Liking the Child You Love

How to build a better relationship with your kids—even when they're driving you crazy.

Five Powerful Tools to Manage Defiant Children

Staying in control of your own emotions helps you better manage your defiant child. Read More


The post very rightly says that "Staying in control of your own emotions helps you better manage your defiant child". Taking it one step further, your calm mind coupled with compassionate love can turn short-term defiancy into long-term obedience. This is what I learned as a parent from,

Try doing the following:

1) Stop nagging, complaining, and advising your child every now and then for small things, and instead start praying.
2) Do what he likes, especially what he likes to hear from you (obviously it should be for his good).
3) Speak positive, tell him or her about his or her strenghts or good things.

It works! At home, anyway.

I wanted to say to the author and to other parents that these approaches really work. My son is only three-and-a-half, but in the last few months has gone from my nemesis to my best helper. He is still the same strong-willed, self-determined young person, but it shines out in kindness, fun and creativity rather than conflict. People used to tell me I should be more firm with him to 'show him who's boss' and I let that derail my parenting instincts to engage and listen to him. Reading Dr Bernstein's book gave me the confidence to shut out those voices out and put my trust back in my son, who has rewarded me a million times over.

Unfortunately, we are still having trouble at his kindergarten, where he is getting multiple time outs and very few 'kindness stars' compared to his peers, and his confidence and behaviour continues to suffer. I'm pretty sure they stay calm and positive, but in a big setting, with lots of noisy kids, I get the impression that helping a defiant child is not at the top of their list, and the expectation is that he should just learn to do better. It's making us all a bit sad, so any tips or resources for dealing with this type of situation much appreciated.

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Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., has authored four books, including 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child.


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