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 take positive action. I have seen over and over how defiant behavior can be significantly lowered in children and teens—usually in week or even less than a few days:
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.
Laugh, laugh, laugh. A comedian friend of mine, David Naster says it best, "You just have to laugh!"
For persistent problems, please see a qualified mental health professional.
Dr. Jeff is the author of 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child