What to do when a 3-year-old is defiant

As your child begins to understand independence and control, you need to learn how to respond to challenging behavior so your little one learns limits and self-control. Raising a challenging three-year-old can be overwhelming for a parent.

It is in this period of development that your child begins to understand that he is separate from you and is naturally eager to seek more independence and control over his world. The problem, of course, is that while their desire to be independent is accelerating, kids this age haven’t yet mastered self-control.

They want to be independent but they can’t. they don’t listen to logic or reason

They are still motivated by their needs, desires and impulses, not by logic and reason. For better or worse, the most frustrating behaviors of children are often quite normal and developmentally appropriate.

It is important to keep in mind that some young children are naturally , more likely to be more challenging than others. Like children whose emotional reactions are large and intense, as well as children who are more cautious and fearful.

They tend to have a more difficult time with change and, therefore, Therefore, they protest, especially during moments of transition (for example, getting into the car seat, going to bed or going to a new place), as these experiences can be quite stressful for them.

Defiant 3-year-old

Please note to what your family is like

No two children or families are the same. Thinking about the following questions can help you adapt and apply the right information and strategies to your child and family…because you, too, are unique and wonderful! These questions are general, different types of questions that you will have to adapt to the context in which you find yourself.

  • Why do you tend to be more oppositional with your child?
  • What do these things have in common? ?
  • Why do you think this is?
  • How can this understanding help you help your child better cope with intense emotions?
  • How do you respond when Is your child being defiant?
  • What works and what doesn’t? What can you learn from this?

What you can do

Read below for ways to respond to your three-year-old’s challenging behavior to start your little one learning about limits and self-control.

  • Validate your child’s feelings
  • Set limits
  • Offer choices
  • Use humor
  • Encourage your child to use their imagination
  • Enforce limits without getting angry
  • Speak to your child calmly and assertiveness
  • Give them options to choose the most appropriate one
  • Discuss the consequences before carrying them out
  • Ignore the behaviors you want to eliminate unless your child can hurt yourself in some way
  • Do not give in to their pretensions
  • Keep a firm but flexible attitude at times
  • Keep an attitude of calm and emotional understanding

Remember that your child needs to see all of this in you in order to begin to control his most intense emotions and learn from them.

You are his best example

Remember that your three-year-old’s eyes are watching you every day and perhaps his defiant behavior has learned from your own behavior. In this sense, it is essential that you have the same behavior that you would like to see in your child not only now, but also as he grows.

Now your child is a sponge and it is time to start instilling behaviors and values ​​that will serve them well in their future development. If you want your child to become an honest, kind person with good values… You will have to look at your daily behavior and if you meet the behavioral requirements that you want to see in your child now and in the future. your future.