Consequences for talking back are not always easy to find, and they can vary wildly from family to family.
But we have put together some consequences that parents can use as a starting point when looking for ways to talk with their child about “talking back.” Keep in mind these are only suggestions. If you do need help coming up with consequences of your own, then check out the Positive Discipline website for some more ideas!
And after reading this list, if you’re still wondering how to discipline a child when they talk back – fear not! We’ll cover that in just a second.
Now that you know about the possible consequences of talking back, let’s see how to have an effective discipline conversation with your child.
First, try to talk about why the behavior is wrong and how it makes you feel. Then ask your child what s/he thinks will help stop this behavior. Lastly, decide together which consequence will be most effective for this specific situation or pattern of behavior.
Consequences for Talking Back: How to Practice Positive Discipline at Home
- Time-out – This one is a great option because it allows your child some time for personal reflection on his/her behavior.
Start with just one minute per year of age, and only increasing the time if he/she talks or leaves the time-out spot. Make sure you use a quiet spot that’s free of distractions.
- Take away a privilege – This could be a favorite toy, movie, activity or even a snack! Removing something your child values helps deter unwanted behavior because it teaches that there are consequences to actions.
- Remove them from an activity – Just like taking away something your child enjoys can help teach appropriate behavior, removing them from what they don’t enjoy can also be beneficial for teaching discipline from an early age.
Maybe you have a family activity that your child really doesn’t like, and if so, then don’t force him/her to participate in it when s/he’s misbehaving.
- Help your child develop a solution – This is key for helping them learn how to problem-solve on their own. If the consequence is that their door gets taken off of their bedroom for the day (a good consequence for taking something from a sibling), then ask them how they think they can prevent this type of behavior from happening again.
This gives them a say in the consequence and teaches them how to be more responsible next time.
- Explain what you’ve done – This is a great way to help your child understand what happened.
For example, “I took away your computer for the day because you were upset.” Or maybe “I’m sorry that you had to leave the game, I wanted to let you finish first and I shouldn’t have gotten angry with you.” These sentences are easy to understand because they explain why s/he was punished… and therefore why it is wrong!
- Be specific – This means that when giving a consequence, include details about what happened. You can even include how it made you feel or how it affected everyone involved.
- Plan ahead – This is a must if you’re using this consequence often. Think about the next time your child talks back and come up with a consequence before they talk again.
- Teach them how to stop – Asking them to stop doing something will help teach them that it’s not okay to do it, and that they should be in control of their body and words. When they know how to make an appropriate choice, then next time, they’ll be less likely to talk back!
You can make this more specific by asking them to stop talking for just a few seconds or telling them that their lack of response has no effect on you (while still giving yourself permission).