• DtP

Defiant Behavior- How to reduce the power struggles.


“Why is our once sweet child being so defiant?”

This is a classic example of a power struggle. Many children go through a phase of testing their parents to see how much they can get away with and who’s really in charge. Also, young children lack the communication skills needed to express their frustration so they show it through defiant behavior.

There are 3 things parents can do to reduce power struggles in their family.

1. Be aware of patterns — knowing when a power struggle typically occurs helps the parent be ready to re-direct a misbehavior.

  • Is it only when he is tired?

  • Are transitions from one activity to another a trigger? (i.e., shifting from after-dinner playtime to the bedtime routine)

  • Does it happen with one parent more frequently than with the other?

2. Use the ABC’s of Parenting — this technique gives your child a voice in the situation (power struggles are your child’s way of saying he wants some control over what’s happening in his life).

Acknowledge the child’s feelings — By simply acknowledging your child