Is Talking Back to Parents Such a Bad Thing?

by Gaby Agbulos   |  Aug 3, 2017
Image: Unsplash
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It's true that every child should learn to listen to what their parents say. Sometimes, however, adults seem to forget how to do the same. Talking back to your parents can be an extremely rocky terrain, especially if you have strict ones who believe that any kind of self-defense is a sign of disrespect.

I have lived with my mom my entire life. Growing up, my mother wouldn't tell me not to talk back to her because she wanted me to be able to explain my side of the situation. With us both being able to hear each other, we formed a very strong, very close bond. Other adults, however, make it clear that they do not share the same sentiment. Some say you should never talk back to your parents, even if you know that they're right and you're wrong.

I have never understood why parents always say that you need to respect everyone that is older than you simply because they're older.

A 14-year-old can be more accepting of different races, religions, and sexualities than a person in their 80s.

A lot of 10-year-olds now have more knowledge on how to use technology and how to live in the modern world compared to the elders who are still trying to figure out how an iPhone works. Sure, age will always be a factor to the experiences a person can have, but it shouldn't be something that automatically warrants respect. Respect is something that is earned, not just given to everyone you meet.

Though telling your child not to talk back now may seem effective to keep them quiet and to listen to you, there is a huge chance of it ruining your relationship with them in the long run. Scolding your son or daughter without even bothering to listen to their side ensures your control over them, sure, but the reason they listen to you may be because they fear you. They may end up overthinking every little thing—setting the plate on the dinner table the wrong way, closing the door too strong, speaking a bit too loudly, looking at you the wrong way—will cause you to get angry, and from then on, you'll find that your child will always seem to be walking on eggshells around you. Well, whenever they're not out trying to avoid you, at least. Why? Because they're scared of the power you have over them, and how you plan to use it. This is a mindset that we desperately need to fix.


While they're still young, allowing your child to give you their side of the story helps them develop their feelings and passions. Human emotions are developed as a person grows older, and are painfully fragile, especially for children.

As a parent, you need to show your child that what they think and that what they say matters. There are times when you need to set your pride aside, like when you know you've done wrong or are at fault, you should be the one to apologize to your child because you should be acting like a mature adult who knows when they need to say sorry. You should be the one telling your child that they should always be fighting for what they believe in instead of always holding their tongue; after all, if you don't, then who will?

Encourage them to talk back. Encourage them to fight. Encourage them to write their own stories, and give them the freedom to write it the way they want to.

What is your relationship with your parents like? Would you send this open letter to them? What other issues do you deal with at home? Leave a message below and let's talk about it!

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About the author
Gaby Agbulos Correspondent
Gaby Agbulos is a strong, determined spirit that enjoys doing anything as long as the people she loves with her. She enjoys listening to music, writing stories, and meeting new friends, especially if by friends, you mean puppies.
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