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

Parenting Tips For When Kids Talk Back

Many mental health specialists and those that specialize in child care will attest to the fact that when kids talk back it is a type of behavior is considered to be "learned". This is, in many cases, an outright disrespect for authority and should be dealt with accordingly. Here, I will provide some helpful information and insight on this topic, as well as some basic techniques to cope when kids talk back.

Problems in Stopping the Back Talk

Every single day, there are adults everywhere who are at their ends wit when it comes to trying to stop kids from talking back. If you face this challenge, it is essential to know and understand that it is not appropriate to give into this type of behavior. It is considered to be highly disrespectful and disrespect should not be tolerated in children. If it is tolerated, the child will grow to develop many different types of emotional and behavioral problems. If you are having problem in stopping the back talk, it is important to evaluate your response to this behavior, as well as the responses of others. It is then that you can develop a plan to put a stop to this type of verbal disrespect.

Common Reasons for Talking Back

There are many different reasons why a child may talk back. The following list details some of the reasons why this may occur:

1. If a child is talking back, it is important to observe the behavior of the adults in the home. It is a known fact that many children model themselves after the adults that they come in contact with on a daily basis. Do the adults in the home exhibit a smartallic conversational tone? Do these individuals become loud and obnoxious? If this is occurring in the home, it is quite possible that the child is not the one to blame, but the adults in the home are. Appropriate behavior modification should be implemented in order to adjust to that which is acceptable.

2. If the parents and other adults around the child who is talking back often "gives in" to the behavior of the child, the kid will use this to their advantage. They will gain a certain level of control by back talking and being quite obnoxious about it. Children should grow to learn that "no" is no, and that they will not always get their way.

3. Many children who do not feel as if they get any attention from their parents may begin to talk back to adults in order to acquire attention - even if it is negative. To a child, negative attention is better than no attention at all.

How to Handle Back Talk

There are many ways that you can handle back talk if you are on the receiving end as an adult. The following details some of the methods that have been found to be effective in this type of situation:

1. If a child starts to back talk you, you should hold them accountable immediately and then follow up on this accountability by informing that their actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Stop the behavior in its tracks and make sure they take you seriously when you do this. This means backing up what you say, when you say it.

2. Many children will talk back to an adult to simply get an argument going. If your child does this, you hold them accountable, and they continue to engage in the behavior, simply ignore them. When they see that their ability to control and manipulate you just is not working, then eventually the behavior will die out completely.

3. If your child back talks and you observe them being respectful in conversation later, you must ensure that you point this out and encourage them to act in this manner more often. Eventually, they will come to a point where they want to please you.


When kids talk back, it is a complicated experience. However, it is a behavior that can be modified. By understanding what causes it, and how you can correct it, you can easily bring about a positive change when it comes to the overall behavior of your child.

Looking for more information on positive parenting?
More4kids is a resource for families and their children

Mr. Heath is a writer and the chief editor at, a website devoted to parenting and families. Copyright 2009 More4kids Inc.

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