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How can a father deal with rebellion?

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 18-01-2007


  • Be understanding: Try not to get angry at examples of random behavior. Try putting yourself in their shoes sometimes. Be kind but firm.

  • Set limits: Children need – and even want – limits, so set them and make sure your children know what they are.

  • Spell it out for them: “You’re not allowed to make phone calls without permission” or “You must come in when I call you the first time.”

  • Reinforce good behavior: “When a child behaves badly, she already feels terrible,” says Jane Nelsen, author of Positive Time-Out and 50 Other Ways to Avoid Power Struggles in Homes and Classrooms. “Where did we ever get the idea that in order to make children do better, we first have to make them feel worse?” In fact, doing so may only produce more negative behavior.

  • Choose your battles: Sometimes it’s easier to just look the other way — when they fail to comb their hair, for example, or when they store the clean laundry under the bed instead of putting it in the proper drawer.

  • Compromise: Avoid situations that might spark your child’s defiant streak. It’s better than putting your youngster in situations that are too trying for him.

  • Respect your children’s time and space: Respect the unique world your kids live in. Rather than expecting them to happily jump up from a game they are winning to come set the table, give them a few minutes’ notice to help them switch gears. As long as you’re patient and consistent, your youngsters will eventually learn that defiance isn’t the way to get what they want.