Pro-Abortionists Rooted In Racism

The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda

By Margaret Sanger (Dubbed “father of modern society”)

Seemingly every new approach to the great problem of the human race must manifest its vitality by running the gauntlet of prejudice, ridicule and misinterpretation. Eugenists may remember that not many years ago this program for race regeneration was subjected to the cruel ridicule of stupidity and ignorance. Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems. The most intransigent and daring teachers and scientists have lent their support to this great biological interpretation of the human race. The war has emphasized its necessity.

The doctrine of Birth Control is now passing through the stage of ridicule, prejudice and misunderstanding. A few years ago this new weapon of civilization and freedom was condemned as immoral, destructive, obscene. Gradually the criticisms are lessening-–understanding is taking the place of misunderstanding. The eugenic and civilizational value of Birth Control is becoming apparent to the enlightened and the intelligent.

In the limited space of the present paper, I have time only to touch upon some of the fundamental convictions that form the basis of our Birth Control propaganda, and which, as I think you must agree, indicate that the campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal, with the final aims of Eugenics.

First: we are convinced that racial regeneration like individual regeneration, must come “from within.” That is, it must be autonomous, self-directive, and not imposed from without. In other words, every potential parent, and especially every potential mother, must be brought to an acute realization of the primary and central importance of bringing children into this world.

Secondly: Not until the parents of the world are thus given control over their reproductive faculties will it ever be possible not alone to improve the quality of the generations of the future, but even to maintain civilization even at its present level. Only by self-control of this type, only by intelligent mastery of the procreative powers can the great mass of humanity be awakened to the great responsibility of parenthood.

Thirdly: we have come to the conclusion, based on widespread investigation and experience, that this education for parenthood and of parenthood must be based upon the needs and demands of the people themselves. An idealistic code of sexual ethics, imposed from above, a set of rules devised by high-minded theorists who fail to take into account the living conditions and desires of the submerged masses, can never be of the slightest value in effecting any changes in the mores of the people. Such systems have in the past revealed their woeful inability to prevent the sexual and racial chaos into which the world has today drifted.

The almost universal demand for practical education in Birth Control is one of the most hopeful signs that the masses themselves today possess the divine spark of regeneration. It remains for the courageous and the enlightened to answer this demand, to kindle the spark, to direct a thorough education in Eugenics based upon this intense interest.

Birth Control propaganda is thus the entering wedge for the Eugenic educator. In answering the needs of these thousands upon thousands of submerged mothers, it is possible to use this interest as the foundation for education in prophylaxis, sexual hygiene, and infant welfare. The potential mother is to be shown that maternity need not be slavery but the most effective avenue toward self-development and self-realization. Upon this basis only may we improve the quality of the race.

As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit”, admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.

Birth Control is not advanced as a panacea by which past and present evils of dysgenic breeding can be magically eliminated. Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism.

But to prevent the repetition, to effect the salvation of the generations of the future–nay of the generations of today–our greatest need is first of all the ability to face the situation without flinching, and to cooperate in the formation of a code of sexual ethics based upon a thorough biological and psychological understanding of human nature; and then to answer the questions and the needs of the people with all the intelligence and honesty at our command. If we can summon the bravery to do this, we shall best be serving the true interests of Eugenics, because our work will then have a practical and pragmatic value.

The Historic Connection Between Eugenics and Abortion

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Justin Taylor  |  January 27, 2017

The “eugenics” movement, which sought to protect and improve hereditary racial stock, was phenomenally popular in early 20th century America, and it has an important connection to today’s pro-abortion movement. Thomas C. Leonard explains eugenics in his 2016 book, Illiberal%20Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era""Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era:

“Eugenics” derives from the Greek for “well born” and describes the movement to improve human heredity by the social control of human breeding. The concept was ancient. Plato’s Republic asked why we breed cattle but not humans. The term was minted in 1883 by Francis Galton, a celebrated Victorian Era polymath and cousin of Charles Darwin. Galton advanced the three governing premises of any eugenic program. First, differences in human intelligence, character, and temperament were due to differences in heredity. Second, human heredity could be improved, and with reasonable dispatch. Human heredity, Galton said, was “almost as plastic as clay, under the control of the breeder’s will.”

And third, the improvement of humankind, like any kind of breeding, could not be left to happenstance. It required scientific investigation and regulation of marriage, reproduction, immigration, and labor. In other words, eugenics proposed to replace random natural selection with purposeful social selection. As Galton encapsulated it, “what nature does blindly, slowly and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly and kindly.”

Eugenics was popular across a wide range of political and religious persuasions, including a disheartening number of advocates out of a traditional Christian background. The eugenics movement itself took on a religious tone as its popularizers tried to convince the American people at large of the threat of racial degeneracy. Leonard notes that

Evangelizers spread the eugenics gospel far beyond the eugenics institutes and laboratories. Eugenic thinking reached deep into American popular culture, traveling through women’s magazines, the religious press, movies, and comic strips. The idea of safeguarding American hereditary, with its concomitant fear of degeneracy from within and inundation from abroad, influenced ordinary Americans far removed from the eugenics movement’s professionals and publicists.

Some Darwinian thinkers, including Charles Darwin himself, advocated more births by more people, believing that it would boost the beneficial effects of natural selection. But many believed that eugenics required the restriction of births by inferior people. This restriction could happen by sterilization (involuntary, in some cases) and birth control methods, which some like Margaret Sanger believed might include abortion in extreme cases. Most eugenicists publicly opposed abortion, however. Even Sanger regarded abortion for population control as “dangerous and vicious.” Leonard says that

Eugenics also counted many supporters on the left, from Fabian socialists like George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb to birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, who convinced skeptical eugenicists that birth control could be a valuable tool of eugenics. This was no small feat of persuasion. Many eugenicists feared unregulated birth control was dysgenic in its effects, because, as progressive sociologist Charles Horton Cooley warned, the “intelligent classes” used it, and the inferior classes did not. If the state delivered birth control to the inferior classes, Cooley noted, then contraception could indeed work eugenically.

Sanger noted elsewhere, “Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly. The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the overfertility of the mentally and physically defective.” Sanger went on to found the American Birth Control League (1921), which became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1946.

American Christians have largely accepted the validity of contraception, for whatever purposes, over the past five decades. A few groups, including conservative Catholics, still see contraception as an immoral interference with God’s providential plans for life.

The big difference between the eugenics movement and today’s pro-abortion industry is that the latter now sees abortion-on-demand as the cornerstone of “birth control.” Eugenicists largely focused on preventing conception in undesirable cases. Abortionists today still affirm pre-conception birth control, of course. But they also champion the post-conception termination of an unborn child’s life as an legally inviolable option in the repertoire of birth control methods.

Chaos in Govt Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina state.

December 14, 2020

Tragedy struck at the boarding Govt Science Secondary School Kankara Katsina state recently. Bandits who abduct for ransom reportedly shot their way into the school in broad daylight and herded over 600 students to their hideout.

One of the students who scaled the school perimeter fence to escape abduction, later emerge to state that 528 students were kidnapped.

Of the number abducted, three of them are known to be Catholic Christians. One from Tafoki in Funtua Parish and two others of St. Joseph’s Parish, Layin Minista.

Many unverified video clips were circulated on social media over time, showing bandits displaying weapons and challenging the President and his armed forces to a fight.

As usual, President Buhari issued a statement condemning the invasion by the criminals. Many Nigerians have been voicing revulsion for the usual condemnation without corresponding action on insecurity.

The population of students of Govt Science Secondary School Kankara, is believed to be largely muslim making up 99% while christian and non christian students constitute one percent.

President Muhammad Buhari has reportedly ordered the armed forces to locate and rescue the abducted students.

There’s a report in the press that the Nigerian Army claims to have located the forest where the students are being held. The report lacks believability because the Army made similar claims after the abduction of over 400 mainly christian female students of Chibok girls secondary school in 2014. They have never been rescued.

Another invasion of Dapchi, a secondary school in Yobe state led to the abduction of hundreds of mostly muslim female students. All but the Christian Leah Sharibu who refused forced conversion to Islam were released.

Katsina is one of the four states making up the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. Kankara venue of the invasion and abduction is being administered by St. Joseph’s Layin Minista Parish.

The Grace of Discernment

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, Nov 29 / St. Michael Center for Spiritual Renewal

Rodin, Auguste: The Thinker

An old exorcist once told me, “Pray for the gift of discernment to do this ministry. You’ll need it.” Discernment is a daily task for an exorcist..

Again today, I sifted through many requests. A woman from the midwest USA said her son was ritually abused by Satanists at the age of five and is now possessed by Satan himself. She complained about her three previous exorcists…. It all sounds unlikely…. no, we won’t take this case. A middle-aged woman complained that she was possessed by demons that were put into her by public officials but she couldn’t complain to the police because they were “in” on it…Paranoid. Again, no. I received an email full of loose associations and bizarre reasoning claiming possession by a demon… Major thought disorder. No.

But then one caught my eye. The person sounded fairly sane. She had a long list of unexplained illnesses. She tried many doctors and none of them knew what was wrong. She had recently come back to the practice of her faith. Previously she had been involved in the occult but eventually realized her mistake. Now, when she tries to receive communion she gets ill. She finds it increasingly difficult even to walk into a church. Hmmm. Maybe.

This last one bears a closer look. We will ask for much background information. Subject the person to a psychologist’s eye. Then set up an appointment, to include praying over her. A possible case of oppression, perhaps even possession. We will note how she reacts to the prayers. We shall see.

I feel bad turning away many desperate people. But they likely don’t need an exorcism, despite their protestations. I remember another old exorcist saying, “If someone tells you categorically they are possessed, they are probably not. But if they act truly surprised at their bizarre symptoms, they just might be.”

God grant me the wisdom to discern and the grace to help and to heal where I can.

The Church in Crisis

Eduardo J. Echeverria Monday, December 14, 2020

Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries, director of graduate theology programs in evangelization and a professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, has written an extraordinary book, A  Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward. His analysis of this crisis, in a time of confusion and division, is comprehensive in scope, examining its ecclesial, doctrinal, and moral dimensions. The book falls into two main parts: the first gives an in-depth analysis of these dimensions, and the second outlines pathways forward to attain “real and deep renewal in the Church.”

The three dimensions of this crisis are interdependent, that is, doctrinal and moral confusion will affect the ecclesial dimension of the crisis, and vice-versa. For instance, consider the “pastoral passivity of the bishops,” meaning thereby, according to Martin, “a remarkable silence regarding the areas of truth revealed by God that are most in conflict with our culture.”

The Church has failed to take seriously that the conflict confronting the Church today is a crisis of truth engaging the full spectrum of culture – powers, principalities, and organized centers of hostility. This passivity has rendered the Church, in many instances, a fence sitter, straddling the crucial issues of the day.

Furthermore, Martin argues, “Catholics are cooperating with, and even welcoming, political and intellectual forces that are hostile to the Church. This has happened because many Catholics have begun to lose their grasp of and commitment to basic Christian truths.”

Throughout his book, Martin cites the Church’s pastoral passivity and accommodation to the sexual liberationist worldview. Examples of silence in these matters abound regarding sexual sins (e.g., cohabitation, homosexuality).

There is also general passivity or worse with regard to: universalism – the view that as a matter of either necessity or contingent fact, no one will end up in hell; evangelization (and conflation of it with “proselytism”); the eternal consequences of rejecting the Gospel; the de facto fostering of religious indifferentism; and the distinction between subjective and objective morality, the former dealing with the question of responsibility and the conditions under which a person is to be held morally responsible.

At the root of the ecclesial crisis is the confusion, resulting in a dualism, between what John Paul II called “the coexistence and mutual influence of two equally important principles [of mercy and truth],” (Reconcilatio et Paenitentia,§34), and what Martin describes as the “conflict between objective truth and actual life, between the clarity of truth and the depth of compassion.”

In the light of the Catholic ecclesiology, we can understand that these two equally important principles of mercy and truth are grounded in the Church’s nature as both Mother and Teacher (see John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, §33; Catechism of the Catholic Church §§2030-2051). But this ecclesiological reality has also been divided by pastoral passivity. Martin urges that all in the Church, “need to preach [and teach] clearly and boldly the call to repentance and conversion.”

At the root of the moral crisis, as analyzed by Martin, is the confusion regarding a set of conceptual distinctions first introduced by John Paul II in helping us to understand the dynamics of moral progress, namely, the “law of gradualness” and the “gradualness of the law.” (Familiaris Consortio §34)

The former is unproblematic when it is properly understood that the Church must be sensitive to a person’s moral progress, namely, that he is striving to become good by stages of moral growth, understanding sin, weakness, and confession. (cf. 1 John 1:9)

The “gradualness of the law” is deeply problematic because it understands the role of the moral law in the Christian life in such a way that it turns the obliging force of the law into an aspiring force, rendering the moral law a mere ideal.

Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin Furthermore, this view of the law erroneously holds that there are “in divine law various levels or forms of precept for various person and conditions.” (Familiaris Consortio, §34) This tilts the moral law into a version of situation ethics, which has caused widespread confusion and raised concern about the diminishment of Church teaching about sexual morality.

Martin rightly insists that fundamental to the doctrinal crisis of the Church is the “question of revelation.” He explains: “Has God revealed himself? If so, how can we have access to what he reveals? If we can have access to what he reveals, how can we discern true ‘development’ from false development in our understanding of the truths of faith?”

Now, new theories of revelation in the last century did not deny that God has revealed himself, but they have opposed the notion of God revealing himself and propositional truths, that is, revealed truths.

Indeed, this opposition grants only a secondary status to theological propositions. The latter are supposedly formulated on the basis of an experience of the living God, but there is as such no revealed truth concerning God, man, salvation, the world, and so forth. Hence, revelation is not “a source of certain truth and. . .reliable guidance for our lives.” This idea of revelation has become something like a consensus in the last century or so.

By contrast, Martin re-affirms Dei Verbum §2’s statement that God’s “plan of revelation is realized by deeds and words having an inner unity.” Thus, God’s special revelation is constituted by its inseparably connected words (verbal revelation) and deeds, intrinsically bound to each other because neither is complete without the other. The historical realities of redemption are inseparably connected to God’s verbal communication of revealed truth. Without this idea of revelation, we lack a solid place to stand.

This idea of revelation is also necessary to counter “a nebulous understanding of ‘development’ that seeks to weaken the clarity and certainty of revealed truth, leading in some cases to an actual reversal of the explicit teaching of Jesus as it has been understood in the Church for almost two thousand years.”

Casting Out Coronavirus Related Demons

I want to pass along the experience of our Philippine Brothers in the exorcism ministry. They are doing a great job of mobilizing their exorcism teams in the wake of the crisis. They are saying the Leo XIII exorcism prayers and adding the names of the evil spirits directly attacking people in the wake of the virus. Their gifted people identified the following: spirits of death, infirmity, despair, confusion or chaos, division (disunity), anxiety, avarice, injustice, fear, anger, hatred, lust, sloth, and pride. So, they are recommending that the priests use the Leonine exorcism and add the following prayers: In Latin: “Exorcizámus te, omnis immúnde spíritus –mortis, infirmitas, desperationis, confusionis (chaos), schismae, anxietatis, avaritiae et iniustitiae, timoris, irae, odii, lussuriae, accidiae, superbiae, omni satánica potéstas, omnis incúrsio infernális adversárii, omnis légio, omnis congregátio et secta diabólica, in nómini et virtúte Dómini nostri Jesu Christi eradicáre et effugáre a Dei Ecclésia, ab animábus ad imáginem Dei cónditis ac pretióso divíni Agni sánguini redémptis  …,”

In English: “We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits,  spirits of death, infirmity, despair, confusion, division (disunity), anxiety, avarice and injustice, fear, anger, hatred, lust, sloth, and pride, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects; in the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made to the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb…”

They also recommended that the command to leave, “Vade Satana,” be repeated at least 12 times. They added that they have given the laity permission to use this command, “Vade Satana”, over their families since parents have a recognized spiritual authority over them. Generally speaking, laity can use the same prayers as the priests but should refrain from addressing demons directly. Rather, they should adjust the prayers so they are directed to God/Jesus/BVM and asking them to cast out the demons; these are “deprecatory” prayers.

They also suggested that priests reciting the prayers of minor exorcism also say prayers of protection such as a “Sealing Prayer of Protection” and a “Binding Prayer.” These can be found in our APP: “Catholic Exorcism” under “Prayers for use by Priests in Deliverance of People & Places.”

Moreover, they have had problems transmitting deliverance prayers over tech. Demons are tech freaks and find malicious delight in disrupting our communications. So, they recommended blessing and praying over your technology before you do so, as we typically do.

The coronavirus is a real medical crisis. It is also a spiritual crisis. The medical professionals are working hard to protect us. The spiritual “professionals” need to do the same. So, let’s get praying these prayers and mobilizing God’s legions of angels to cast out these ugly demons. There is not a moment to lose!

What Iraqi Christians Need from the Pope’s Visit—and What They Don’t

Despite their terrible suffering, not just in recent years under ISIS, but after centuries of being treated as second-class citizens, Iraqi Christians are happy people. There are two things that are guaranteed to make them smile, if not actually laugh out loud. The first is to ask them what they think will happen to the …

Source: What Iraqi Christians Need from the Pope’s Visit—and What They Don’t – Crisis Magazine

What Does Scripture Teach us About Private Revelation?


Scripture gives us many passages that call us to reflect on the role of the supernatural in our lives of faith. St. Paul encourages us to be open to the supernatural when he reminds us, “Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything, holding fast to what is good” (Thess. 5:19-21).

Although Christ worked many miracles of healing, he did not encourage the search for miracles: “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given them except the sign of Jonah” (Matt. 16:4). Christ hints in a parable about Lazarus that even other worldly revelations will not persuade the world: “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 17:31). When the resurrected Christ addresses Thomas, he seems to be addressing us if we seek signs and wonders in our own day: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).

Despite asking us not to rest our faith entirely on miracles and to not get swept up in pursuing them, Jesus used miracles to draw people to him and encourage their faith. Even in our modern world, for many people miracles are a connection to the supernatural that might inspire or enliven their belief and participation.

From the beginning of Scripture, God reveals himself to humanity in major moments, from interactions with Adam in the creation account, to Noah at the time of the Great Flood, to Moses, upon whom he bestows the Ten Commandments. There are at least 120 instances of revelation (dreams and visions) mentioned in the Old

Perhaps the Bible’s most famous dreamer was Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, who shared his revelations with his family, which resulted in his brothers plotting his death (Gen. 37:1-11). In one dream, the brothers of Joseph gathered bundles of grain that bowed to his own bundle. In another, the sun (his father), the moon (his mother), and eleven stars (his brothers) bowed down to Joseph himself.

Revelations continue in the New Testament. At the baptism of Christ, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). At the Transfiguration where Jesus is transformed on the mountaintop and becomes radiant, the prophets Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus (Matt. 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). A voice from the sky again calls him “Son.”

The most famous apparitions in Scripture are the numerous times Christ appeared to the apostles (1 Cor. 15:5) and other times to various disciples, including on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). In the early Church, the deacon Stephen saw a vision of the heavens open and Christ at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 7:55-56). The “visions and revelations” from the Lord (Cor. 12:1-6) are the impetus for the conversion of Saul (Gal. 1:11-16), setting him on the path to become Paul, the greatest missionary in Christian history. The final book of the New Testament, Revelation, relates the visions of St. John.

The revelations of the Bible received by prophets and apostles showcase a supernatural connection between the Church and the divine. Throughout Christian history, there have been stories of visions and divine messages, the most common being those attributed to the Virgin Mary. Some Protestants, skeptical of the power and significance that Catholicism affords her, may doubt these reports, but the scriptural basis for Mary’s role in her Son’s saving work cannot be ignored:

  • Through her God the Father sent Christ to us physically.
  • Elizabeth received the grace of God through the mouth of Mary (Luke 1:44). 
  • Jesus’ first miracle—the wedding feast at Cana—and the beginning of his public ministry came at her request (John 2:4). 
  • From the cross, Jesus entrusted her to the care of St. John and symbolically to the care of all believers (John 19:26-27).

Although Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5-6), St. Paul has no problem asking the rest of us (including Mary) to be subordinate mediators as he asks us to pray for each other (Rom. 1:9, 1 Thess. 5:25, 1 Tim. 2:1). When we embrace the messages of Church-approved revelations of Jesus, Mary, and the saints, and reflect on the scriptural accounts of God’s tangible intrusions in the human experience, we appreciate more deeply God’s fatherly care for us and better understand his plan for salvation and our participation in it.

Sassy Kids: How to Deal With a Mouthy Child

Empowering Parents

By James Lehman, MSW

Teen girl rolling her eyes at her mom

Most kids go through phases where they are sassy, sarcastic, mouthy, or disrespectful. As a parent, it’s hard to know when to let it slide and when to address the problem. That’s why parents often ask me the following:

“How do you differentiate between disrespectful, sassy, or fresh language and abusive language?”

These behaviors are typically triggered by your child’s frustration, anger, and desire to get back at others when they think something is unfair. I believe that these behaviors are found on a continuum that I call the “inappropriate verbal response continuum.”

The extreme end of the continuum is verbal abuse. The middle is various forms of disrespect. And the mild end is annoying but not necessarily disrespectful behaviors.

This article will focus on how to handle kids in the middle and milder ends of the continuum. Nevertheless, I will begin by briefly discussing the extreme, verbal abuse end of the continuum.

The Special Case of Verbal Abuse

The extreme end of the inappropriate verbal response continuum is verbal abuse. Abusive language is generally a personal attack upon another person. It’s meant to hurt the other person and make them feel small and afraid. Verbal abuse often includes foul language and threats of violence designed to intimidate the other person to get them to give in.

Kids who use abusive language and behavior want to attack you so that they can control you. These kids often don’t care about consequences and are not intimidated by them. For these kids, abusive behavior has to be handled very clearly and sternly.

If your child’s behavior is verging on or has already entered into the verbal abuse stage, please refer to the following articles:

Why Are Kids Disrespectful?

Parents often ask me why kids talk to adults in disrespectful ways? I believe children and teens do a lot of things because they don’t know how to express emotions appropriately. To make matters worse, they learn a lot from watching other kids and people around them who don’t know how to express themselves appropriately either.

If your daughter is frustrated and doesn’t know how to show it, and she sees somebody else roll their eyes and make a face, she’ll absorb that lesson without even thinking about it. Then, the next time she’s frustrated at home, she’ll roll her eyes and make a face at you.

Don’t Overreact to Mild Disrespect

If she gets a reaction to her eye roll, that will often just reinforce the behavior because she knows she’s gotten to you. Don’t kid yourself: if you threaten your child by saying, “Don’t do that to me, young lady, or you’ll be grounded,” that will only make her do it more. Kids who act disrespectfully will not hesitate to push your buttons. It’s the one place in their young lives where they have actual power over someone.

When my son was in middle school, for some reason he went through a period where he said, “Yeah, right,” to everything in a sarcastic way. I responded to him once or twice, and the conversation went like this:

Me: “Please remember to put your clothes away.”
My son: “Yeah, right.” (with sarcasm)
Me: “Is something wrong? Why are you using that tone with me?”
My son: “What tone? I don’t know what you mean.”
Me: “I just don’t like the way you’re talking to me. The way you say ‘yeah, right’ sarcastically. Try to talk better.”
My son: “Yeah, right.” (with sarcasm)

His final response to me was disrespectful, but also a bit clever and funny in a teenager sort of way. I became a little frustrated and annoyed, but I also knew better than to show it. I didn’t want to empower that behavior—or necessarily stifle it. Instead, my wife and I allied ourselves together and were able to laugh it off. And, eventually, it wore itself out.

And that’s the important thing to remember here. If you respond to mildly annoying behavior in a strong way repeatedly, you give it power and strength. As your child gets into adolescence, they’ll start to find ways to push your buttons. And when you confront them, they’ll say very innocently, “What did I say? What did I do?”

I personally think that the less you challenge mildly disrespectful behavior, the less you give it power. Remember, the less power you give it, the more it’s going to die its natural death. That process is called “extinction” in psychology.

If you don’t respond to a behavior and give it power, the more likely that it will become extinct. It’s going to die out like the dinosaurs. But if you feed the behavior and play with it, you’ll only nurture the disrespect.

Keep in mind that if you suddenly stop responding to the behavior, they’ll initially use it more often in an attempt to get it to work again. This is normal and is a sort of last gasp before the behavior dies.

In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is challenge it inconsistently. Let’s say sometimes you let it slide, and then sometimes you confront your child. When you do that, those behaviors tend to become more entrenched. I understand that many times it’s not easy to ignore mildly disrespectful behavior. That’s why I think it’s helpful to vent to your spouse, a friend, or a relative about it.

How to Respond to Your Child’s Sarcasm

In the middle of the inappropriate verbal response continuum is sarcasm. Kids generally manifest this in two ways. They either (1) make sarcastic comments when they feel under pressure, or (2) they use chronic sarcasm as a way to manage their angry feelings safely. By safely, I mean it’s safer to show their anger through sarcasm than it is through any other means they’ve learned.

Usually, sarcasm is learned and modeled by adults. For example, when adults are upset at their kid’s performance, they may make sarcastic comments. These comments are hurtful, and kids develop a defense to it by becoming sarcastic themselves. You’ll see kids who are cynical and sarcastic using that language in all areas of their life. Its function is to help them deflect any blame while downloading a piece of anger onto the person who’s the target.

Therefore, part of the response to sarcasm in kids is for the adults to speak differently. Personally, I think it’s funny when a comedian uses sarcastic humor, but it’s not funny when a child or an adult talks to me that way. It’s belittling and inappropriate. And it hurts healthy and honest communication.

Healthy Communication With Your Child is Paramount

All these mechanisms—sarcasm, disrespect, sassy talk—hurt communication. When you see this behavior, you have to ask yourself, “What’s being communicated that’s making my child respond that way?”

It’s usually not hard to discover what your child is threatened by that leads to sarcasm. Sometimes it’s a secret, sometimes it’s a task they haven’t completed, and sometimes it’s a power struggle. Whatever it is, once you’ve identified it, it becomes much easier to defuse.

When your child is using sarcasm, I think an effective thing to do is ask exactly what is going on:

“How come you get sarcastic whenever we talk about your homework?”

Asking in this manner is effective because it both identifies the issue and puts your child on the spot.

If your child then says, “I don’t get sarcastic when I talk about homework,” then say:

“Fine, then let’s keep going. I expect you not to be sarcastic.”

Or, if your child says, “I get sarcastic because you don’t understand,” you can say:

“It’s your job to make me understand. And sarcasm doesn’t help.”

Another very powerful way to respond to sarcasm is to simply say:

“Don’t talk to me that way; I don’t like it.”

And then turn around and walk away. When you walk away, you take all the power out of the room with you. If you argue or try to make a point, you’re giving your child more power.

Of course, simply saying “Don’t be sarcastic” is an appropriate response and is useful as a reminder to your child, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter the way that more pointed questions do.

What to Do When Your Child Uses Sarcasm With Siblings

When your kids use this kind of language with each other, I know it’s hard as a parent to stay out of it. But you may be surprised to hear that I think you have to try. Your kids need to learn how to stand up for themselves.

Believe me, they’re going to get it in the schoolyard, on the school bus, or in the classroom. No matter what, they will have to deal with it. That doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make it good. But the bottom line is that they need to build up a callous to these kinds of comments.

Think of it this way: at the beginning of the summer, using a shovel hurts. You get blisters, and your hands are sore and tender. After a while, they get calloused, and then they don’t hurt anymore. That’s exactly what you want your kids to do with mildly sarcastic comments.

When something rubs your child the wrong way, try not to jump in there unless something is being said that’s abusive, disgusting, or demeaning. If that’s happening and your child escalates, intervene immediately and pull that child aside. Give them a choice of two things at that time: to either change their language or be removed from the group.

Calling your child aside is important because often the embarrassment of being corrected in front of other kids can cause them to escalate even further. Is it the end of the world if you give your child a consequence in front of the other kids? No, but I think those things are best dealt with privately. If your goal is to get them to change their behavior, separating them from others gives them a better chance of hearing what you’re saying.

Ignore Annoying Behaviors That Are Harmless

Things that are not personal attacks or which are not meant to demean you can be handled by just trying to ignore them.

It’s easy and natural to become irritated when your kid says, “Duh! Nice one, Mom,” or “Duh.” This is where you have to draw the line between what kind of disrespect requires your attention and what doesn’t. “Planned ignoring” is the key here. Planned ignoring is the concept where you decide consciously to ignore attention-seeking behaviors as long as they’re not overtly harmful or abusive to others.

This is tricky because there are also terms that might be considered mild by some but which are actually put-downs that I believe you need to address. For example, when your child says, “That’s stupid,” to you, make no mistake—he means you’re stupid.

And by the way, when you tell your child, “That’s stupid,” and they say, “Don’t call me stupid,” you should apologize. If you say, “Well, I didn’t say you were stupid, I said the behavior was stupid,” your child is going to see right through that. Parent mistakes like this are an excellent opportunity to model an honest apology to show your child how to take responsibility for a mistake.

My advice is, don’t use the word “stupid” in a sentence when you’re dealing with your child unless you want them to feel stupid. There are plenty of other words that are not demeaning. And by the same token, if your child says, “That’s stupid,” you don’t have to say, “Are you calling me stupid?” You can just say very clearly:

“There’s no name-calling in this house.”

I believe there should be a consequence for name-calling. Set limits on it very clearly and hold your child accountable. Every time they say the word “stupid” to someone in the family, for example, they go to bed 15 minutes earlier or have 15 minutes less electronics time. They should be held accountable.

What to Do When Your Child Says, “Do It Yourself”

When you ask your child to do something, and they come back with “Do it yourself,” I think your response should be very clear:

“I’m not going to do it myself. I told you to do it, and you will have the following consequence until you do it.”

For younger kids, you might take away a toy until they’ve complied. For older kids, you might take away video games, TV, or their phone. In the Total Transformation Program®, I call this technique “stop the show.”

If your child gets rude and says, “I’m not going to do it; this isn’t my chore,” you can say:

“Well, I asked you to do it, and I want you to do it now.”

Don’t get into an argument about whose chore it is. If the non-compliance persists, then the show stops. In other words, whatever your child is doing is over for the time being. Have your child take a seat in their room without any outside stimulation such as electronics.

Understand that when kids get over-stimulated, they get stuck. So the first step in getting them unstuck is to avoid stimulating them by demanding things. Start by taking away all the stimuli that you can. Sending them to their rooms and shutting off electronics really helps.

Research shows that after three minutes with no stimulation, your child’s body slows down. So wait for a few minutes and then go in and talk with them. Don’t say, “Do you want to talk about it?” Sometimes we ask kids questions when we don’t really want them to make a decision. Instead, say to them:

“Let’s talk about this. I asked you to mow the lawn. You won’t be able to come out of your room until you agree to do it. Would you like to do it now, or do you want to stay in your room a little longer?”

And if they say, “No, I’m not doing it,” then say,

“Okay, let me know when you’re ready.”

And leave the room. If they want their privileges back, they will comply eventually.