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We have all experienced a child rising up to defy us.

What do you do?

Threaten? Ignore? Ship them to Siberia?

Listen to Dr. Leman share his views on how to deal with defiance.

The bad news: if you have allowed your kid to get away with defiance for years, then you have a real issue.

The good news: You still have time and the opportunity to correct that defiance.


Points from the podcast

For really young kids:

  • What looks like defiance may actually be learning.
  • Kids live off of the power that we create or demonstrate before them.
  • You can overuse the word “No” to the point that it loses its impact.

For teenage kids:

  • When parents do not address defiance in the early years, they have to work double-duty to resolve it in teens.
  • A teenager is defiant because it worked for him as a young kid. Stop letting it work for him.
  • Don’t fall into your teen’s games. They know how to push you.
  • Telling your kids/teens “no” is the best way to stop defiance.

Follow-up to defiant behavior:

  • Stay Calm.
  • Wait for the time your kids want to do something. Then you simply say “no” and walk away.
  • When they ask “why?” tell them you are not pleased with how they treated you.
  • Don’t give in to their request when they apologize.
  • Tomorrow is a new day, so start with a clean slate.

Look at the long-term priorities

  • Missing one soccer game or dance class is inconsequential in light of a life lesson.
  • Mom and Dad are not for using. Don’t overlook defiance. If it isn’t stopped in your home, where will it be stopped?

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

We want to raise a strong-willed child, but not a powerful child.


The next session is on “B Doesn’t Happen Till A.” If you have a question or thought regarding this topic, please leave us a voicemail for the next session. It must be under 30 seconds for the podcast. We reserve the right to use your question on the podcast. (This is NOT a private voicemail for personal counseling.)

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Question: How do you stay calm in the heat of defiance?