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My 9 yr old won't stop talking back - Please help!

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New here. I am a very proud single mom to a wonderful 9 year old boy. He is a GREAT kid! Lot's of fun and personality. He's healthy, he does very well in school, and he is generally happy and almost always well behaved. Typical kid that LOVES sports and his friends. I am very blessed and grateful. He's an only child and we are very close. 

My only real problem with him is his mouth. He talks back constantly. He doesn't scream or have tantrums, and he doesn't usually say things that are disrespectful. However, I think it's disrespectful that he argues and whines when I ask him to do things. He ALWAYS has something to say and it drives me crazy!!  I rarely can ask him to do anything without it turning into a 5 or 10 minute conversation. I've tried everything I could think of. I have taken allowance away until further notice. I try not to yell, but usually end up yelling for him to be quiet. I take away TV sometimes.  But these are only short term solutions. I have told him to stop talking back a MILLION times, but even if he stops for a day or two, he goes right back to arguing. 

Should I just walk away and let him have the last word and ignore it like some 'experts' suggest? I am just afraid that if I do that, I am sending a message that it's okay to argue and talk back because Mommy will just back down. Any advice would be very appreciated. I will not smack him or hit him, so that isn't an option for me. Thanks!

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM

As long as you go back and forth with him, he will always win. Tell him what to do, make the consequences of not completing the task plain and lastly, stick to your guns. If he does not do what he's told, then don't hold back on the consequence you forewarned him about. Once he sees that your foot is planted firmly, then and only then, will he back off the talking back.

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM


Quoting Pukalani79:

 Every time my kids talk back, it's automatic jumpin jacks, or sit ups or.. you get the idea. It's actually been very effective.

Great idea!

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 4:59 PM
I haven't had to deal with back talk in a very long time but if I did I love this idea. I bet he will catch a clue really fast or be the most in shape 9 yr old in his class. What ever you decide stick with it and be firm. Hang in there!

Quoting Pukalani79:

 Every time my kids talk back, it's automatic jumpin jacks, or sit ups or.. you get the idea. It's actually been very effective.

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by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 5:02 PM

I say this a lot: he does it because he can. Why do you argue with him?  He whines and argues and you answer it right back. He can't have that 5 or 10 minute conversation if you aren't participating.  The first time he asks for something you say no, with the reason. The second time you warn him that there will be no discussion. When he goes further it's time out or loss of privlege or whatever your discipline is.
If you ask him to do something: "Please pick up your dirty laundry and put it in the basket for me." to which he starts to say in a minute or whatever the argument is you tell him "I am sorry, this is not open for discussion and if you continue instead of immediately picking up the laundry you will no longer be allowed to watch TV tonight." whereas he argues some more... YOu turn the TV off and tell him "NOW or it will be for 2 evenings." 

WHen there is an immediate consequence and you do not participate in the argument he can't win. When you do participate he has a chance of wining. 

No, you aren't sending a message that arguing is "OK' by walking away. You are refusing to participate in it and if he has no one to argue with and it won't get him the chance to win the whole battle. If it doesn't get him any response or chance to argue with you he'll quit doing it. It's not going to get him what he wants and it's going to lose him something he REALLY wants.

Taking away an allowance that he will receive on Friday MAY work at that age. Usually all of the way up well into the teen years they need for it to be an immediate consequence that will pinch RIGHT NOW, not on Friday when today is Wednesday. So, if he is planning on playing a video game tonight-no video game.  

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Dont let him be the boss let him know when hes being rude and set down the rules of when and how to talk appropriately

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Take something out of his room when he does it.  It will get down to clothes and his bed, and then he can earn them back by being respectful.

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 9:44 PM
I had this problem with my son when he was around that age, believe it or not he was grounded for the whole summer because of his mouth! There was no tv he had to read books and write a summary on each chapter, clean, help with cooking and yard work.

The look on his face when he had to tell his friends that came to the door he couldn't come out for the summer was priceless. I have not had the talking back from him nor his sister since! It was a hard thing to stick woth but it worked and I got to know a little more about him and how he was feeling when he was talking back. Keep on pushing and make sure that you stay with whatever you find out that works for you!
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by Silver Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 10:00 PM

He should be a trial attorney :) I would count to three and then if he keeps arguing I would take away any screen time for the rest of the day. Whatever punishment you choose just be consistant, and he will learn that you mean what you say. Also, don't make snap decisions when he asks you if he can do something, tell him you need to think about it and you will let him know! Tell him if he needs an answer right now it has to be "no".

by Platinum Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM

 At a quiet time, when things are going fine. Tell him you want to talk to him. Sit down and tell him you are going to talk, and he is to just listen. Then explain that you are very upset that he is talking back and arguing with you a lot, and that it is going to stop. If he tries to interrupt you, put up your hand like a stop sign ( talk to the hand lol) and say again, I'm talking, you're listening. Tell him that in the future you will say something one time, and you know that he's old enough to understand and follow instructions, and that you will tolerate no arguments or whining. If he does, he will (figure out what the immediate punishment will be-be sent to his room with no tv or games or run laps-or whatever you decide-but it must be an immediate thing and something that will get his attention. Say that the only thing you will listen to is if he wants to stop the punishment and do what it was you wanted him to do in the first place. Anytime he starts arguing or whining, just raise your hand and walk away, and don't say a word to him. It works.

by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:03 AM

Maybe have a talk with him about what's expected when you ask him to do chores, tell him you don't expect him to talk back?  If not maybe take away priveleges and toys?  How about if he does all his chores without talking back, you'll take him out for a little outing at the end of the week?

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