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Defiant child?

Posted by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM
  • 6 Replies

Any tips on handling a defiant child? My 5yo is so stubborn it's ridiculous. She does not like being told what to do and doesn't like authority. I am the same way so I don't really know how to handle it. For instance, today we went to walk the dog. I told her not to ride her bike. She gets on and rides anyway and ends up going down the hill and into the street. I had to chase her (not fun when 8 months pregnant) and stop her, then physically pull her off. Then we come inside and start on homework. Our routine is I help her sister with her homework first, then it's her turn. They have the same homework every night so they are used to it and can do it by themselves but there are a few things 5yo needs help with, like reading and a spelling list. I give her the responsibility and independence to do most of it on her own but when it comes time for me to help her she refuses and says "no".  It just gets on my nerves and I'm at my witts end. She'll be told to be quiet at school but doesn't listen and continues talking over the teacher, getting her in trouble.  I'll ask her to clean up her toys and she just throws herself on the ground and screams she doesn't want to.

I have tried various punishments and DH has as backed me up but I really don't know what else to do. She has been told today that she isn't allowed to go to church with our neighbor tomorrow, and will probably lose her ice cream money on Friday but that doesn't phase her. She's very stubborn, strong-willed, and defiant with a major problem with authority. 

My 6yo is nothing like this. Complete opposite. 

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM
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by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM
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If you know her issue is with "authority" why do you keep trying to use a method that has been proven not to work?  Try using a different approach with her.  

I recently read an article about the choice we make as parents to create an adversarial relationship with our children.  Sometimes by changing our own behavior and making it more about team work, about being on the same side as our children, rather than about our making demands, imposing our will and exacting punishment it can get create a much better relationship and move everyone forward to a more peacefule, cooperative home enviroment. Work on building a sense that you are both working for the same thing rather than you imposing your will on her.  Talk to her about how she needs to be a leader in the classroom and have her brainstorm ways that she can show her leadership.  If it becomes her idea, you will empower her to make better decisions.

by Silver Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I highly recomend "The Explosive Child."  It has really helped us.

by Ruby Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

 I've heard good things about "The Strong-Willed Child" as well.




by Silver Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Have your tried positive reinforcement?  You have only mentioned negative reinforcement.  My son is 5 too and has a behavioral chart and we review it every day.  He receives a sticker for every behavior he completed.  If mommy or daddy does not need to tell him to do something he gets a double sticker.  If my son hits or does not listen 3 times to do something he gets a strike on paper.  If my son receives so many stickers he goes to McDonald's at the end of the week for dinner and to play at its playpark.  My son has behaved so well for the past two years with this behavioral chart. 

You have to be consistent with disaplining your child or it will never work.

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

I use positive reinforcement by upping my compliments for positive behavior with the child, then they start doing those things that I like more often. Like, "Thank you for puting your shoes away, thank you for puting your plate away. Thank you for listening, I love when you listen to me it makes me so happy!  I also praise the other kids in front of the misbehaved child and then they get competitive and start trying to do nice things. For instance I will say, "Thank you Josh for helping me without being asked, or thank you Jess for straightening up the living room! While the other child sits in trouble or pouting! 

by Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM

I'm reading "parenting the strong willed child" in hopes that it will help us.  My 7 year old is being a complete butthead about being told to do anything lately!

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