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How to Deal With a Defiant Child

  • Determine the values you want your child to have as an adult, and tailor parenting methods that teach these principles. Teach by example.

  • Try to structure situations so that the child's ability to comply will be fostered.

  • Focus on why rules are necessary.

  • Look for clues to what may have prompted the defiant behavior.

  • Use empathy plus limit setting. Express an understanding of the child's position, but clearly state and enforce the rules.

  • Use positive-reinforcement to teach children long-term incentives for good behavior.