Adults will sometimes laugh when children are being impertinent, but this just reinforces the behaviour. If kids develop the habit of being disrespectful, it can have a negative impact on their future. Just punishing the little monsters for being cheeky isn’t always the best approach, it is much better if they learn the advantages of being respectful.

Impertinent girl

Impertinent behaviour is most likely to develop in children who have reached puberty.

Impertinent behaviour is most likely to develop in toddlers (the terrible twos) and children who have reached puberty. It is important to understand why your child is acting the way they are, but this does not mean you have to accept the behaviour.

How to Handle an Impertinent Child

Here are a few ideas for how you can deal with impertinent behaviour in children:

  • It is important for you to be consistent with your child in regards to expectations for how they should behave. It can be confusing for them if sometimes you let them away with being rude.
  • Be clear about your rules in regards to insolent and presumptuous behaviour.
  • Try not to take what your child says personally – most teenagers are going to utter the words ‘I hate you’ at least a thousand times before the end of puberty.
  • Communicate with your child as calmly as possible – explain to them why their impertinent behaviour is unacceptable.
  • Try to set a good example for your child by being polite in your own life.
  • Try to avoid using sarcasm around your kids because they are likely to copy this behaviour. Adults can get away with sarcasm because they know when it is appropriate, but young children can get in trouble by using it in the wrong situation.
  • Never laugh if your child is being impertinent because this is just encouraging them to behave this way in the future.
  • Teach your child how to be respectful around other people.
  • Learn to pick your battles – never allow impertinent behaviour to go unremarked on, but it may be counterproductive to make a big deal out of minor misbehaviours.

How to Prevent Your Child from Becoming Impertinent

Prevention is always going to be easier than curing impertinent behaviour. Young kids learn to be cheeky by modelling the people around them. You can do your best to encourage good manners at home, but they can still pick up insolent behaviour at school. It is a good idea to ask the teacher to inform you if your child is exhibiting any disrespectful behaviour in the classroom. If this is happening due to sitting with the wrong crowd, the teacher may be willing to change the seating arrangement in the class.

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