A few weeks ago a question was asked on our Facebook page as to how to deal with your teen’s verbally abusive boss. This was a great question that I felt warranted an entire post to cover. The result of which is below. Thanks!
You left the footnote off the month-end accounting report again, and your boss is managing everything except her temper. As an adult, you may be able to shrug it off, but what about when your teen burns the French fries on her Friday night shift, and her boss flips his lid? Unfortunately, some bosses don’t take their teenage employees as seriously as they should, and can turn constructive criticism into verbal abuse at the drop of a salt shaker. And when your teen is at the receiving end of a long string of swear words, it might be time for a career change.
Although our teens will be out on their own very soon, it’s still our job to offer plenty of support as they enter the working world. Teaching positive job skills and professionalism now will really help them down the road as they advance from car washer to computer engineer. And one of the first lessons should be how to deal with a tough boss–and when to say enough is enough. Read More →
It’s enough to make any level-headed parent’s blood boil! “How dare she talk to me that way! Doesn’t she know I spent 15 hours in labor?”
In calmer moments, (deep breath) we can look at backtalk more objectively to understand WHY it happens and what we can do to correct it.
Is Backtalk Normal?
“Backtalk” is a broad term that refers to disrespectful responses from children. Depending on the age of the child, it can range from a toddler’s defiant “NO,” to rolling the eyes, to a full-blown shouting match, and even profanity.
It’s obvious that profanity can’t be tolerated, but what about the more subtle backtalk remarks? How do you know if backtalk is something you have to address or if it’s just your child’s normal progression towards independence?
All children (toddlers to teenagers) seek to exert their independence—it’s what they’re supposed to do. However, to determine if the backtalk you’re experiencing is something that needs to be corrected, apply the “litmus test” question…”Would it be okay for your child to respond in the same way in front of your friends, co-workers or your mother-in-law”?
In most cases, the answer is “no” and that tells us we have to be PROACTIVE in correcting the backtalk.
WHY Do Kids Talk Back?
Kids talk back for a variety of reasons. They may be testing their own power to see how far they can take it. They may feel disrespected by parents who overprotect or “boss” them around. Or, they may live in a home in which respectful communication isn’t a priority.
In the majority of cases, however, talking back is the child’s way of exerting his power and saying “you’re not the boss of me.”
We’re all hard-wired with a need for positive power—the ability to have some control over our lives. When we over-protect, over-demand, order, correct and direct…we stand in the way of our children achieving independence and personal power.
The only way our kids know how to respond is to fight back. It’s a basic fight or flight response—they can’t easily flee, so they fight back with backtalk, negotiating, arguing, stomping away, eye rolling, etc.
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