When Your Child Continually Defies Authority

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{taken from the book You Can Handle Them All…for Parents}

I. BEHAVIOR: How exactly is my child behaving?

  1. Openly challenges parents or teachers at almost every opportunity.
  2. Talks back.
  3. Dares punishment.
  4. Usually appears unaffected by what parents say or do—and may even laugh at it. {Tweet this}
  5. May even refuse to accept punishment.
  6. Usually overly critical of parents’ sense of fairness.
  7. Quick to claim injustice by saying, “Nobody likes me.” Thus, extremely conscious and critical of parents’ treatment of him or her.
  8. Does not appear to feel very good about himself or herself; seems to think he or she is not being treated well by others, including siblings, other children, parents, and teachers.
  9. Loses sight of the fact that his or her behavior is actually the reason for what is happening in relationships with other people.
  10. Has little self-control.
  11. Often highly emotional.
  12. Tries to rationalize or justify what’s happening as someone else’s fault.
  13. Picks fights with siblings or other children—in addition to taunting parents. Picks fights at school too—over the smallest of incidents, which he or she claims are significant.

II. EFFECTS: How does my child’s behavior affect other people at home and in school?

  1. Neither parents nor teachers know how to respond to or handle this child.
  2. Meals, events, and lessons are disrupted.
  3. Rules are challenged.
  4. Home and classroom are in turmoil and crises arise daily.
  5. Parents experience much anguish.
  6. Parents feel uneasy and may even become ineffective.
  7. Parents worry about disciplining other children because they haven’t been successful with the defiant child.
  8. If this child’s behavior is allowed to go unchecked, siblings may question parents’ fairness when they are reprimanded.
  9. Tension becomes an ever-present condition at home.

III. ACTION: Why is my child behaving this way, what unmet needs does he or she have, and what specific things can I do to help him or her behave better?

  1. Primary cause of misbehavior:
    • Revenge: This child wants to be disliked. Failure has made him or her give up trying to get attention in an acceptable way.
  2. Primary needs being revealed:
    • Escape from Pain: This child is feeling a lot of pain and his or her behavior demonstrates this pain.
    • Gender/Identity: This person’s interactions with people are very negative.
  3. Secondary needs being revealed:
    • Aggression: This person is using assertion as a means of survival. This assertion must be directed toward a more positive involvement.
    • Achievement: Personal responsibility is a form of achievement for this child.
    • Power: A form of power must be offered to this child.
    • Status: Everything must be done to demonstrate the worth of this child. This does not mean you accept his or her behavior, but you do accept the person.
    • Autonomy: The child needs many ways to be in control of his or her life other than defiance.
  4. Regardless of the situation, never get into a “yes you will” contest with this child. Silence is a better response. {Tweet this}

Free book excerpt with 15 more ACTIONS and 10 COMMON MISTAKES!

Handled this behavior in the past? Share your experience in the comment section below…

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