How to Handle Defiance


Defiance is a problem for every single parent and child at some point.

It’s a normal part of childhood. From “No”, “You can’t make me”, “You’re not the boss of me” all the way to ignoring (quiet defiance).


Tips for Handling Defiance


1.   First and foremost, step back and breathe.

Stay in control of yourself and remember your child is watching you and they will react if you do.


2.   Validate their feelings and need to be uncooperative.

“You sound upset with Mommy and don’t want to do what I asked.” This lets them know that you are listening and can diffuse the situation.


3.   Have clear expectations and remain consistent.

Determined, strong kids try to beat us down and give in. Don’t let them.


4.   Focus more on positives rather than negatives.

When you see positive behavior from your child, point it out, “You were so kind to share that with your friend”.


5.   Pick your battles.

Walk away from negative behavior. Sometimes a child just wants you to react to negative, irritating behavior.


6.   Ask yourself if your parent-child relationship is on track?

Defiant behaviors will persist if this relationship is off-track.


7.   And always look for the reason…

Lack of attention, overly tired, sick?