Experts Now Say Kids Who ‘Talk Back’ Will Be More Successful Adults

Angry Girl Frown on Flickr. Photo by Steven Depolo.

Well, I guess mom and dad owe me an apology. All my “talking back” was really just my way of becoming “brilliant.” Kids everywhere now have the best excuse in history to be rude little monsters. Thanks a lot, science!

“Kids talking back” is a perennial complaint in parenthood.

When your kid starts talking back or mouthing off, it pushes your buttons! Staying calm feels incredibly hard, even though you know — in theory — that a calm response is best for everyone involved (as well as your blood pressure).

But what if — (and just go with me here for a moment) — when your kids push back, it is actually great for their development?

The experts agree, this behavior is actually developmentally healthy for kids. Clinical psychologist Kelly M. Flanagan explains that “the inability to say “No” — the inability to set personal boundaries — is one of the most common, insidious causes of human suffering.“

Psychologist Joseph P. Allen, who headed a study for the University of Virginia, says: “We tell parents to think of those arguments not as a nuisance but as a critical training ground.”

At its core, when kids push back at your authority, they’re trying to exert some sense of control over their own lives. They’re practicing that skill — flexing that muscle, if you will — with you.

Wouldn’t you rather your child learn to negotiate with you, first, than feel obliged to follow some other kid’s directions the first time a pushy peer says, “Come on, everyone’s doing it?” Or blindly follow the directions of an adult acting inappropriately toward your child?

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Story by YourTango, published on Yahoo! Parenting.

Angry Girl Frown on Flickr. Photo by Steven Depolo.

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