The Smart Mouth
You know the drill: Grandpa asks your child to help set the table and she shoots back a reply so scathing that it could light a yule log. Where did that come from? Resist the urge to giggle or ask "Where did you learn to talk like that?" and face the issue head-on. Parenting author Tara Kennedy-Kline suggests a straightforward approach. "In cases of a child being downright rude (like closing a door in someone's face or talking down to someone in a demeaning or belligerent way) I coach parents to stop whatever they are doing and tell the child, 'That was not acceptable behavior and I'm not willing to let you treat/talk to people that way. We are going to try that again so you can show me you know how to be a good friend/helper/neighbor.'"