Dealing with Defiant Behavior

When your child is defiant, it can be hard to know what the consequences should be. Here are which punishments are appropriate and whether you should always enforce them.


[MUSIC] A lot of parents wonder, what should I do when my child is defiant? But I think the more important question is, what can we do to make it easier for our children to listen. For instance, don't just say to your child, calling across the room, don't do that. Instead, walk over there, look them in the eye, get close, maybe put your arm on their shoulder, and tell them what you want them to do. You wanna be reasonable about when you make your requests. Let's say you want your child to put the dishes in the dishwasher. It's easier for your child to listen if you ask immediately after they stand up from dinner than if you wait until they're already lying down on the couch. The problem with using punishments or negative consequences after misbehavior is that it doesn't teach children what they should do. So, instead we wanna work with our kids instead of against them. We can also use what I call a when then statement. When your toys are picked up, then we can go outside. When your dishes are in the sink, then you can watch television. Having consistent rules leads to fewer arguments, because then kids know what to expect. But, I think we can have, compassion, and understanding, if your child raises a reasonable concern. It's okay to go along with that, but make sure if you are going to give in, you do it right away. You don't want to train your child that badgering you is the way to get what they want. So if there's a good reason, give in right away. Otherwise, stick to your guns.

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