How to discipline a child who talks back


As a parent, one of the most challenging things you will face is learning how to discipline your child. There are countless situations where your child might misbehave, and it can be tough to figure out the best way to handle it. One situation that many parents struggle with is what to do when your child talks back. This kind of behavior can be frustrating, disrespectful, and even hurtful. However, it's essential to approach the situation calmly and constructively. In this article, we'll discuss effective ways to discipline your child when they talk back.

Understanding the Reason Behind Talking Back

Before you can discipline your child for talking back, it's essential to understand why they might be doing it in the first place. In most cases, children talk back because they feel frustrated, angry, or powerless. They might be struggling to express themselves, and talking back might be the only way they know how to communicate their feelings.

It's important to remember that, as a parent, you play a significant role in how your child expresses their emotions. If you consistently shut down their emotions or dismiss their opinions, they might begin to talk back as a way of getting their point across. By understanding the reason behind talking back, you can approach the situation with empathy and compassion.

Set Clear Expectations and Consequences

Disciplining your child effectively starts with setting clear expectations and consequences. If your child knows what to expect when they talk back, they might be less likely to do it. Sit down with your child and explain to them that talking back is not acceptable behavior and that there will be consequences if it continues.

Make sure to be specific about the consequences. For example, you might say that if your child talks back, they will lose screen time for the day or have to do extra chores. Whatever consequence you choose, be consistent in enforcing it. This will help your child understand that their behavior has consequences and that talking back is not an acceptable way to express themselves.

Model Appropriate Behavior

Your child learns how to behave from watching and mimicking the behavior of those around them, especially their parents. If you want your child to speak to you calmly and respectfully, you need to model that behavior yourself. When your child talks back, it's important not to respond in kind. Instead, stay calm and composed and respond in a way that models appropriate behavior.

For example, if your child says something disrespectful, you might say something like, "I understand that you're upset, but it's not okay to speak to me like that. Let's take a break and talk about this when we're both calmer." This kind of response shows your child that even when they are upset, it's possible to communicate in a respectful way.

Choose Your Battles

It's important to pick your battles when it comes to disciplining your child. Not every situation requires discipline, and picking your battles can help prevent power struggles between you and your child. If your child talks back to you, take a moment to assess the situation. Is it a one-time occurrence, or has it become a pattern of behavior? Is the behavior harmful or disrespectful, or is it just frustrating?

By choosing your battles, you can avoid constantly disciplining your child and instead focus on the most important areas of behavior that need improvement. When you do need to discipline your child, make sure it's done in a way that is consistent with your expectations and consequences.


Disciplining your child is never easy, and it can be especially challenging when your child talks back. However, by setting clear expectations, modeling appropriate behavior, and choosing your battles, you can effectively discipline your child in a way that helps them learn and grow.

Remember, your child is still learning and growing, and it's normal for them to make mistakes. As a parent, it's your job to guide them and show them how to behave in a way that is respectful and kind. With patience, empathy, and consistency, you can help your child learn to communicate effectively and appropriately, even when they're upset or frustrated.