‘My kids think it’s funny to be rude’

I’ve got three kids, aged between nine and 14, and recently the older two have started being really rude to me. It’s not so much swearing but talking back and acting like whatever I say isn’t important.

It really gets me down and I’m trying my best to stop it. A friend suggested it could be the TV they’re watching and I do think that has an effect. I try to stop them watching soaps but it’s really hard because they’re re-run at all times during the day. I think TV shows like Little Britain have an effect too because a lot of the catchphrases are rude and kids think it’s funny to copy them. I’m not going to buy any more DVDs like that until mine are older.

I asked the kids how they’d like it if I spoke to them in the same way and that seemed to get through a bit.

My husband works away a lot but when he’s home, he backs me up and won’t let the kids be rude. I’m hoping that by being really clear what’s acceptable and what’s not, they’ll start being more polite.
Anon, Hartlepool, County Durham