Help for Defiant Children and Overwhelmed & Frustrated Parents
Like us, children have free will to express their thoughts and feelings in various ways which are not always to our liking. Defiant children can challenge us, especially when their behavior is disruptive at home and in school.
While defiance is normal during certain periods of childhood and adolescence, it is important not to let this become an excuse to fail to teach your child how to behave appropriately and have regard for others. While it is normal for kids to seek independence at various points during their development, it is worrisome when defiant behavior starts to become a pattern and a child becomes chronically disruptive.
Oppositional defiant behavior can first show itself at the age of two and worsen over time if it is not addressed. For instance school age children who are oppositional will start by defying the rules at home and then act out in school. Usually, these kids also have conflicts with their peers and are rejected by them due to their attitude.
Strategies to deal with defiant kids should be put into action immediately to prevent these kids from carrying this behavior into adulthood. It's important to understand that left unchecked, this behavior only worsens with age and time. Dealing with a defiant child is very different from dealing with a defiant teen. The emotional and physical damage that oppositional defiant children in their teen years can inflict is enough to break apart a loving family. And, of course, beneath their angry exteriors, these kids are miserable.
If you have defiant children (often the oldest child acts out serves as a role model for younger children), you may feel frustrated and overwhelmed. You may have resorted to severe punishment and found that even this does not work. The answer lies not just in the consequences, but how and when you deliver them and the consistency with which you follow through. Although you may be shocked to hear this, your child's behavior can be amplified by how you react when he is acting out.
Learning how to change your parenting style helps immensely because oppositional defiant behavior is the result of an interaction in which the parent is unwittingly handing power to the child. While it's not your fault that you didn't understand this, it helps to know that hundreds of thousands of parents are in your shoes. While there is no one to blame, it is your responsibility to learn the parenting techniques that you will help your child learn respect and follow the rules that are designed for the safety and well-being of him and those around him.
Let's face it. You probably feel like you've tried everything. You've probably tried talking to your child, giving him consequences and may have even resorted to severe punishments, all to no avail. When you start to realize that you may be unwittingly playing a part in his drama, you have found the light at the end of the tunnel.
When nothing works, it's time for change. For instance, when you stop reacting to oppositional defiant children in the ways that they expect, you take them off guard and can take back your power as a parent. Of course, this is the power not to punish your child but to help him change and empower himself to be the best that he can be, so he can lead a happy and productive life.
If you need help learning new parenting strategies, a behavioral program designed specifically to help parents with defiant children is exactly what is needed. Research has shown that when positive, limit-setting behavioral techniques are taught in the home, they are transformative because both the parent and child are learning new ways of interacting. Of course, the best part of working together to create positive change is that the parent and child develop deeper bonds and learn how to trust and respect each other in more meaningful ways.
About the Author: Laura Ramirez is the author of the parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, which has won four awards, including a Nautilus Award given by Martha Stewart's Omnivision for books that promote conscious living and social change. If you have oppositional defiant children, make sure to read her Total Transformation review - her review of a program that has been successfully used by over 150,000 parents to turn around their kids' behavior.
Oppositional Defiant Children - Child Discipline