When your child misbehaves, do you see a defiant child or a child who is trying desperately to get it right? Your perception makes the difference.
Typically we see these children as stubborn, bull-headed, bossy, defiant, rude—a problem.
The parents I hear from most have children like my daughter. These children won’t take no for an answer and will not be told what to do. A defiant child is how I saw my daughter. They will stand their ground for as long as it takes to get someone to understand that they are right—in other words, maddening. These are the children who push our buttons. They lead us into reactive territory saying and doing the things we swore we never would. They cause us to drop exhausted and frustrated into bed every night worrying about the hopelessness of their futures. This is because of the way we perceive them.
Traditional parenting determines that these children need to learn who is boss and to be wrestled into respectful attitudes and behavior. And traditionally, we attempt controlling this rude behavior with punishments and arbitrary consequences like taking away privileges and isolation in time out. However these methods cause a defiant child to dig her heels in deeper, fight harder, get louder and more dramatic with their behavior, and lead us right into daily power struggles. Believe me, I know this from personal experience.