Imagine this scenario. You pick up your son at school, and ask him how his day went. He says, "You always ask me that. Get a life, Mom." You feel hurt, insulted, frustrated. Silent, you drive him to band practice. In this scene, experts Audrey Ricker and Carolyn Crowder would argue that both of you lose. What is a better response? Tell Billy matter-of-factly that his comment was inappropriate, and that you aren't going to drive him to band practice. When he, suddenly more polite, tells you he has
to go to band practice, you tell him he can practice the next day at school. You stand your ground, without arguing with him.
Backtalk--fairly easy to recognize--may be wrecking your family life. As flip or relatively harmless as it may seem, verbal rudeness gets in the way of real communication between parents and kids. It may be holding your children back at school, and ultimately in life. Ricker and Crowder have teamed up to create a four-step program--simple but not easy--to create a backtalk-free home. Through a large number of all-too-familiar-sounding sample "backtalk scenarios" and bullet-point lists, this book explains how to recognize backtalk for what it is, how to choose and enact a response that will make sense to you and your child, and when to disengage from the struggle and move forward. Whether your preschooler is saying "Bad Mommy" or your teenager is saying, "That's lame, Dad," Backtalk suggests ways for you to regain a sense of balance in your relationships with your children.
From Publishers Weekly
Ricker, a teacher, and Crowder, a psychologist, present a compact plan for dealing with backtalking kids. The authors define their topic as including such phenomena (common among teenagers, but quite likely to strike much earlier) as sudden rudeness, nasty tone, inflected syllables, hostility and bullying control of the conversation. They make clear that their advice pertains only to mentally healthy children and not to those with serious neurological or psychiatric disabilities. While allowing that respectful disagreement or assertive communication in kids is appropriate, the authors suggest that parents nip backtalk in the bud. Their four deceptively simple steps include recognizing backtalk when it occurs; choosing a logical consequence; enacting the consequence; and disengaging from the struggle. If a child is rude at dinner, for instance, one "logical consequence" is to remove that child's dinner. They claim that if parents refuse to give in to backtalk, their homes will soon be characterized by positive communication rather than by sullen faces, eye rolling and angry sarcasm. Peppered with realistic dialogues and case histories, the book, while hardly eye-opening, will be useful for parents who want to maintain a mutually respectful dialogue with their growing children.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.