Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dealing With A Defiant Child? Here’s 3 Tips To Help You

“No mommy, I don’t want to”, said the toddler to his mother. I could see the frustration in the mother’s eyes in the checkout line of the grocery store. I could almost read her thoughts and hear her prayers of patience. Dealing with a defiant child is not an easy task especially when you are in public and do not want to draw attention to yourself by causing a scene.

Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. It takes a person with patience, love, endurance and understanding to come out of the trenches unscathed. It is even more difficult to parent when you are dealing with a defiant child.

 Children are defiant for all types of reasons but the most common and prominent reason is lack of control and this is especially true in toddlers and preschoolers. They lack any sense of control over their lives at this young age yet they still want to assert their independence. What we as parents see as defiance, toddlers and preschoolers see as independence.

Tips For Dealing With A Defiant Child

·         Remember You Are The Adult

           Your defiant child isn’t being that way on purpose. It is easy to lose your temper when you want your child to do something and their defiance rears its ugly head. As the adult you need to maintain a sense of calm. By remaining calm, your child will mimic your behavior. If you get on the crazy train with them your child will only become more defiant and irate.

·         Give Them Some Control

           As the parent you control every aspect of your toddler/preschoolers’ life, from what time they wake up in the morning, to what they eat, wear etc. In order to lessen some of the defiant behavior allow them to make some choices. For instance, pick out two outfits and allow them to decide which of the two outfits they want to wear. Giving them the ability to make decisions helps them to feel more in control of their life. This is also a great way to build and support their natural instinct to be independent.

·         Let Them Cry It Out

          Sometimes your defiant child is just having a bad day. As parents we tend to forget that just because toddlers/preschoolers don’t have the stresses of work and bills they still get stressed out. Maybe they feel like you don’t understand what they are trying to say or perhaps you are not giving them the attention they want. All of these things can cause them to have a melt down. When we as adults have melt downs it is no longer acceptable for us to scream and roll around on the floor, although many of us wish we could, me included. But it is acceptable for your child. So let them get it out, ensure they will not harm themselves and just wait until they calm down. Afterwards they will be your sweet angel once again.

 Dealing with a defiant child can be challenging to say the least. But it’s important to remember that your child’s behavior in a particular situation does not define your child. Be careful about negatively labeling your child with such phrases as bad child, hard-headed etc. As the parent you are responsible for guiding and molding your child. So keep a high tolerance for patience, humor, and a lot of love. Because in the end that is all your child really wants and needs.


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