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Getting Defiant Kids to Cooperate


I have an extremely strong willed, stubborn defiant four-year-old
daughter. I love her to death but she challenges me every single day.

Currently I am learning some new parenting techniques to help me get a better
handle on her. Below are a few things you should avoid when dealing
with a defiant child.

Ignore Inappropriate Behavior

Avoid looking at your child, and be silent. If you ignore this behavior you should see an end to the
increasing bad behavior. This will also help your child notice the
difference between your responses to good and bad behavior.

Avoid Giving Commands

As parents sometimes we can sound too much like drill seargeants. I find
myself giving my kids commands all the time. If you are constantly
telling your defiant child what to do it will not let her lead, it can
cause unpleasantness and child obedience will be taught later.

Avoid Asking Questions

You should let your child lead the conversation. By asking questions this is
reversed and you become the leader of the conversation. Many times when
we ask our children questions they are really another form of a command
or they require an answer. Your child might also think that you are not
listening to him.

Avoid Criticizing

Criticizing does not help to curb bad behavior. Often it will have the opposite effect and cause your child to
increase the inappropriate behavior. This may also lower her self
esteem and it creates an unpleasant interaction between parent and
child.

Avoid these words: No, Don't, Stop, Quit and Not

This is the hardest concept for most parents. We are programmed to use these words in response to bad
behaviors. For example, your child picks up a sharp object like a knife
or scissors instead of saying, "Don't touch the scissors," you could
reply with this, "Put the scissors down." If your child still doesn't
listen after repeating that sentence three times then you give your
child a choice. "Put the scissors down or I will come over and take them
away."

You can also redirect your child's behavior. For example, you have a baby who crawls around on the floor and a defiant
preschooler. The baby is playing on the floor and your preschooler
decides she wants to play with the baby, but she is being a little too
rough with him. Instead of hollering, "Stop! Leave the baby alone!" You
calmly say, "Come here, I have a secret to tell you." You can then
whisper in your child's ear that she needs to be more gentle with her
little brother.

Do you have a defiant child? What do you do to get your kids to cooperate and listen?

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