When it comes to children, you are their role model. Parents are their first teachers. It is important to let them know how to deal with various situations as they age. Appropriate responses lead to positive outcomes. Never is this more important than dealing with defiant children. Model appropriate behavior. It will make things easier on you and on your children.
What Makes Defiant Children Different
Defiant children may suffer from a condition called ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This is more complex than just being stubborn. These children are disagreeable in the extreme and the behaviors occur almost daily. Parents often feel responsible or guilty for their children’s behavior anyway, so this just makes the situation that much more intense. The children may break the rules, talk disrespectfully, and repeat annoying behaviors on a regular basis. Traditional types of discipline only fuel the children’s anger and irritability. Parents often find themselves on a perpetual search for new ways of handling the situation.
Practice what you preach.
To help the children and family, professionals, who specialize in behavioral disorders, can offer effective methods to help parents problem-solve, decrease negativity, manage anger, and increase social skills. There are also family sessions to discuss how the issues affect each household member.
In addition, parents can make things better by modeling the behaviors they want their children to emulate. Defiant children have a problem dealing with their emotions. Looking at their parent’s examples can assist them in making the best choices.
Practice Handling Adult Conflicts
During the day, you have many opportunities to practice conflict resolution with the adults around you. If your children hear you yelling at the customer service person when you have an issue, your children won’t think twice about yelling at you and others. Instead of becoming loud or aggressive, learn to communicate with others calmly and quietly. Even if your children aren’t anywhere around, the chances are high that someone’s children are within hearing distance.
Wait Patiently and Quietly
Have you waited in line for a long time because of a slow checkout person? Don’t mutter about them under your breath and then smile at them when you get to the head of the line. Resist giving people dirty looks as well. Waiting is a part of life.
Practice waiting patiently and quietly. You feel better in the end and you set the standard for your children when you model the behavior you expect to see in them. The earlier your children learn and master this skill, the better off they will be. Let’s face it. To be perfectly honest, it also means that you will be embarrassed less often by your children blurting out something they obviously heard you say.
Agree to Disagree
Kids watch you interact with others. When you have a disagreement, don’t yell, stoop to name-calling, or bring up the past. Deal with the situation at hand. Focus on the current issue only and redirect the focus back to the present as needed. Ideally, when people disagree, a compromise is made and each person gives a little.
There are times when a compromise just isn’t possible under the circumstances. In this case, it’s best to set a boundary, agreeing to disagree. This allows you to accept that the other person has a different point of view without agreeing with it.
Accept the Consequences
If you miss a payment, you get a late fee. You are responsible for paying it on time. Don’t make excuses or lay the blame elsewhere. Accept that you made a mistake and do things differently next time so that you don’t make the same mistake again. When you accept the consequences of your actions, your children will begin to understand that they aren’t the only ones who have to take responsibility for what they do, or don’t do, and say.
Use every opportunity to demonstrate positive behavior to your defiant children. It reminds them that they always have choices. The trick is to show them how to weigh the consequences of each and make the best choice.