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Defiant Children - Understanding Defiance and Oppositional Characters

By Andrew Loh



According to the Princeton University, the word defiance is:

  • Intentionally contemptuous behavior or attitude

  • A hostile challenge

  • A defiant act

Just sit down and imagine the children, who consistently lose their cool and temper, argue with others, deliberately defy others' requests and rules, and do all those things that annoy and trouble others. Compliment these undesirable behaviors with their habit of blaming others for their misbehavior! Such children aren't exactly liked either by their peers or by other adults. These are also the children, who deliberately break ground rules and still enjoy doing them.

Confronting defiant behavior by children is a big challenge. Most defiant children start exhibiting this negative character from age 2 or 3. Defiant behavior in children is a negative trend and it should be handled promptly as soon you notice it. Defiance should not be treated lightly, as it may flare itself as a very big problem later on. It is also a progressive problem that tends to get worse, as children grow and become adults.

Most defiant children, who exhibit this trait, tend to acquire it by the age of three or four. As they grow and reach the age of eight or nine, this problem may become acute. Available research shows us that in a classroom and in playground, peers may reject a defiant child within the first 30 minutes. Defiant children may show extreme aggression with their peers and they could also be very hostile with their friends.

Defiance always shows up at home first before appearing in the classroom. If parents fail to curtail this negative habit, their children may lose their way to many bad habits later on in their life, when they reach their teen age. It is also very difficult to treat this negative behavior, when children reach the age of 10. Defiance among children leads to extreme frustration amongst their parents. Nothing may seem to work for parents of children who are severely defiant. Some parents may ignore defiant behavior in their children until it is too late.

Most children are defiant and oppositional from time to time. They are particularly defiant when they are tired, extremely hungry or upset with someone or something. They may start to argue, talk back, disobey or protest their parents, when they are under severe stress. Defiance is a part of children's life especially when they are in their second or third year. However, when it becomes seriously unbearable, parents may need to think seriously on finding practical solutions to the problem.

There may be a series of defiant children symptoms that are too visible to be missed. Some of these symptoms are:

Frequent shows of temper and aggression: Temper and aggression are very common among children who are defiant. At times, defiant children may even become violent. Defiant children may also exhibit extreme irritation towards others, even though there are no causative factors.

Excessive arguments and quarrels: Defiant children are always argumentative and quarrelsome. They have the habit of picking up arguments with their parents and peers at the slightest provocation.

Questioning set rules and regulations: Children who are defiant always question the rules set by parents and classrooms. They may start argue, why those rules do not apply for them.

Refusal to comply with requests made by parents: This is perhaps one of the most visible symptoms. Children who show oppositional characters refuse to comply with any requests made by their parents.

Crude and deliberate attempts to annoy or upset other people: Children who are defiant and oppositional always try to upset and annoy other people. In fact, they do it deliberately and with clear intentions.

Putting blames on others for their misbehavior or mistakes: Children who are defiant, blame others for their mistakes. This may happen so commonly with their younger siblings. Some children may even do this intentionally because, they may not know what they are doing is wrong.

Extremely sensitive: Defiant children are extremely sensitive towards changes in their living environment. They may not be tolerant of others asking them questions. Classroom work may irritate them, while homework chore may disturb their mind.

Mean and bad words in their talk: When they get angry, defiant children may start talking many mean words that may not be used in a home or classroom.

Dodging work and daily chore: Such children may dodge their homework or classroom assignments. They may also be very lethargic in their attitude, when it comes to do their daily work like bathing or dressing up for the school.

Defiance among children is an extremely worrying situation for parents. Parents should try to nip this negative trait in its budding stage. Parents can use several methods and strategies to control defiance in their children. Continue to read How to Deal with Defiant Children - Tips and Methods



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