24 Strategies for Dealing with Defiant Children

Toddlers and Adolescents often reach a stage where they want to be like n independent adult. They want to set their own rules and often disobey parents, teachers, and others with their activities and behavioral problems. They like to argue and talk back and question every other rule that you set for them. Defiance needs to be dealt with minute speculation as misunderstanding the kid’s situation will pave way for future issues. 

What kind of behavior is considered to be seen as defiance in kids?

  • Annoyed and irritated
  • Angry and resentful
  • Argumentative
  • Blames others and disrespectful
  • Refuses to comply with rules
  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Impulsive
  • Screams

Parenting is difficult and your child’s defiant attitude will also cause pain to the teachers and his peers. How to deal with a rude and disrespectful child? You try to adopt various means, yet there’s no improvement but hope that you can still try. 

You have to keep in mind that things have changed and you cannot control your child(s) the way you have been done by parents. You must also learn to balance when to let go and when to exert control to be your kid’s best friend.

Stubbornness is a feature a child has shown since childhood. Although control of your child can be demanding and frustrating, you must know that the future of your child depends on how you control it. Don’t be fed up and maybe try to get your kid right.

The Psychology of Stubborn Kids

You must first understand why your child behaves like that and what is the reason behind it before you start scrutinizing your child for his/her unacceptable behavior.

There is a slim distinction between determination and obstinacy. Determination is upbeat, but stubbornness is not. Stubbornness can be inherited and actions were taken by studying other people can be created. 

Tips to Handle Defiant Children

  1. Understand your child’s behavior

It’s not recommended to lash out responsibilities without knowing the mindset of your child. Try to understand the pattern of your kid’s behavior and reason out the answer yourself.

Look for things that piss him off like yelling at him or hurriedly asking him to do stuff it or other reasons. Investigate the cause and try to work out a solution. It’s good to understand them before you discipline them.

  1. Treat your child with respect

Children learn from what they see in you so treat them with respect and expect to get back the same. You will have to discipline your child but you also have to deal with them respectfully. Abusing them and using physical enforcement will worsen the case.

Children don’t want to be scolded and yelled at, so make sure you try to put your things by keeping your own dignity. Treat them the way you want to be treated.

  1. Be strict on your absolute daily chores

There is a basic discipline that all the members of the family have to follow. You cannot treat your kid as an outsider as he needs to comply with the basic rules of the house.

If talking to an elder in a disrespectful manner is an absolute no in your house, then you need to teach the same to your kid. If he doesn’t follow, then you can make him realize his mistake by giving small punishments like making him for an extra chore which leaves less time for him to play.

Your absolute authority needs to be there in the house.

  1. Don’t fight but compromise

Just because you are a parent doesn’t mean you have to win the argument. Let your child have his way if the matter is trivial. It’s best to compromise and come up with a solution depending upon the intensity of the demand.

It’s good to let your child have control over small matters, it gives him a sense of importance and will help you to make decisions in bigger and significant matters.

  1. Give way for options

Defiant kids will turn rebellious when you give a verdict. They don’t like the attitude of declaring something. It’s good for them to provide options while setting rules, like for example,

it’s good for you to say the playroom should be cleaned by the end of the day rather than asking them to clean it then. Kids should know that they are not trapped with rules but they have a chance to work out their mistakes. 

  1. Good Behaviour should be appreciated

You may not like the defiant nature of your kid but if you learn to appreciate them while doing some good then it’s a morale boost for them. Let their good work be noticed and appreciated. It’s good if you don’t keep nagging kids ad this leads to pressure, stress, and anxiety.

You can instill positivity by acknowledging your child’s effort and hard work. 

  1. Don’t commit verbal mistakes 

There are few things which you need to consider like you cannot scold your child in front of others. Don’t call him ‘useless’ and teach your kid to say ‘Thank You’ and ‘sorry’.

Don’t keep scolding your child and make sure you listen to what your child wants to say.

  1. Stop being judgmental

It’s good if you don’t judge your kid and perform his performances work the other. Never let your child feel that he is unimportant and is monitored all the time. Let them follow their hobbies and don’t try to fix them always. 

  1. Apologize when necessary

Saying sorry to your kid does not make you a smaller person. Learn to admit your mistakes and you can say sorry to your kid when required.

They will learn from what you do and hence try to come forward to admit their mistakes. 

  1. Enforce consequences

Your defiant child will be stubborn and might not listen to you at all. Let him do extra chores or take away a favorite toy from him. He might have to pay for the cracked coffee mug from his account. You can enforce consequences to let things go your way.

11. Give them control

One easy way to control your children is to make as many choices as possible – especially on the little things. You might ask them: Do they want juice or water, if you make them a drink? Would they like it in a glass or cup? Would you like to sit at the table or kitchen? Be aware that making decisions for your toddler does not entail opening your slather. 

You should give your kid options and make sure that you get what you want. For instance, you can try to “Will you want beans or peas?” when you have arguments about vegetables? And if there are many differences about warm clothes, try, “Will you wear or take your jacket?”

12. Consistency is the key

You may recall that it took months or even years for your defiant kid to cultivate his personality and way to communicate with others. This interaction pattern can likely take a long time to change.

13. Focus on Positive things

Your challenging child always hears what he’s wrong with. He still hears negative comments at school, at home, and in public about his conduct and the effects of his poor choices. Even though it is negative, your disagreeable kid has effectively learned to pay attention to his misconduct and I mean a lot of attention. 

I know it is difficult, but you have to move from the negative attitudes of your child to the positive. Concentrate as much on your challenging child’s positive behaviour as you do the negative ones today. And use the same energy to rebuke his negative behavior in praise of his positive behavior.

14. Keep Calm

A challenging child always feeds your energy. Typically, a defiant infant doesn’t feel emotionally linked or controlled at present. Although it may seem like the challenging child is only meant for you, it is most probably not so. A defiant child would refuse to get dressed in the morning, for instance. He doesn’t do that because he expects you to work late. More likely, he is exhausted or hungry and has just not the maturity to say this with words to you.

15. Treat them like an Adult

It can be potent if we take a step back and start treating our children as adults. Strongly killed children do not answer well, but if we ask if we treat them as an adult or friend, they are likely to be sensible. I’m not suggesting or urging you to be permissive for all ‘parents as friends.’ However, a conscious effort is worth making to treat our children with the same restraint and reverence that we use if we respond to an adult that is behaving in the same way.

16. Do not give ultimatums

Children who have challenging behavior push us. They disagree. – They argue. It gets under our skin and it’s cheeky and unobtrusive. We are the guardian. We are the parent. The grown-up. The person who has experienced this connection. You ought to hear us. Instead of so often, they should uphold our authority. They know exactly what buttons they can push right from a very early age to get us cunning, disappointed, and twisted inside. Thus, we finally tell things like, “You clean your room better, or else!” before we know it.

Identify the ultimatum as a recipe for a losing result. So, walk away when you feel the blood boiling. Sit down and set clear boundaries. Explain and agree precisely on what will happen when a limit has been broken. And next time the scenario is repeated, the repercussions for limit breaches are quietly, strongly, and empathically imposed.

17. Develop their personality

Children who have a strong will or are rebellious are generally very smart. You ask everything about it. You don’t want to be told what to do or when to do it. They revolt against micro-management of this kind. Give them what they want naturally. Give them problems to solve instead of handing them tasks. Give them a chance to demonstrate their intelligence/help/child. Provide them with the opportunity to demonstrate their positive features. 

18. Give them frequent hugs

There can be days when your kid is being too arrogant and doesn’t want to listen to you at all. Your kid might argue with you throughout the day and that may disturb you. You might end up being angry with your kid and might also punish them for their ill-behavior.

But always remember during such moments your kid will feel guilty about their behavior and will also think that they don’t deserve love. During such moments, set aside your anger and embrace them in your arms and hug them. This will not only come them down but will also make them feel loved and secure. 

19. Take your child’s point of view into consideration

The best way to judge or to deal with the violent or disobedient behaviour of your child is to deal with this from their standpoint. For example, you promised your kid to take him/her to a movie but you declined to explain the circumstances to him/her as the weather went bad. This is not a broken promise your toddler will see, so you will calm him/her again by giving them another day.

20. Promote a peaceful atmosphere at home

Try not to fight in front of your toddler with your partner. The overall growth of your child needs to have a healthy home environment. Make sure your kid’s family is cheerful and safe. Youngsters tend to take on their behavioral features. So, make your home an enjoyable place for the development of your child rather than allowing arguments and abuses to your partner and discomfort your child.

21. Nurture your negotiating skills

Do not be too strict on your baby and refuse to do something. In place of full control, try negotiating and reaching a relationship with your child. For instance, if they want to play at home, talk to your child and accept that they may sit down to study for an hour and then play again after that.

22. Make a routine for your kid

Developing an effective and pleasant routine would enhance your child’s behaviour and performance at school. Make sure that you have time allocated for the rest of your toddler. Sleep deprivation will make your infant sluggish.

23. Make use of distractions

Sometimes you can’t reach the same conclusion with your toddler and it becomes traumatic. If, for example, you plan to go to work or to travel with your kid for a long time, try to distract him and tell stories about where you are going or exciting stories, that keep your creative mind busy until you get to your destination. You may not be unable to complete your daily tasks at home often. Try and create a time limit for a game

24. Develop a connection with your child

Don’t ask your child what he doesn’t want to do. This just makes them rebellious and makes the situation hideous by forcing your views. Be comprehensive. If your kid watches your favorite cartoon while they’re supposed to do their homework, sit and watch your show for a while rather than grab the remote or unplug the TV. You should expect your children now to do their homework while reading a book or doing their job, so they feel comfortable with you.

Problems one might face while dealing with defiant children

1. Eating Tantrums

Children can be incredibly moody eaters and more if they are obstinate. Deal with the ‘food shifts’ in that your meal looks appealing and delicious but does not compromise on the food consumption. If they can meet their expectations or appreciate their contribution, please ask them also to establish the dining table once in a while and treat them with their favorite candy.

2. Difficulty in making them do their homework

Your child may be lacking the focus or simply not willing to do his/her homework. Try splitting their homework into small chunks, to avoid feeling the pressure and finishing your job faster. Or encourage your child to assist him/her in the everyday activities on your free day or free time, and revisit the lessons he/she learned on that day.

3. Tantrums while dressing up

Childhood dressing may be a tough job. They insist that they wear something that doesn’t suit them. Try and sort out their clothing each week so they won’t be bothered again and again with the same clothes. Keep aside the weather-free and season-free apparel. Keep your child’s choice between two or three clothing options handy. The circumstance of Win-win from both ends!

4. Difficulty in making them go to bed

Right now, your toddler bubbles with energy. After the hard work of the day, you, on the other hand, are wary, but your child won’t let you hit the bed comfortably. Take a relaxing soundtrack, which makes your toddler asleep, to soothe his adrenaline. Therapeutic music.  Turn off the television. Allow it to decide, which pajamas it wishes to wear or which nightdress. Take your kid to bed, listen or share something with you, or listen to their day’s whereabouts. And kiss them well, ultimately.

Children have fear of punishment so they don’t want to bear such consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it good to bribe your child for good behavior?

That’s an absolutely wrong notion that you can compensate for good behavior with something in exchange. Your child will always expect something in return for his good behavior. He will put his temper for sale and you would be the bidder. You can reward a child for good behavior. 

How does a busy parent deal with a defiant child?

You need to take some time out for your child and sit back and talk about things.  Your child can clarify doubts and you can also find out about your child’s mental health. A defiant child turns aggressive when ignored. 

Does yelling work to discipline a defiant child?

Shouting is equivalent to hitting so obviously it’s not accepted. A defiant child will get more aggressive when he jas to face shouting and a vise. 

Why are kids often stubborn?

Children like to be aware of what they have to say and they tend to get stubborn when they feel that they are not heard. Pay attention and promote what your kid has to say. Make them think it’s important.

Can we call defiance an indicator of intelligence?

Defiance displays an indication of high mental understanding. While most kids of the same age as your child plans to play with certain rules, likely, your child will not play by his/her peers. He’s going to make his laws of his own. They are not mistaken; they act according to their instincts.

How to make my stubborn kid listen to me?

No shortcuts are available to get your baby to comply. The only ways you can comply with your toddler are time, patience, and love. If they do anything wrong, talk to them calmly and firmly rather than scold them or argue with them. Try and interpret their feelings instead of taking into account your feelings because you regard them as insignificant. Be their comrade before you become their protector.

How to discipline my defiant kid?

It can be difficult to discipline a stubborn kid. You want them to be disciplined but you do not want to injure them. By carefully observing and evaluating their behavior, you can only discipline your child. Once your strong and weak points are found, your dealings with them will be smoother. Try to turn their restlessness into a productive one.


Defiant children are misunderstood at times due to the negative qualities that they exhibit. These kids are arrogant but also bold to stand for the right. They can be monitored with proper help and counseling. 

You ought to be proud of the toddler. Yes, it may indeed be difficult but not impossible to nurture a stubborn child. Children with stubbornness are seen in academics as well as in their personal lives to become successful. They are willing, giving them a greater base not being diminished by the views of others. They are strongly willing. Calmly and effectively deal with your child. Watch the behavior of your infant, and take the best from your child’s psychiatry.

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