When you ask your child to do something, does she respond with a rude tone of voice and sarcasm? Take back control in a loving way with this parenting tip of the 5 minute cure to your kid’s snotty attitude and back talk. 

You are the parent and do not have to put up with unacceptable attitude from your child. With this strategy, you’ll learn how to turn the situation around quickly.

The 5 Minute Cure to Your Kid’s Snotty Attitude and Back Talk

Here is how the 5 minute cure to your kid’s snotty attitude and back talk works. Think of this as your parenting tip from a mom who has been there, done that. (Many times over – we have 5 kids had and 35 foster kids!)

The 5 Minute Cure for Your Kid's Snotty Attitude and Back Talk|The Holy Mess

Step One: Say “Check.”

When your child says something to you in a rude tone of voice, say “Check.” This is a quick way to give him a chance to improve his words with no consequence given. If he can correct the tone of voice when you say, “check”, move on with your day.

This correction by the child has to be excellent. Don’t take a half-correction here, or rudeness will continue. He needs to re-say the phrase in a respectful and kind tone of voice.


Step Two: Hold My Hands.

If your child was not able to correct himself after a “check”, hold your child’s two hands in your two hands. Look into his eyes and say, “I want you to complete a 5 minute chore for me now. Do you know why that is?” Your child needs to make eye contact with you and explain the reason.

Do not skip this heart connection.

Obviously if your child is older or has sensory issues, you’ll need to adapt to what works best for your situation. The key here is to make sure you are not just rudely barking directions at your child. Take a minute to connect on a deeper level.

Be firm and loving but direct. Remember, the goal here is stopping kids’ back talk and that’s worth a few extra minutes of your time.


Step 3: Do a 5 Minute Chore.

Your child needs to do a 5-minute chore to make up for the energy drain her negative attitude created in your day. Keep these chores short and simple. The goal is not a huge task but a quick reminder that sarcasm isn’t tolerated in your household.

You can choose the chore, have your child choose a chore from the list, or give your child the choice between 2 chores.

Here is a list of 5-minute chores we use at our house. Feel free to use this list or make up your own.

The Kid’s 5 Minute Chore List

Here is a list of 5 minute chores we use. (See below for a free printable PDF download of this list.)

  1. Sweep the kitchen floor.
  2. Wipe out the inside of the microwave.
  3. Clean the kitchen sink.
  4. Clean the bathroom sink.
  5. Clean the bathroom mirror.
  6. Vacuum the stairs.
  7. Clean scuff marks in one spot.
  8. Clean the outside of the refrigerator.
  9. Wash the table.
  10. Give Mom or Dad a 5 minute back rub.
  11. Carry dishes to the sink after a meal.
  12. Put away 1 basket of laundry.
  13. Change 1 load of laundry.
  14. Clean all the doorknobs in the house.
  15. Clean windows of front door.


Free Printable of The Kid’s 5 Minute Chore List

Download the free Smart Parenting Hacks Printable Pack, which includes The Kid’s 5 Minute Chore List, as my gift to you right now. Get it here:

The 5 Minute Chore List|The Holy Mess

What if Your Child Throws a Fit?

This is the question I hear most often about this 5 minute parenting technique.

Deal with the fit but then come right back to the process. If needed, write yourself a note on a post-it to remind yourself to come back to whatever step you are on when you are finished dealing with the fit. Soon your child will learn that a fit is not worth it.

Try the 5 minute cure to your kid’s snotty attitude and back talk, and soon you will have more respect in your house – or at least a cleaner microwave, so it’s a win either way.

Parenting concepts adapted from Nancy Thomas, author of When Love is Not Enough.

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Parenting Tip: The 5 Minute Cure to Your Kid's Snotty Attitude and Back Talk|The Holy Mess

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