Dealing With Defiance
We've all been there. Having explained our request, argued, and issued threats, our defiant child stands before us, jaw set and arms akimbo. The question racing through both of our minds: "Now what?"
Dealing with outright disobedience is the parenting job we dread most. In part because most of us have no idea how to handle it, but also because decades of advice from parenting experts have both confused us and left us scared that we'll somehow compromise our darlings' burgeoning self-esteem if we react in the wrong way.
But take heart. The fact is, dealing swiftly with a child's misbehavior -- and doing so consistently -- matters more than the details of your response.
Below, eight proven ways to deal with high-test naughtiness. What works one day in one situation might not work the next when the stakes and setting are different, so it pays to be flexible. Just make sure, however you manifest your intolerance, that your child knows quickly and for certain that defiance won't be tolerated. A one-size-doesn't-fit-all guide to solutions:
Parenting contributing editor Julie Tilsner's most recent book, Mommy Yoga, came out in October 2005.