With over twenty-two years of practice as a child, teen, and family psychologist behind me, I continue to be humbled by how complex we all are as human beings. Yet, when it comes to parenting difficult and defiant children and teens, I think we make it more complex than it needs to be.

To help any defiant child or teen, keep the following points in mind and truly take positive action. I have seen over and over how defiant behavior can be significantly lowered in children and teens--usually in week and often less than a few days.

- Listen, and I mean really listen, more to your child or teen than you talk to her.

- Remember that understanding your child is just as important, if not more important, than loving him.

- Check your ego at the door and stop taking your child's or teen's challenges so personally.

- Catch him doing more things right than wrong.

- Stop nagging.

- Be mindful that growing up IS different today, and the world is more complex and faster moving than when you were a kid.

- Give yourself some grace and cut yourself a break. Stop trying to be perfect as a parent. Remember the only perfect people are in the cemetery.

- Laugh, laugh, laugh. A comedian friend of mine, David Naster says it best, "You just have to laugh!"

Dr. Jeff is the author of 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child

Recent Posts in Liking the Child You Love

Twelve Tips for A Stronger, More Satisfying Relationship

Getting more satisfying love comes from you being a better partner

Get Out Of Your Toxic Relationship By Taking These 3 Steps!

Stop the madness and break free from the pain of a toxic relationship

Reducing Your Stress From A Challenging Child

Keep breathing to stay in control In stormy parenting waters

Why Not to Yell in a Nutshell

12 Compelling Reasons For Not Yelling at Your Child or Teen

8 Tips to Help Your Distractible Child Succeed

Learning how to sidestep power struggles, can help your child learn better

Three Ways To Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Being Calm, Firm, and Non-Controlling Will Help You Stop Yelling