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Once you become a parent, you realize there are so many lessons you’ll need to impart to your children.

There are practical things, like how to get dressed and tie shoes. There are emotional ones, like how to manage one’s anger and form lasting bonds with other people. There are societal ones, like justice and equality issues, and about a million other things that come up one at a time.

One of those lessons is undoubtedly how and when to stand up for yourself – and even though I think we would all agree that’s a necessary one, this guy posted the “unpopular opinion” and took things one step further – saying kids should all learn how to talk back.

The most valuable thing a parent can teach a child is how to talk back from unpopularopinion

16 people were ready and waiting to weigh in, so let’s check out what they have to say.

16. Some kids just have it from the start.

My daughter was like a little lawyer from very early…saying, why can’t I do that? If I had given her the car keys, she’d have taken it for a spin!

She never took any crap in school and sticks up for herself when she needs to. It’s been an invaluable skill, though I don’t know it was taught.

15. It’s a fine line.

It depends on how it’s taught. If you teach your kid to say no at anything they don’t wanna do, then yeah they’ll turn into a brat.

But if you teach them self advocacy and confidence around others, teaching them to voice their own opinions while still being empathetic, then they’ll turn out alright.

14. Respect should be earned.

Talking back is a term invented by parents when they didn’t want to hurt their egos by admitting that their teenage children can be right in arguments sometimes.

Old-fashioned parenting where the parents get unconditional respect and get authority is wrong. Parents are humans so they will be wrong frequently, as are we all.

So they need to admit that their kids have a right to point out when they are wrong. That’s not too unreasonable is it?

13. They can’t cross the line.

It depends on the child. I’d say it is important to teach them how to debate and argue, but not talk back.

My 13 year old sister is being treated for Reactive Detachment Disorder and Opposition Defiance. Part of it would be that she would talk back to the point of disrespecting my family.

There are good benefits to learning how to argue. Argument and debate encourages respect, talking back encourages disrespect.

12. They’re just pulling rank.

I have got to say, as a 48 year old who is now a father to a 5 year old, in my entire life every time I have seen an adult use the phrase “don’t talk back!” the child was making perfectly reasonable (though often over-emotional) objections.

Adults just tend to be dicks when they know there are absolutely no consequences to their behavior and no possibility of them ever being held accountable.

11. Words matter.

Is standing up for yourself or being assertive the same thing as talking back?

I don’t think so.

10. “Most” is a bold claim.

My parents wouldn’t agree with this unfortunately, I wouldn’t say it’s the most valuable though.

9. Definitely different things.

For people who say that it is ok for children to talk back, no it’s not.

There is standing up for yourself against an abuser, then there is telling your parents to f*ck off when they ask you to clean your room.

8. Don’t blame the kids.

Being able to stand up for yourself is useful, but for the love of god people, if you see friends/family members having a hard time with this, DO NOT BLAME OR SHAME THEM!! If the exchange left you this angry, take it out on the perpetrator or source of the issue, not on the already down victim who was most likely only minding his/her own business prior.

I know my response went off tangent, but having gone through this sort of bullshit, it’s definitely worth a reminder.

7. Now we’re all confused.

I think you’re confusing “stand up for yourself and speak up if someone is mistreating you or doing something to you that you don’t like” and “talk back”. You want people to raise their children to feel like they can just go around and do whatever they want with no repercussions? Because that’s what happens when you encourage your children to fight you on stuff that you ask them to do.

OBVIOUSLY teach your children that if someone is bullying them/abusing them that they should speak up. But asking a kid to do the dishes isn’t abusive, and teaching them that these are equivalent is going to make them pretty crap at living in the real world

6. You don’t always have to be polite.

God yes. The amount of ‘good kids’ who are taught politeness is the most important quality one can have who end up in abusive relationships is astounding.

Teaching your kids they can talk back isn’t going to turn them into a brat if you also teach them compassion and empathy. They need to know how to say no, whilst still understanding how good it can feel to say yes and help those around you.

5. I hope parents understand this.

A lot of people don’t quite understand that “talking back” isn’t just replying. Talking back means you’re response to anyone is assholish, and shows how much you aren’t listening to them.

Idk if that’s even close to the dictionary definition but it’s what I think it is.

4. Making the point.

helping them avoid abusive situations

that’s exactly what my parents didn’t want me to do, they didn’t want me to be able to avoid them so now I am a fu*king niceguy-doormat who can’t set boundaries and can’t say no

3. They just learned to take it.

I was never allowed to talk back, and then my parents were always baffled as to why I was bullied in school.

2. I like this better.

To phrase that differently, to teach a child that it’s always okay to disagree.

Doesn’t mean you’ll get your way but 100% I’ll hear you out.

1. Don’t be rude. Unless it’s called for.

I agree that teaching ur children to speak up for themselves is an important tool.

They could be raped bc they don’t know how to say no

I don’t think self advocacy is really the same thing as talking back, though. Talking back is generally rudely doing it when it’s uncalled for.

If the kids I know are any indication, you don’t have to teach the youths how to talk back – it’s something they kind of learn on their own.

Where do you fall on this one? Weigh in down in the comments!


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