Parenting Solutions - 3 Easy Steps in Dealing With an Oppositional Child

Are you a parent with a defiant child? Are you pulling your hair out from opposition caused by your child? If you are a parent who is tired of being tired, screaming at your kids, putting them in time-out, etc., then this article may be just what you are looking for.

Households that are confusing (overactive) cause more confusion. Young children do not know how to react to parents who come home from work tired and in need of peace and quiet - or how to deal with a household of siblings who also want and need attention. Therefore, negative attention, to a young child, is better than none at all.

Understanding your child's need for attention is the first step a parent must consider. It is perfectly natural for a child to make demands. From the confines of the crib, a child learns to cry for attention. We have all heard about the "terrible twos". This often is the result of a toddler being curious and wanting to explore. The parent tells him "No", but it's not satisfactory to him. His curiosity is overwhelming and he just has to know what is behind the closed cabinet.

Likewise, the curious and defiant child wants to 'do it his way' and make the rules that pertain to him. "I don't want to go to bed" or "I don't want to eat this food" is a sign of independence at a very early age. So, how does a parent cope with such a strong willed and stubborn kid?

The first step is to keep calm. Raising one's voice is frightening and overbearing to a young child who will then cry and become obstinate. This, in turn, causes the parent to react negatively with words or actions. The cycle is repeated until one or the other gives in and/or collapses from exhaustion.

The second step for a parent is to remain consistent in his or her expectations of their child. Children will never learn what is expected of them if the parent does not show consistency in that regard. I think back to my own childhood and sitting in school. My teachers expected certain things from their students; and they made it abundantly clear on the first day of class what those expectations were.

The third step is for parents to send a clear message to the child in language they can understand. Be firm, but friendly. Have your child repeat what the message is. Have them explain it back to you in their own words. Never argue with a defiant child. It will do no one any good; not you, not your child. Years ago there was an old saying, "Children should be seen and not heard." Although I do not adhere to that advice, I do have a tidbit of other advice for you:

Pretend to be invisible to your defiant child. Pretend to be deaf. Sooner or later, he will get the message that his defiance brings no self-satisfying results. In the meantime, right now, go give him or her a big hug and let them know you love them. They are but little just once.

Gail Gupton is a grandmother of twelve. She has developed a quick, easy, and humane way to change Out-Of-Control children to kids who behave properly, guaranteed. If you have a child who back-talks, who's sarcastic, unruly, disrespectful, or disobedient, help is available at

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