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Defiance doesn’t need discipline
Recently I received a phone call from a family member who was struggling in her parenting venture that she was on. The complaint was that the full of life 3 year old was defying her in every way possible. The exasperated family member responded it’s driving me crazy. Spanking isn’t working. Yelling isn’t working. Nothing works. Being strict just brings more defiance than was being shown before. What do you do now?? Does this sound like how things are going in your home some days?? Defiance doesn’t need discipline. The answer almost sounds too good to be true and too simple, doesn’t it?? But did you know that the way to beat defiance is through connection??
One thing that I absolutely swear by to create a close connection is by spending special time with your child one on one. I am not trying to knock this dear family member who was struggling with their lovely three year old but one important way that they were missing the mark was by not taking those pivotal moments when it was just her and the three year old to connect.
The excuse was well I am tired ad need a break. And dear momma I am definitely not dismissing your dear desires. I am tired too. I get it. Truly I do. I have three little pumpkins. And sometimes, just sometimes, spending time with kids can be downright exhausting especially when they aren’t sleeping through the night; but the answer isn’t to sleep during those times of quiet when you only have one child that needs active watching.
It almost seems counteractive or counterintuitive to recommend that you meet defiance with connection. But rather than spending those quiet moments resting as the little one watched a show on television it is important to connect one on one with the child who is driving you crazy and defying you every move but that child is crying out for attention in the only way they know how. A quote we live by in our home is when a child feels bad they behave bad, when a child feels well they behave well.
So when that little person in your life is driving you bonkers and isn’t listening and may even be picking fights. Don’t withdraw. I know you probably want to. Instead stop cleaning. Stop working. Stop whatever it is that is distracting you from your precious little people. Get down on their level and engage with them in play. Make their woRk your woRk. (notice the R’s?? Babykins decided to help too!!) And you will find it will change the way the whole day goes.
Sometimes kids just need the reassurance that they are loved and special. It doesn’t take a long time to do but it does have to be intentional. Kids don’t need hours of your time to fill their buckets to get the attention and love that they need and truly deserve. You will be amazed how just 10 or 15 minutes of playing with your child and getting down to their level helps them to process all those big emotions they are feeling inside.
Big Girl this week has had some really trying days that have left me shaking my head. If I didn’t know the backstory for the behaviour and what was cropping it I would probably be going a bit crazy. But I tell you this only because once I stopped working and cleaning and spent some quality time playing Barbies with her I realized that she needed that time to play to process her feelings that she was trying so desperately to bury.
Her defiance and outright disobedience didn’t need discipline, it needed love and reassurance. So momma on those days when you are struggling with defiance don’t be so quick to put a child on the time out stairs. Stop and evaluate the situation and then ask yourself if maybe a little more love and connection are needed. Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!