal with very grave situations indeed. I sometimes feel that what I have to deal with in my son is lightweight by comparison... but it doesn't matter. Each person faces what they have to face. Most parents of "normal" children think that I have a difficult job on my hands...
    What I have discovered about my little boy is that he WILL listen and be co-operative if I approach him in the right way. As I have said a few times, things are easier now than they were some weeks or months back. However, something that does continue and which does concern me is what I think you call in the States "backchat". Not really so much because he offends me but because I know it will not stand J in good stead in the world, that it is not good to speak to people as though you do not respect them... I have begun to be severe with him when he does this, telling him that he is not to speak to grown-ups like this (in a severe tone of voice). I do find it annoying though, and inappropriate in a four year old. Even if sometimes I secretly agree with him... eg he is itching a lot at the moment because of some allergic reaction and this morning I told him not to itch his foot, as he was. He immediately countered with "No, Mummy, it's not your foot, it's my foot, and I want to itch it!" - which actually I think is fair enough...
    Anyway, if anyone has suggestions or thoughts about this backchat or how to deal with it, I would be grateful... It is a small thing, comparatively, and yet my sense is that oaks grow from little acorns...
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    for something like your example, I would probably laugh :) Seriously, I would not consider that back talk. I would just have let it go. No child says "yes" all the time unless he is a robot.

    Now if he's swearing at you and hitting you, that's different. But this...I actually laughed when I read it. There are bigger battles to fight in my opinion. I have two older daughters who speak their minds and do quite well in the world. I kind of admire them for being outspoken. Then, again, I can be too. I don't mind if my kids disagree with me...your son in my opinion did not do anything wrong. He isn't always going to say, "Yes, ma'am." He's a child, after all! :) My kids have always been encouraged to speak their minds. It has bode well for both of them.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I agree, MWM. The example I gave makes me laugh too. Basically, it isn't a good example of what I mean! It is things like, if I say, for example "Please be quiet, J" - for some reason, in some situation where he needs to be quiet, he might say, "No, YOU be quiet", which just feels kind of rude... This kind of thing.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Malika, if you figure this one out, you'll become a millionaire! :groan: This is a complaint that parents have had since the beginning of time!

    A lot of our kids seem to view everyone as an equal - there is no serious "differentiation" from adults to children, laymen to religious figures, teachers to students, etc. Each person is simply that - a person. Therefore they don't feel a real "need" to speak to them differently - everyone is simply a person.

    I would suggest trying (and I don't know that it would work) to say something along the lines of "when you use that tone of voice with me, it makes me feel angry inside" or "when you speak to me like that, it makes me feel embarrassed" etc. It might make him see that you have feelings like he does.

    It's worth a shot!

  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh dear, Beth, I was hoping someone here would provide the millionaire-dollar solution :)
    Because my son is only four, and very cute-looking, at the moment this kind of inappropriate talk - I would include in it the way he greets people he knows in the street with salutations like "Hey, Monsieur Saucisse!", which is impossible to translate but is kind of puzzlingly cheeky if not exactly rude - is dismissed with a smile... but soon it will not be. This is my concern. I think you are right - there is a sense in which he does not differentiate between people, does not respect them JUST because they are adults. I want to explain to him that these things are socially inappropriate, for his own sake, more than I am bothered myself by the backchat, though like I say I do find it irritating...
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika, if it makes your feel any better to have company, my younger daughter (age 14) is like that. If a person (adult or child) does not earn her respect she can be borderline disrespectful. She is NOT a behavior problem however she has butt heads with some teachers. One teacher, who she feels picks on her unfairly, once told her to go to the office and she said, (I'm blushing here) "No. I didn't do what you said I did so I'm not going to the office." The flustered teacher said, "Do you want me to call your mom?" My daughter had her cell phone with her. You can carry it in school as long as you don't use it. She pulled it out of her pocket and said, "Do you want me to call her for you?" I about died when she told me this story.

    Because I tend to stick up for my children, the teacher did NOT want to really call me...lol...and the matter was dropped. But I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In general, she is a very good child who has never been in trouble in her life and shuns a lot of teenage temptations. But she DOES have a big mouth at times :) If you find that million dollar answer, please pass it along...lol!
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I guess knowing how and where one can be forthright in speech is a skill and like all skills is not easy to acquire or master if one does not have natural access to it... I would like my son to learn some of the fine shades of how to communicate with people; he may have a problem with this because of whatever is happening in his brain, or his temperament, but I feel sure he can learn because he is also very sensitive and responsive... Work with what you have!
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Malika, one thing you might could look into if they have it in your area is something like a "table manners" class that's geared for kids his age. Might not help, but it sure wouldn't hurt.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Mallika, my daughter knows, but it's the way she is. She will also walk up to a group of kids who are picking on another one and blast them until they stop. I don't consider it a BAD thing, as long as she doesn't harm anyone or swear. Some of your son's spirit could be just his personality. Now I don't know if your country is different from ours in the way that we expect all k ids to be different. Some are quiet, some are shy to tears, some are outspoken (like my two girls), some are outright disruptive (THIS is not accepted), but most shades in between are accepted here as just personal differences. The school principal LOVES my daughter and admires her compassion and her bravery (she will speak up when nobody else will). However...it could be different in France, and that would make it a problem. Hub and I have always encouraged our kids to speak their minds as long as they don't hurl insults. That is how I am as well. And my parents before me.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, I wasn't referring to your daughter MWM but was kind of continuing on from my previous thoughts in a rather tangential way! Your daughter sounds great - and speaking out when you see some injustice is something I have always held is an important value and practice. I was really just saying that my son at the moment is not really practising any finetuning of social relationship - generally speaking he relates to most people in the same boisterous, lively, energetic way that some people find fun and delightful (mainly little boys like him :) but more find too much and a little invasive. This seems to me linked in some way with the lack of "respectfulness" sometimes in speaking to adults... a lack of responsiveness to what is going on for the other person. This is probably a lifelong learning...
    As for table manners classes - I have never heard of these! Do tell more...
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You'd have to see if they offer any in your area. There's also lesson plans for it available online if his teacher is willing to do it as a class lesson.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It's something that doesn't exist in France - I think the daily shared meal at lunch would be the equivalent table manners lesson :) And even if I translated a lesson plan into French, it would take a stronger soul than I to take it in to the school and ask the "maitresse" to please use it!! What she teaches is her territory... she would not take kindly to anyone trying to encroach on it! But they sound a great idea...
  13. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    I am struggling with the same thing. Its not the actual comments themselves that bug me but the constant disrespect and back talking that comes with it that drives me nuts.

    One thing I have the hardest time with is when he's in trouble. "son, you can't tell someone to move their big butt, that hurts feelings, next time say "please move"" to which he responds with "Well YOU hurt MY feelings" (for correcting him) I mean EVERY fricking thing he has a snotty comeback to. "Son, I know you're upset but how about you take a break" "NO YOU TAKE A BREAK" Its so tiring!

    "son its time to put your shoes on" "It is NOT time to put my shoes on" (when the schedule we follow every day clearly shows that yes, its time to put shoes on)

    "son, its time to get in the car for school" "it is not time to get in the car" UGH!

    Sorry, not trying to overtake the thread, just venting with you :)
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OR... there can be some history going on that you don't know about. Our difficult child became very disrespectful, starting about Grade 2. First, to teachers, then at home. Peeling back the layers in the last 3 years (now in grade 9) - turns out that, in spite of mostly good intentions, he really was NOT treated with respect at school. So, he started fighting back, his own way.

    Like... he'd say he couldn't do something (write, for example), and the teacher always told him, "oh yes you can, you just need more practice", or "try this kind of pencil" or... so, he's not believed.

    Or, he'd say he was tired, and it was always taken as a cop-out - trying to get out of work.

    But he was right, and they were wrong. Like, probably at least 75% of the time. So, respect goes out the window real fast.

    Because WE couldn't fix the problems at school (they didn't believe us either), he lost respect for us. First in language, then in defiance, then in bigger issues.

    We're starting to make progress now - first, had to figure out what he was dealing with, then find some professional out there who supports our understanding and who can shake up the rest of the world. Shake-up still coming, but some improvements in respect levels just from difficult child understanding himself better!

    Just an idea...