Dealing with Defiant Kids.. All About Rules (2)

By: Yassmine ElSayed

CAIRO, Mar. 7 (SEE) – In a previous piece, ‘, SEE’ provided tips on how to deal with kids’ defiance, as a very hard trait about young age. In this piece, we continue the tips earlier provided by experts at Baby Center.


  1. Teach cooperation
    Your preschoolers are their own persons, and you’ll never be able to completely control their behavior.
    Trying to make them obey you unquestioningly will make both of you upset and frustrated. And it may stop them developing their own sense of what they should and shouldn’t do.
    Instead, focus on teaching them that it’s important to listen to others because it makes life run more smoothly.


  1. Offer choices
    Allow your kids to make their own choices so they can feel that they have some control over what happens to them.
    Ask if they like peas or green beans with dinner, and which of two stories they’d prefer at bedtime.
    Another way to help your preschoolers feel more in control is to tell them what they can do, instead of what they can’t. Rather than saying, “Don’t kick the ball in the house!” say, “Why don’t you go into the garden and play football?” If your kids want an ice-cream as a snack, tell them they can choose between a slice of cheese or an apple.


  1. Give advance warning
    Rather than expecting your preschooler to jump up immediately from a game with friend to get in the car, give a few minutes’ notice to help change gears: “Kid, we’re leaving in five minutes, so please finish your game.”


  1. Pick your battles
    If you and your preschooler clash over a particular issue, ask yourself whether it’s worth getting into a conflict over.
    Prioritize issues that affect their safety and wellbeing, and be flexible about less important things. This lets your kids know that you’re trying to keep them healthy and safe, rather than disciplining them for the sake of it.


  1. Have realistic expectations
    Remember that it’s natural for your preschooler to want to challenge you occasionally. It’s a sign that they develop the ability to make decisions for themselves. And it shows that their capacity to analyze situations is maturing, which will be useful at nursery, school, and in later life.
    Don’t expect them to obey you all the time. But let them know that you do expect them to treat you, and others, with respect.

Defiance is normal in toddlers and younger preschoolers, and occasional disobedience is natural at any age. But if your child seems to be more defiant and hostile than other children by the time he’s reached school age, and it’s straining family relations, speak to your GP for advice.

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