How to Handle a Defiant Child: Solutions and Tips for Parents

    Defiant Child

    A defiant child is one of the issues parents often face within the entire process of upbringing their kid. But while demanding obedience they thus don’t let their child show any initiative. And of course it is not surprising that such children are very convenient: they are silent most of the time and don’t speak their mind.

    While making their children be obedient in every way possible, parents don’t try to think of their future and how easy their way in life will be; whether they will be able to stand up for their views and achieve a success. Obedient children grow to live their lives for others, for the sake of others’ interests, they don’t ever dare to banish this small slave that lives inside of them and that was placed there by their parents. For sooner or later each and every child faces the necessity of assuming responsibility, solving problems independently or looking for the ways out of difficult situations.

    Particularities of child’s character development age by age

    2 years

    Quite often parents want to teach their child obedience as soon as he starts walking and talking. After a child reaches the age of 2, they do their best to stop him from doing things, to bring him down a peg, to preach to him. For a kid of this age his parents’ words like “No”, “Don’t”, “Enough”, “Don’t do that ever again” don’t mean a thing. This is why your child’s reaction is quite natural: he does not want to listen to what you say and acts the way he wants. Don’t try to scold your toddler at this age, or to make him do everything you tell him to. Just try to distract him and remove any things that pose potential threat.

    3-4 years

    At the age of 3 to 4 children start making their parents’ lives much harder. This is the time when little rebels try to do everything in their own way, and sometimes even out of spite. Starting at this age parents have to do right, not to use any coercive methods they have in store to make bring about the obedience. You have to listen to your child’s opinion on things, and not to limit his freedom. At this age such traits as self-determination and purposefulness start taking shape, but in case of severe discipline, constant attempts to raise the bar or punishments for every little misbehavior a child just gives up, loses interest for studying the world around him and finds no joy in life. Wise parents don’t teach their children to be obedient, they cherish their kids’ desire to live and develop. Everyone knows that many successful and outstanding people caused a lot of trouble to their parents as kids.

    Defiant children learn on their mistakes while obedient ones don’t learn at all. You don’t have to use every method you can to make your kid obedient — just encourage him in all of his good efforts and aspiration to creativity. Don’t call your child down all the time and don’t punish him for every mistake he makes. This is just what kids are about — misbehaving and fooling around and doing pranks. Parents just have to be as patient and calm as they can.

    5-6 years

    At the age of 5 to 6 children start showing different reaction to their parents’ behavior; they already can evaluate their actions and doings. Quite often this is the time when parents wonder why their kid started getting out of control, why he doesn’t want to listen to anything they say, refuses to do what he is told or is able to even try and bite their nose off in answer to their demands. These manifestations of character may be caused by the fact that parents don’t possess sufficient authority in the child’s eyes. The authority is formed by a certain way of behavior, by the way they treat others, and of course by the way they treat their own kid.

    What could you do?

    Every parent has to, first of all, show that they are smarter, more mature and more responsible than their child. They have to show they care and at the same time, be demanding. Being demanding without showing any care will be seen by your child as an attempt to suppress, while showing care without any insistence on high standards will lead to a kid’s loosing respect for his parents and ignoring their opinion.
    Your goal is not to make your child submissive; your goal is to show him the right way to treat his parents by being his ultimate model in everything. For this you have to establish the right level of authority and to follow certain rules:

    – Be the example of honesty and sincerity, diligence and goodwill.

    – Make your requests, instructions and tasks as clear and exact as possible, and don’t change your mind without strict necessity. Don’t change your demands on a whim, allowing your child do something you didn’t let him do yesterday.

    – In case your kid didn’t accomplish his task for today, you’ll have to explain what kind of consequences may arise from it. For example, if he didn’t go to groceries as he was told to, then everyone will eat dinner without any bread today. Your child has to answer for his actions.

    – Don’t order your child around and don’t give him too many instructions. The tasks you give him have to be equal to his possibilities.

    – Try to never let your child witness any arguments between you and your spouse, don’t argue and don’t criticize each other in front of your children. Mutual respect and agreement has to be something that’s always present between you two. If one of the parents gives a kid a task and another one says it’s not important, the child will stop feeling respect for his parents.

    – Try to always talk to your kid and discuss every situation when he was defiant in detail.

    Have you ever had any issues with your kid — have your child ever shown any defiance? What did you do to avoid conflicts? Share any secrets of finding better understanding with your kids with us!


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