How your child speaks to you is important! My encouragement is to nip the seemingly small behaviours in the bud – before they take root and grow into something bigger. If you put in some effort with small battles, such has holding the line on always speaking respectfully, you’ll be setting yourself up for a win in those bigger battles.
Paying attention to how your children speak to you is highly worthwhile and it helps to start early, like encouraging your toddler with the correct way of asking for a drink or thanking you for their treat. Energy and focus on respectful speaking serves to curb harder and more intense behaviours, like tantrums, swearing, lying and anger outbursts. A similar methodology was shown to be effective in New York City in the late 1990s/early 2000s when Mayor Rudy Giuliani tackled petty crime and tagging, but reduced a lot of major crime in the process.
The motivation behind your child’s challenging behaviour can be your key to deciding whether to tackle it or not. A parent is often making the quick decision: Is this simply playfulness, an accident, an overtired child, forgetfulness, a lack of concentration or is it a lack of respect? If your child is being disrespectful, it is worth being firm.