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Back Talk OR Reasoning Skills???

My husband does not mind the kids "talking back" in the sense that they can say how they feel and ask questions as long as they do it respectfully. I don't disagree with that, although I am more of a disciplinarian than he is. It's particularly hilarious to watch their exchanges when one of them has better reasoning than he does...and he openly gives then credit for it and tells them when they have a good point. I have learned a lot from watching this interaction between him and each our 4 children.

For example: Once the world reopened after the C-19 shut down, our 14 year old had asked to go to the movies with her friends. He told her no because he didn't think that the theater would enforce proper sanitization and distancing precautions to make it safe enough for her to go. She asked again with a sweet voiced "PLEASE DADDY", to which he replied, "I SAID NO!" She, not willing to take no for an answer, passionately explained that at the high school, even with masks on, that people were never 6 ft. apart, the halls were always crowded, and that there would be more space between people at the theater than there ever was in the classrooms during this pandemic. She continued on about how she would wipe down the seats and explained how responsible she was, and how it's not much different than being in the mall or the store during this time. She even argued that being in the theater was more of a controlled environment because there was, afterall, a limited number of tickets. He stood there just listening, pondering her reasoning (me and the other kids were already sold and hoping she'd won him over). Then, he says that she had a great argument, changed his mind and told her she could go.

For the quick tempered parent who gets triggered by "back talk" and reacts to it negatively (due to the same way she was raised), and who has a prideful and emotional melt down at a child's attempt at having a what could be considered a conversation (the old me), this would not have ended well for either. I have since learned to pause and listen instead of being insistent on me getting the last word as the parent. Back talk is rooted in disobedience and disrespect. I thought about it again on a historical level regarding the ,slave-mentality of keep one's head down, not being able to question the master, or not to speak at all unless spoken to, and to only follow orders...🤔. I seriously began to question my parenting practices. I venture to say that good reasoning and practicing good discussion and debate habits is something parent should be teaching at home. Before quickly labeling a child's questioning and defensive demeanor as BACK TALK, consider pausing to listen first to what they have to say. There just might be some good communication skills developing.

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