There is certainly no denying that when it comes to handling and managing a defiant child, it becomes one of the main aspects of parenting that most parents dread. This is often because most parents are incapable or simply do not know or understand how to handle a defiant child correctly. With so many professionals out there telling parents what they should and shouldn’t do with their defiant child can often lead to confusion rather than a successful and effective solution, which is why we have put together this simple article in order to debunk the strategies that don’t work, by highlighting the ones that do.
It’s important to remember that when you are faced with a defiant child one strategy may work for one particular situation but may not work well for another. In different settings and situations, different strategies will need to be used in order to overcome your defiant child and their unwanted behaviour. But one thing is to be certain, is to remember to always manifest your intolerance to the behavior that your defiant child demonstrates, which reiterates to them that defiance will not and will never be tolerated.
Dealing with a defiant child
1.Choose your battles wisely.
It’s no secret that being a parent can be a tiresome task in its own right, but if you have a child is who purposefully misbehaving, the job of a parent can seem hellish, which is why you should choose when and how to spend your energy. For example, if your child chooses to wear a skirt that is far too short because it’s ‘in fashion’ consider if you should really waste your energy on starting your day negatively by harassing her over her poor fashion choices? However, if she decided to tell you that she isn’t going to school today because she simply doesn’t feel like it, then that’s when you should be spending your energy.
2. Remind your defiant child that she is accountable for her actions.
It doesn’t matter how old your child may be, it’s important to remind them that they are accountable for their actions and that there are rules to follow such as completing homework, curfews, bedtimes, behavior to others, and helping with chores, these all need to be respected. When your defiant child begins to show unwanted behavior and refuses to carry out such tasks, it’s important to sit her down and explain what is expected of her and what you will not tolerate. Your child will not be compliant if she doesn’t know your expectations of her, so, make them clear. Always remind them that they are accountable for what they do and consequences will follow if there is a failure to behave properly.
3. Remember, you are in control.
Engaging in a heated argument with your defiant child can put them in control. They are getting a reaction out of you and are put in a position where they know they can challenge you. The next time your child breaks out into an argument, simply remind them that you have discussed the consequences if you do this and that you no longer wish to speak about it anymore, before leaving the room. When you leave and close the topic of discussion, you are in control.
4. There are no second chances.
With a child that is able to understand that unwanted behavior comes with consequences, don’t give her second chances. By providing your defiant child with second chances shows her that you simply not serious and you don’t take your own rules seriously. This will teach her that she can continue with this bad behaviour.
5. Reward positive behavior.
A child that hears ‘no’, ‘stop that’, and so on will never improve without positive conditioning. Remember to praise your child for positive behavior and reward them for cooperating. Positive reinforcement is an incredibly powerful tool, don’t forget it.