Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is sass from kids of all ages out of control?

I walked into the dining room one night and asked a cheery and simple question of my seemingly well-rested 9-year-old as she sat at the table.
"Whatcha reading?" "A book," she sneered, not bothering to look up.

While people who know me might not be all that surprised by my child's capacity for a little lip, my husband's sweeter nature usually prevails. But neither of us had anticipated a teenager-y sass factor so early.

Were we the only ones with a wonderful but sometimes sassy kid? When did it begin? And most importantly, how do we make it stop while navigating that space between developmentally natural and vein-popping, consequence-inducing out of line?

As I set out in search of its origins, I quickly realized that sass wasn't just our problem. It's all around us, in toddlers to teens. And it seems to be wrapped up in the debate on helicopter parenting, aka overparenting, and what appears to be an overindulgence of an entire generation.

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