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Mondays with Mimi – The Need to be Heard


Photo Courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

By Mommy Mimi

My son has hit the point in his young life where he has started talking back. This phenomenon started some months ago, was rather sporadic and we were hoping that his need to get the last word would bow out gracefully. NOT.

Recently he has gotten worse, much worse. When told to do something before doing it, he must plead his case or explain why he can’t do it, and I’m over it. When I was a child, I vowed never to yell at my children for everything because I despised it when my own mother did it to me. However, to be honest I am at my wits end with having to explain adult decisions to a child.

As a child, I was spanked, not sure if it really made a difference. Not afraid to say I’ve “tapped” a little hand, and at this point I am exploring other options. I have tried taking things away, punishment etc. It’s not working. I don’t want to stifle his need to be heard but I guess there is a thin line between having a voice, and being disrespectful.  I am starting to think in an effort to handle this situation in a manner different from the one my own mother used I may have drawn a squiggly line.  On the other hand, maybe the line is straight and he is just jumping from one side to the other to feel out our reactions.

Some days when he does it I address the issue. Other days I don’t dependent on what’s going on. Could it be a lack of consistency that is contributing to his behavior?  I’m not beating myself up about it, we all know parenting is trial and error, and finding the right mix of discipline and reward can take time and a lot of thought. What I do know is respect from children to adults and vice versa is huge with me.

Have you dealt with this? I’m taking suggestions, and they need not be scientifically tested!



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