Yelling and heavy duty consequences usually backfire as attempts to lower your child's or teen's defiant behavior. If your child or teen is defiant, here are four surefire strategies to greatly reduce his or her defiant behavior:
1. Realize that understanding your defiant child is just as important as loving him. Think about it! No adult complains about being too understood as a child.
2. Speak calmly. Sounds so obvious, right? But if you seriously take a good look at how you speak to your child, are you as calm as you could be? As a "yeller in recovery", myself, I can tell you that yelling only fans the flames of defiance.
3. Resist those tempting power struggles! Defiant children believe they are equal in authority to adults. This makes it futile to try to beat them in the power struggle game.
4. Reinforce your child's compliant behaviors. The more positive attention he gets for being compliant, the less negative attention he'll look for by being defiant.
Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein is a psychologist, personal and executive coach, and motivational speaker in the greater Philadelphia area. He has been on the Today Show, International Radio, and has written four popular books, including 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child.