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What to do with a Defiant Five Year Old

by Michelle on June 10, 2013
category: 3 – 5 years (preschooler),5 – 12 years (kid),Practical Tips

Lately it has been pretty stressful around our house. Our five year old daughter has all of a sudden been on her own agenda each day. She thinks the world revolves around her and she doesn’t have to do anything other than what she wants to do. When I correct her with her wrong actions it’s a constant battle and often times I feel defeated at the end of the day as if I have given her complete control of the situation. So after some research I have found a few key points that are crucial if you are experiencing the same type of thing in your home.

Do not overreact

Keeping your composure and not overreacting is extremely important in this type of situation. Even though it might be difficult at times, your child is in a very vulnerable state to copy everything that you do. So if you yell back at them, even though you are correcting their actions. They are just going to continue to think it’s okay to yell as well. If your child is yelling at you something you could respond with is, “I think you could find a better way to say that.” By you yelling back at them it will only add to what ever frustration might be the root of their behavior.

Offer choices

Children want to feel like they are in control of their own life. If at all possible during the day give your child options to make their own decisions. “Would you like to wear shorts or pants today?” “Would you like a sandwich or soup for lunch?” By letting them make their own decisions they will begin to feel like you are including them and allowing them to make their own big kid decisions versus you always deciding for them.

Setting limits

If your child says something that is not acceptable in your house. Be sure you draw the line and make it known that we do not say that in this house. It is extremely important to set limits with children and stick to them. If you don’t stick to the limits that you have set forth, your child will more than likely become defiant because they know you are not serious. It is also important to communicate in a calm fashion that every thought that runs through their head does not need to be verbalized. Whether it be the way someone looks out in public, or how something tastes when you are at a friends house having lunch. Set limits with your child and let them know what is acceptable and what is not.

Keep your eye on the goal

Always try and focus on the solution. Be sure that in your child’s calmer moments you try and understand why they act the way they do. Maybe the reason they don’t stay in their bed each night isn’t because they don’t like their bed, but because they see monsters on the wall. If so, buy them a nightlight to take care of the problem. Try to focus on how to get to the bottom of their problems versus always fighting them and thinking they are just being a little brat. There is almost always a reason behind it all.

Got Toddler Troubles?  Read this great article on keeping your toddler busy!

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