A child is the most precious gift any human being can have, and it is very natural for parents to be protective of them and to monitor their kids every move. As kids get older, they start becoming independent. They begin to have their own thought process and overtime their perspective may vary from their parents.
When children begin to disregard our opinion and put forward what they think is right, we categorize this action of theirs as “talking back.” We think we no longer have control over our children, thus a punishment would remind them that we still hold the decision making authority regarding their life. However, many psychologists disagree with this and according to them, talking back is beneficial for children.
According to Inc.com, research conducted at the University of Virginia suggested that children who talk back to their parents at the age of 13 are less likely to be a victim of peer pressure when they turn 15. Although this habit is intolerable, as per studies, in the long run, it will be positive for children.
Psychologists believe that children who negotiate with their parents will be able to become better adults. They will possess skills required in setting better boundaries and they will know when it is necessary for them to refuse anything that brings them discomfort. These kids will know how to stand up for themselves and will not let anyone exploit them.
When your child argues, he or she puts forward logical reasoning to why they disapprove of your opinion. They are involved in the process of critical thinking and this helps your children develop their thought process. It trains their mind to think rationally.
According to Your Tango, when your kids dispute over an issue, their sole aim is to take control of their life and make their own decisions. This, in the long run, will help them develop their own personality and will allow them to stand up for themselves rather than falling into peer pressure.
Kelly M.Flanagan, a psychologist, shares that once he came across a similar situation, where his son refused to give back a toy. Even though he wanted to get angry, he was happy that his son was standing up for himself and fighting for something that is important to him.
When children start talking back and disregarding our decisions or opinions, it causes pain and makes us angry, but this is the time where we should really comfort ourselves. We should realize that our children know what discomforts them and instead of suffering they choose to set boundaries and raise their voice.
According to Flanagan, it is important for people to stand up for themselves. When individuals do not know when or how to stand up for themselves or how to refuse something that bothers them, they end up suffering. This is because they have chosen to put other people first instead of making their own selves a priority and doing what their hearts content.
Talking back or standing up for yourself is mostly considered as disrespect to parents. Thus, when children act this way, parents punish them. The most practiced form of punishment is “Time out”. Due to the fear of punishment, children never stand up for themselves. This act has been witnessed numerous times by Flanagan.
Not saying no:
“As kids, we couldn’t ever imagine saying “No” to our parents.” This is a common statement given by most of Flanagan’s clients. It is important to realize that because of our inability to say no, we end up in compromising in situations that in turn cause us to suffer
When children talk back, our initial reaction is to raise our voice and scold them. According to Flanagan, we as parents should handle this situation in a more mature manner. Raising voices is a form of disrespect, which no individual including children appreciates. Instead, we should explain to our children that they can express their opinions and thoughts in a more respectful manner.
It is important for your children to understand that there is a thin line between standing up for themselves and being disrespectful. They should understand that they have freedom of speech and can make their own decisions, but there will be times when you as a parent will have to step in and make the final decision. In moments like these, they need to respect your decision and the reasoning behind it.
As a parent, we should understand that a simple “No” is insufficient for your kids. You need to provide them with solid reasoning that why their action is inappropriate or unacceptable. This will build your child’s confidence in your decisions and they will be able to accept it with respect.
Flanagan also believes that children should learn to negotiate early on in their life. This will help them stand up for themselves. Later on in life, when faced with critical situations, these children will be able to say “No” without hesitating.
Children need to learn how to make decisions and set boundaries in a confident manner rather than aggressively. They should be smart enough to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong.
They should also be aware of how to make compromises.
Our children are individual human beings. They will have their own life experiences, their own decisions and their own perspective regarding things and situations. We as parents can only guide them and help them become a better version of themselves. Thus, we should allow them to say “NO” every once in a while.