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Smart ways to deal with defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers

Having a child has its own perks but also comes with its own challenges. As long as your child has not learnt to walk, things are still under control to some extent. However, the minute he/she starts walking, exploring and understanding things; the entire picture changes. Tantrums, wanting their way and being fussy are just some of the defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers that parents have to face.

The reason behind defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers

rebellious behavior in toddlersThe kids of today mature a lot faster and become independent at a very early age. Even before they learn how to read, they already have a great deal of technical knowledge. The minute your child starts exploring new things, he/she starts developing its own mind. Some kids just love their independence and do not like any interference. The main reason behind this is because of their curiosity to explore things. During this phase, it is natural for your child to be rebellious and defiant.

The behavioral pattern of children from Birth to three

Before you can understand how to deal with a defiant toddler; it is important to first understand the behavior patterns of toddlers. From birth to age 3, your child is undergoing a drastic change and there are many things happening at the same time. This is also the time when they are developing their skills and are impulsive as well. It is not that they are intentionally doing it, but it is just the age. To understand the behavioral issues, let us divide this section into two age groups:

Birth to Eighteen months

rebellious behavior in toddlersThis is the time when children are just plain impulsive. They often tend to give a deaf ear to what their parents say because they just do not understand rules. Kids of this age are yet to master the art of self-control. If they see something they want to get it only because they are attracted to it and nothing else. This is one of the main reasons why they tend to get rebellious.

How to deal with a rebellious toddler of this age?

During this age, you cannot expect your child to listen to you if you scream and shout at them. As a parent, you have to be really smart, calm and patient. One of the best oppositional defiant disorder strategies would be to redirect your child’s mind.

For example

If your child is holding an object that is dangerous or just not right for him/her; take the object away firmly but gently as well. Make your kid understand that certain things are off limit and acknowledge its feeling by saying something like:

“I know that this (object or thing) is interesting and fun to play with; but this ( at this time give a safer object or toy to your child)  is even better than that.”

Eighteen to Thirty-six months

child’s-tantrumsWhen a child turns eighteen months, it is the time when they slowly start to understand the term individuality. This is also the time when you get to see more defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers. During this phase, a child tends to start developing his/her own thoughts and feelings about things. They also want to develop a level of control on things that suit their needs and wants.

How to deal with a defiant toddler of this age?

One of the best ways on how to deal with defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers at this age is to limit the control and independence. Give them simple and small directions so that they listen to you. You would also need to create a little level of excitement so that your child listens to you.

For example

If your child goes to day care and on a given day he/she just does not want to go; be ready for a tantrum. She/he will surely say NO and will want to get their own way. To deal with such situations, you can say things like

Well, I was planning to go to the (place that your kid loves the most) today. But if you’re not going to go then we can just stay home. OR you can also catch on to a point about something that you kid loves in the day care center and say – Well, if you don’t go today, then you would miss out on (whatever they like); I’m sure you do not want that now, do you?

General tips and strategies to deal with defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers

Let us look at a few oppositional defiant disorder strategies that can help you overcome defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers.

1. Avoid screaming or raising your hand

Avoid screaming or raising your handThe first thing that you should remember on how to deal with a defiant toddler is to gain your toddlers confidence. By screaming or raising your hand, you are only fueling the fire. Remember that your child is at an age where he/she

2. Find the root cause of the problem

When you are trying to find a solution on how to deal with a rebellious toddler; it is important to understand the root cause of such behavior. Dealing with a toddler is not easy; this is the age when the curiosity levels are its peak. In order to deal with defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers, you have to be smart, patient, calm and composed.

3. Play smart instead of reacting to things

Play smart instead of reacting to thingsThinking out of the box is one the best ways to get your child to listen to you. When you are tackling the defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers; you have to know how to play smart. By screaming, shouting or hitting your child; you will reach nowhere.

A final thought on defiant and rebellious behavior in toddlers

You need to find a better approach on coming up with innovative ways on how to deal with a rebellious toddler. It does take a lot of patience, a calm mind and a never give up attitude to crack the ice. Once you do, you will easily be able to deal with your child and his/her tantrum effectively.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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