Monday, April 6, 2015

How to help the defiant child, by Barbara Roba, author of 'Building Blocks of Positive Parenting'

How to help the defiant child

Defiance is displayed when children refuse to follow rules and the directions of those in authority. This is typically seen with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Defiant children use inappropriate behaviors such as being rude, refusing to do what they are told, and causing disruptions. Parents and teachers are normally very frustrated with these children and wish they could find a way to help increase compliance.

The majority of defiant children lack positive experiences in their life and may have parents who are authoritarian in
nature. This type of parenting style reinforces punishment rather than discipline (teaching) and does not take into consideration the feelings, needs, or wants of the child. It is a “do as I say, no matter what” approach to raising kids. Needless to say,this is unhealthy. As a result, we see these children displaying defiance and longing for control over their lives. This may result in using negative behaviors in an effort to obtain this control. Over time, the tension between child and parent worsens as the child’s response to punishment results in learning how to use defiance to get their needs met.

75 interventions are listed for defiance. I listed four here:

1. Be patient, consistent, and as positive as possible. Acceptable behavior happens over time and is highly influenced by parents, peers, life experiences, and interventions used by adults.

2. Attempt to identify your child’s triggers to becoming defiant. Do this by asking yourself, “What happened just before the behavior occurred?” Once you have it figured out, use incentives to motivate your child to have a more productive outcome in the future. Future planning for success is part of the learning process for both of you. 

3.. Identify what purpose the behavior is serving. Do this by asking yourself, “What happened after the behavior occurred?” This will help you to evaluate your own behavior and environmental factors that may be reinforcing negative behaviors.

4. Choose your battles carefully. Try not to argue or force compliance. These two things only serve to escalate hostile interactions. Use strategies such as planned ignoring, calmly give choices, calmly giving consequences, and letting the topic go until your child is calm. At that time, be ready to discuss how to use more appropriate behaviors.

Want more tips? Check out her book 'Building Blocks of Positive Parenting':


The book that parents wish their children were born with is here!Do you wonder what to do when your child refuses to listen to you? Do you wish your child wasn't so defiant? Is there a way to quell tantrums? Do you know how positive discipline can make your life easier as a parent? In The Building Blocks of Positive Parenting, Barb answers each of these questions and much more with easy to understand explanations, tips, plans, and interventions than can be put into place today!

Most parents have very busy lives and don't have the time or energy to spend reading parenting books cover to cover. The best part of The Building Blocks of Positive Parenting is that you don't have to read the whole book to see changes in your child. In the first few chapters, you will easily learn the foundations to positive parenting. From there, you take control and get to pick and choose from behaviors specific to your child. Doing so will allow for a targeted approach instead of having to weed through information that has nothing to do with your child and family. Given our fast-paced world, this book is a refreshing and easy-to-use tool to encourage positive change.

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Barb Roba is a licensed mental health counselor and has earned a masters degree along with her Certificate of Advanced study in school counseling. Her area of expertise is found working with young children and their families to develop positive parenting and behavior management techniques. Barb is a mother of two boys. She currently works as an elementary school counselor and provides online mental health therapy to clients.

Find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

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