What should you do with your princess?
“Do your children respond with eye-rolling and sarcasm to everything you say?” asks Lehman. “Most – if not all – kids go through phases when they are sassy, mouthy, or disrespectful. As a parent, it’s hard to know when to let it slide – and when to address the problem.” Kids who talk back are attempting to be more autonomous and gain control over their lives, according to Jim Bozigar, head of community outreach at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. Lehman agrees: “I believe children and teens do a lot of things because they don't know how to express emotions appropriately. They learn a lot from watching other kids and people around them. If your daughter is frustrated and doesn't know how to show it, and she sees somebody else roll their eyes and make a face, she’ll absorb that lesson without even thinking about it. Then the next time she’s frustrated at home, she’ll roll her eyes and make a face at you. If she gets a reaction, that will often just reinforce the behavior, because she knows she’s gotten to you. Don’t kid yourself: if you threaten your child by saying, ‘Don't do that to me, young lady, or you'll be grounded,’ that will only make her do it more.”