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How to handle a difficult child?

If you have a difficult child (defiant, cries a lot, easily angered/stressed), do you think it's better to treat him/her gently or to be extra strict? Mold their personality into submission or allow their personality to shape your discipline?

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Asked by popcornlover at 12:35 AM on Apr. 8, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 8 (238 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • I think with a difficult child you have to be stern. Loving, Stern, and Consistent, this really should be done with all children but if you're dealing with a difficult child I think even more so you need to be on the ball.

    I don't think one should try to mold a personality into submission ( THAT could backfire later on in life! )

    As a parent it's more our job to teach our children how to help themselves, how to learn to control themselves rather than how to be controlled.

    I think you can be gentle, and be extra strict. In the end I bet if you're gentle and extra strict your child will feel more loved than a plain out extra strict emotionless mold shaping parent.

    Answer by Skepticchick at 12:39 AM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • Who would mold their child into submission?!

    Disgusting! How unloved would a child feel then?

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:41 AM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • I also think you need to be stern. Kids are so smart, and they know how to work at your weaknesses. Like the first poster said, very consistent. Whatever rules you make, no matter what other people think (like you're being to strict or too lenient) STICK TO THEM! When you're child tries to wiggle through, keep a strong front. Make sure your SO is on the same page, if you have one. And good luck! Because "difficult children" are the ones that change the world!

    PS: as for molding them into submission, I'm not sure what you mean, but I know how people can take your words and throw them in your face....

    Answer by Adelicious at 12:49 AM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • We have a really difficult child who is also gifted. The latter is relevant because it has some impact on how he relates to the world (hard to explain, his therapist does a better job).

    We've tried the spectrum from authoritarian to permissive. Either extreme doesn't work. Leaning a bit to authoritarian but otherwise being in the middle works best for him (at home). At school it is much more difficult and things aren't improving. Part of the issue is boredom; also, the style of his current PS doesn't work for him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:38 PM on Apr. 8, 2010

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