Smart or a “Smart Mouth”?

The other day, as my son was idling away on the couch, my husband asked him to help emptying dishwasher, which is our son’s chore. A longer while later, he finally got off the sofa with an announcement. “This is the last time I am doing it!” My husband decided to reason with our young rebel, saying that such threats don’t make much sense. “What if mom never again made your favorite French toast for breakfast?” But our son was not really done with his verbal ping-pong. “Think about all this bread that we would waste!” He pointed out.

Another time, as my son was looking for a TV remote, he tried to engage me in the search. I had better things to do so I told him that I never knew where the remote was and he should keep looking for it himself. He chose to motivate me instead. “Mom, just believe in yourself and then you’ll find it.”  (And I thought he never listened to my pep-talks!)

I think it goes without saying. My son is a back-talker. A witty one, but still a back-talker. Now, what do I do? I don’t want him to argue with teachers at school when things don’t go according to his plan. I guess talking back is better than throwing fits, but is it really? Tantrums seem more likely to lessen with age, whereas sassy talking can only get more sophisticated or arrogant with time. What clever retort is he going to come up with in a few years to avoid setting out trash?

Anyways, just wondering what your thoughts are on the topic. Smart or a “smart mouth”?How do you handle your child’s verbal attempts to get their way?  I’m still quite inconsistent. It’s easy to tell a child off for mockery or bad language, but it’s hard to keep a straight face when they just crack you up with their hilarious responses. I do try, though. After all funny or not, back-talking is bad-talking. Or is it not? And here we go again…

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