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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Three Important Tips to Overcome Defiant Behavior in Kids

By Andrew Loh

Parents already know and understand that most of the kids tend to display occasional defiant attitudes like throwing tantrums and misbehaving with people. However, there might be a limit to what your kid can display and exhibit in front of others. All kids do exhibit their share of misbehavior from time to time. But, there may be kids who tend to display an obsessive misbehavior disorder that parents must try and rectify as soon as possible. Parents can device their own methods and plans to overcome defiant behavior in children. Here are three important tips that will help parents to change their kid's behavior.

Playing with your kids

The most important goal here is to strengthen the emotional bon between you and your kids. Stronger bond between you and your kids means that your kids will better respond to disciplining regimen. In many cases, kids want to attract their parent's immediate attention; kids may stop misbehaving altogether as soon as they understand that they don't need to create a drama to draw parent's attention.
Important tips to be followed while spending time with your kid are paying positive attention, taking meaningfully and empathizing with them.

Playing brain stimulating games and puzzles with your kid seems to be a productive idea. You can reserve some specific time slots to spend with your kids. Ensure that you using this time slot to teach the basics of mannerisms and good behavior. Parent-kid playtime is very important to make your kids feel protected, loved, adored and looked after. Positive reinforcement through playtime makes your child to develop strong self-esteem and self-image. They will also feel competent and bold to take positive actions.

Tips: Playtime may include sessions that mimic classrooms where you will be a friendly teacher and your kid a courteous student. Now, you can teach your kids important words like "please", "thank you", "kindly", "nice", "good" etc. This could also be the time to teach social skills like taking turns, standing in a Q, and cooperating with others to get a work done. Playing problem solving games is also a nice idea. Teaching vocabulary and imagination skills will help your kid to develop a sense of positive vibe and encouragement.

Caution: At time, parents may loose their patience and get angry in the process when they see that their kids are still misbehaving with others. Parents will need to be patent enough to put their maximum effort as the process tends to take a long time.

The Power of Praising

All kids display a tendency to show minor misbehavior with their parents and other siblings. As a parent, you may need to condone minor misbehavior and rectify it by using the power of praising. Excessive scolding and yelling at your kids is always counter-productive. On the other hand, the use of occasional praise encourages your kids, stimulates them to behave in a better manner and conditions them to interact in a positive manner. Praising will also make your kid understand his or her self-worth and accomplishment. Kids always repeat the same behavior that brought them heaps of praise!


  • Praise your kids when they perform their assigned tasks and daily chores like brushing, bathing and feeding.

  • Praise your kids when they do something good like helping you in finishing off some house related tasks.

  • Praise your kid when he or she show positive behavior like listening to parents, obeying and heeding to requests, getting dressed on time for school, sharing things with others, doing daily chores, playing quietly to themselves and talking nicely to others.

  • Use string and positive praise words: "Nice job", "well done", "great", "wonderful", "good", "excellent" ....etc.

The Power of Ignoring

While praising your kids for good behavior is a good idea and a practical solution, you may need some other form of tactics to teach good behavior to your kid. Sometimes, you may need to use the power of ignoring to dispel negative, attention seeking behavior. You may need to ignore incidences of throwing tantrums, crying, whining and swearing needs to be ignored by you.

Ignoring your kid for bad behavior is a double edged knife that can work both ways. Before ignoring your child, you will need to decide and confirm the behavior displayed by him or her is genuine and that it took place because of real reasons. You may need to segregate and single out instances of bad behavior before deciding to ignore your kid. You may wish to use the power of ignoring and praising techniques alternatively to bring good behavior in your kid.


Child Development

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