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Dealing with a Defiant Toddler

Dealing with a Defiant Toddler

It’s a natural part of your child’s development process to be difficult at times. Toddlers realize that they are separate beings and try to control their environment. As parents, we have to demonstrate positive ways they can channel that control instead. Some tips:


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• Show empathy. Give a hug. Try to show you're on her side.
• Set clear limits and expectations. Communicate them clearly to your child.
• When possible, offer a limited choice to let her have some control. Is there another acceptable option available to your demand?
• Reward good behavior and use positive reinforcement, but don't bribe them into compliance.
• Give notice before a transition in activity (like leaving a place, ending play). Try to avoid a meltdown beforehand.
• Follow through calmly and firmly if the limit is broken. Try to change the subject and distract. Avoid giving in; you'll only reinforce bad behavior.

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