Look who’s talking now

Dear Wendyl, oy eight-year-old daughter is the cheekiest little devil you ever met. She has an answer for everything and always has to have the last word. My mother says she is just like me and everyone thinks she is a hilarious chip off the old block, but I’m finding it very difficult to live with. Have you got any tips for stopping the backchat? Tania, email


Dear Tania, oy daughters’ have all gone through this stage and initially it’s healthy because they are learning to find their voice. But once they start acting like Germaine Greer, you do have to draw some boundaries. Explain that there is a time and place for reasoned discussion and you’re more than happy to enter into debate on issues such as politics, gender inequality and whether Britney Spears has lost it or not. But when it comes to being told what to do – such as cleaning their bedroom or doing the dishes – then there is no debate. They are jobs that need to be done and, last you heard, there is no union for disgruntled children who have to clean their bedrooms.

And finally, be democratic. Tell your daughter you will review her jobs around the house every six months and will listen to any issues then. If she doesn’t tow the line, then it’s back to basics. Tell her not to answer back and if she keeps doing it, send her to her room until she wants to be pleasant. Works every time.Wendyl

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