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Kids and Defiance

Your child refuses to tidy up his toys? Or clean up his room? Or hang his coat? Is he becoming more resistant and disobedient? Your baby is growing and becoming more independent. He has a stronger character and his own opinion about the world.

However, if your child’s behavior becomes aggressive and uncooperative compared to other kids, then you should take it seriously, because he might be showing signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

What are the signs of ODD?

  • Frequent tantrum

  • Always arguing and questioning rules.

  • Always defying rules.

  • Purposely annoying other kids.

  • High level of anger.

  • Mean and hateful to others.

  • Seeks revenge.

What can you do about defiance?

  • Set limits: Set up reasonable limits that your child would understand and know what they are. Tell him what is expected from him in each situation as, “you should always hold my hand when you cross the road”, “You will be in “time-out” if you kick your sister” ….

  • Use “Time-Out” method effectively: Put your child in a quiet place, do not argue with him, and let him calm down, then after that talk about the inappropriate behavior.

  • Choose your battles: Do not make up a huge problem from a small issue as; your child wants to wear a green shirt and an orange pant. Why you care? Instead keep the battle for more important stuff as hurting someone or breaking home accessories…

  • Reward good behavior: Do not only give comments for bad behavior. It is nice that your child hear from you a simple “Thank you” for something he did, as: Thank you for tidying up your toys. Build up a positive environment.

  • Raise his self-esteem: Let him take decisions. Instead of giving him one choice, offer him two and let him decide which one.

  • Be reasonable: Avoid situations that might ignite your child’s defiance such as, give him 5 minutes notice before leaving his friends house or avoid fancy restaurants if you know that there is no entertainment for his age.

  • Manage your stress: if you feel you are stressed out, take a time to calm down and relax. Aggravating the situation won’t be helpful for both.

You have to know that all kids go through a stage of defiance to prove themselves. The most important thing is to get their trust, love them and show them affection. Set up a positive environment in your house, understand your child and communicate with him to eliminate all underlying stress and issues.

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