Arguments and backtalk are a perfectly normal part of child development, as your preschooler becomes more independent and tests their boundaries. Once you understand the root of why your preschooler disagreeing with you, it can be much easier to fix your preschooler’s arguing and talking back.
THEY WANT POWER
“No!” screams your preschooler as she is mad that you picked out her clothes. She continues to her closet, demanding that she get to wear the ruffled, orange skirt with the purple short sleeve shirt. You tell her, “No, Honey. It does not match. Why don’t we pick something else that matches?”
While you think you were being nice by choosing what you thought was best, what your preschooler actually heard was the demand that they were not allowed to choose. In this scenario, giving your preschooler two options (where you’re okay with both options) and letting her choose, would have allowed you to keep the power while making her feel as though she had the power.
THEY HAVE A NEED NOT BEING MET
Think about how your preschooler is feeling in the moment that they are arguing or talking back. Are they cold, hot, tired, hungry, physically hurt, emotionally hurt, or lonely? Maybe they even need their bucket filled with love and positive reinforcement. We all have basic human needs, and when they are not met, we tend to get more irritable. This is same for your preschooler who simply needs a little more compassion and to have her needs met.
THE EXPECTATIONS WEREN’T CLEAR
Some parents seem to have too many rules yet, while other parents don’t have enough. When your preschooler goes to school, there are classroom rules that guide them through the day. They know their expectations ahead of time. Try to have some at home and go over them often. This diminishes the excuses of “I forgot” or “I didn’t know that.”