6 Things To Remember When Your Child Is Being Defiant

By MelissaW | Parenting

6 things to remember when your child is being Defiant

The common myth is that children are little versions of us. In reality, they are young people who think in ways that are different from us. For one, they lack the extensive experience and knowledge that adults have developed over a lifetime. Second, they are “blank slates” – their brains lack the necessary connections. With each new experience, they learn things like sitting, standing, walking, talking, reasoning, sharing, and understanding and so on. So, if your child is being defiant and tells you that they don’t want to go outside or don’t feel like cleaning their room, it is coming from that self-centered place where they live, until they learn there is another way to act. Comparing your child’s behavior with that of your friends will not resolve the situation. You love your child and because you do, any type of destructive behavior patterns must be broken. As a parent, you know it’s for their good now and in the future. They are counting on you.

Learn to understand your child – This is almost as important as loving them. In fact, it is an expression of your love for them. Discover how they think and why they think the way that they do. Parents are not mind readers and thus don’t make the connection all the time. This can further infuriate your child into thinking that you don’t care enough to be able to tell when they are having problems.

Avoid yelling – This is counterproductive. When your blood begins to boil, step away from the situation. Instead of giving your child what they want (which is you off kilter), leave the area and return to the discussion when you can keep your emotions in check.

Listen to your child – In between that shouting and double talk are clues to why they are reacting and acting in such a manner. Actively listening is also the way to compartmentalize your emotions as you seek out the information you need to help your child.

Positive reinforcement – Your child is looking for power and doesn’t care if the ends are negative or positive. Ensure that they will be positive through reinforcement. Offer encouragement, praise, validation and even rewards for positive behaviors that they exhibit. Reduce their power in the negative realm by refusing to give in to their demands or producing the desired negative results.

Redirect his energies – Think about the last time you were mad. Your heart is racing, your muscles are tense, and you seem to have a lot of excess energy. The same goes for your child. Use productive ways to burn off that energy that doesn’t involve negative behaviors. Teach them to use exercise (playing basketball, running, biking, jumping jacks, etc.) as a stress reliever to calm down. Physical movement satisfies the urge to throw or hit something while letting you come back down to earth.

Upset_Boy– Following through with consequences, no matter what sad story your child tells, we let them know how things work in real life.


Being defiant is normally a phase for most kids, but is much more than that for some. If your child is exhibiting defiant behavior (whether it escalates or not), nip it in the bud right now. Understand your child’s way of thinking and then combat each behavior by hitting it head on. Follow through with firm consequences for negative behavior. Stress reinforcement of positive behaviors as a way to move away from those destructive patterns. Give your child the tools that they need to fuel their growth into adulthood and a successful life.


About the Author

I have a family which whom I love so much. I have three small children and a husband to look after. Along from being a mom and wife, I’m a woman with a myriad of interests -mom tips, health, personal development, decorating, organizing, finances, frugality, family time. I'm always looking for ways to better myself to pass along to my children

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