THE REBEL WITHIN
HOW TO DEAL WITH DEFIANT CHILDREN
Many parents find rebellious children too hot to handle. Communication and relationships break down, sometimes irreparably. This exacerbates the problem. This article will shed some light on dealing with defiant children.
Sometimes it is just a passing phase and there is nothing more to it. Sometimes children are defiant for a reason, and if this behaviour is not properly managed, it can harden into set behaviour. Communicate with and find out from the child if something has happened to them recently and they are angry about it. Otherwise, it could be that they seeking attention by being defiant. In any case, open communication helps.
Oppositional Defiance Disorder
There are circumstances, however, when this behaviour is the result of a more serious condition known as Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or other serious emotional issues. The key to dealing with defiant children is not to be harsh too quickly. It is generally more productive, in the long run, when parents adopt a more counselling and rationale approach whenever a child acts up.
Sometimes children are not being defiant; they simply do not know they have done wrong. Don’t assume every child knows it’s wrong to be rude, or even what defines rude. List down some house rules and talk through the rules with them. For example, lying and taking things without permission are not acceptable, and why.
One counterintuitive way to deal with defiance is to avoid arguments. Arguments are not good for both parties. Reason out with them without raising your voice. Yelling, accusing and hitting the child achieves little. Don’t take defiance personally; teenagers are dealing with puberty and this involves hormonal changes, which may result in sudden mood swings.
Consistency is the key to avoid reinforcing bad habits. Once the child is old enough to understand that behaviours have consequences, don’t discipline a child one day for anti-social behaviour, and wink at the same behaviour on other days.