How to handle your child’s defiant or aggressive or resilient behaviour?
Nowadays most children say ‘No’ the moment they are being told to do something. This non-compliance of their child irritates you as parents. But do not lose your cool.
When your child starts to tests limits or asserts himself, he is trying to be more independent. And while budding independence is healthy, an ongoing pattern of defiance isn’t good, but this usually occurs simultaneously.
Whenever your child says no when you tell him to pick up his toys or he simply pretends, as if he can’t hear you when you tell him it’s time to come inside, then do take action and try to motivate him to start listening better.
Praise Complaint Behaviour: While it can be hard to notice good behaviour when your child is constantly refusing to listen, it’s important to find a good behaviour to praise. For example: when you are at the dinner table, you might say, “Please hand me the salt.” Immediately comply by saying, “Thank you” to your child.
This will make them feel that you will appreciate them when they listen to you and thus makes your child crave for more praises.
Give Daily Doses of Positive Attention: Non-compliance can be a great way for kids to gain lots of attention. And even though it is negative attention, some kids crave it because they are not matured enough to understand the difference between good and the bad.
Eliminate this attention-seeking behaviour of your child by giving daily doses of positive attention. Play a game together or spend time talking, if not go for a walk. Just a few minutes of positive attention can go a long way in reducing defiance in your child.
Give Effective Instructions: If your child didn’t hear you or he is too distracted playing his video game that he isn’t bothered listening, you may need to change how you give directions.
Try and establish eye contact or put a hand on your child’s shoulder to get his attention before you start speaking. Turn off the background noise and make sure your child is paying attention to what you’re telling him to do.
Offer Choices: One of the best ways to combat defiant behaviour is to offer at least two choices. Then, your child will feel like he/she has some control over the situation.
Avoid questions like, do you want to drink milk? Because a defiant child will say NO instead ask questions like, Do you want to drink milk or juice?
Create a Reward System: Create a reward system that gives your child the motivation to be compliant. Provide frequent positive reinforcement and consider creating a reward to keep your child on track.
For example, try giving a reward to your child with a token each time he listens to your instructions without arguing. Then, allow him to aim for exchange tokens for bigger rewards like an opportunity to go to the park.
Avoid getting into a power struggle with your child who is non-compliant, this may affect your relationship with them and also their behaviour and it will only make the defiance worse. Instead, warn him, as if you do so, then this would be the consequence, to turn the behaviour around.
Let’s imagine walking into your house and seeing one of your friends violating a house rule.
They’re doing something, that they know you don’t like. Maybe they’re putting their feet on your coffee table, maybe they’ve left the dirty cups and dishes around the house, or maybe they didn’t take their shoes off at the door and are roaming in your house.
They usually give you a guilty look, waiting for your response.
Let’s take a moment to consider what you would say or do.
It’s not something bad, we all do it. We all might have snapped at our kids one time or another, by saying, “even though they knew the rules in the house they constantly keep testing the boundaries which they should know better!”
But if we take a step back and rethink, and start treating our kids a little like adults, it can be a powerful tool to get better with your child’s behaviour.
Strong-willed kids don’t respond well when they are being told, but they’re likely to be more reasonable if we ask or if we treat them more like an adult, or a friend.
Hug Them: Many parents might feel that their daughter is difficult, defiant, disruptive and irritating at times when she argues with you for no apparent reason. There might be days when she’s just horrible to everyone. She lashes out and hurts people with seemingly no motivation or intentions.
But you should discover that she does this for a reason. Understand that she’s trying to tell you something. Her behaviour is saying, “I’m horrible and unworthy and I bet you can’t love me now” this is because of the emotional changes that occur in a child’s life
The solution is to see past her behaviour and feel her hurt and understand her pain, take her aside and hug her and say, “I love you just the way you are or however you are” Or, “Nothing you do will ever stop me from loving you, my girl.”
This works every time. She will take down the barriers and cry and tells you what’s wrong. Maybe she’s tired and feeling less resilient because it’s difficult for a child to face the hard growing life. Or maybe she just doesn’t feel good enough. Whatever it might be, the same way every child needs comfort and understanding to meet the emotional armour she’s put on.