Category Archives: Child Defiance

What if your child’s arguing and talking back comes from one miscommunication that can be fixed almost overnight?

It’s remarkable how fast a child’s behavior can transform. I’ve seen countless “problem children” turn to angels right before my eyes.

Because even though we adults might hold grudges for years, our children are lightning quick to forgive— and change.

My name is Stephanie Anderson. Along with my husband Shannon, we specialize in teaching parents simple concepts that radically change the way their children behave. We’ve helped literally hundreds of parents build loving, relaxed, trusting and peaceful relationships with their children.

And although every single child is unique (and so are the parents), we’ve noticed one crucial fact…

Our children become how we look at them.

One of my clients came to me, distraught, after yelling at her son. She’d been working on an important project on the computer for work the next day. Her son turned the computer off, causing her to lose all her hard work.

She scolded him harshly and sent him to bed with no dinner. The next day she came home to a hand-drawn apology card. After speaking to her son, she found out he’d turned the computer off because he thought it would save power— she had just taught him to turn the lights off the week before for the same reason.

More often than we’d like to admit it, our child’s “misbehavior” is OUR problem— not theirs!

My client is now much more patient and always gives her son the benefit of the doubt. And they have a beautiful and loving relationship together.

But not all parents and children are so lucky. Tragically often, “bad” behavior stems from a major overreaction or oversight by the parent. The child is blamed for something they never did. They feel wronged— and rightly so. A pattern of distrust, fear and rebellion emerges.

Over time these patterns harden and become core parts of our children’s personalities. And although they can be changed very quickly as children, it can take years of hard work to change them as adults (if it’s even possible at all).

Whether they know it or not, ALL “good parents” look at their children the same way.

The good news is that your child’s behavior can be changed in an instant, if you decide to change the way you look at them.

When a child bumps their heads, they may start crying. But with some comfort and a kiss from mom, they’re smiling and laughing immediately.

And while even the best children — with the best parents — will misbehave, it does not have to be a source of stress for you. It does not have to create a divide.

In fact, the same behavior that makes you hopping mad today, will make you laugh as soon as you grasp this “peaceful parent” mindset.

Because you’ll see your child’s “misbehavior” as an act of love… and your relationship (and their behavior) will change.

My clients pay me $150/hr for coaching. And by far one of the most common issues we discuss is argumentative, misbehaving children and how to handle them the right way.

These are good kids who are causing their parents tons of trouble— and the parents don’t know why. Shortly into the call though, we always find an event that was misinterpreted. It seemed like bad behavior at the time, but it really wasn’t at all.

This is caused by a well-intentioned but dead-wrong parenting mindset that 90% of parents have. And it leads to looking at your child wrongly. Over time this leads to more misbehavior and more wrong assumptions.

When we switch that mindset with a much better and more realistic one, something crazy happens— the child’s behavior changes. And the parents’ lives do too.

We wish we could go through this with every parent in the world. We learn just as much as they do.

But our time is limited. Our rates are high. And we’re already booked with clients. Still, we wanted a way to give this incredible mindset to any parent who needs it. We wanted it to be totally affordable, easy and quick to read, and instantly practical.

So we set to work putting all the knowledge from consulting hundreds of parents into a guide.


Defeat Defiance: A Parent’s Guide to Stopping Arguments & Getting the Respect You Deserve!

This book is guaranteed to give you the mindset that will literally transform your child’s behavior. Often overnight. Because a funny thing happens when you stop viewing your child’s behavior as “wrong”…

You like spending time with your child a lot more, and magically… they stop misbehaving!

This guide is short and sweet, but holds nothing back. At the same time it’s not a “magic bullet”. This is a workbook with homework exercises designed to radically and permanently change the way you see your child.

It will take some effort on your part. So it’s not for everyone. But the results are more than worth it. How would you like to have the relationship with your child that you dream of? One that makes your life much easier and gets them out of time out?

In this guide, you’ll learn:

    • The Total Mindset SHIFT. How to view your child in a way that changes their behavior practically overnight. Try this just once and see what happens (you’ll be shocked).
    • How your child’s behavior has 100% to do with YOU, not them— and why this is great news.
    • How society can condition your child to misbehave. And how to protect them from being manipulated.
    • The little things that make a big difference. Problems will happen with your child. But by noticing when you’re annoyed—even just a little—you can regroup, change your mindset quickly and do the right thing.
    • What you absolutely should not do when your child is misbehaving. And how to reverse the toxic and life-changing affects if you’ve accidentally already done it.
    • What actually makes a “good parent”, why some people are “born with it”, and how you can get it seemingly overnight.
    • How to win your child’s total trust by being their biggest cheerleader. (This gets to the bottom of why your child lies and nips it in the bud.)
    • The “one-two” combination that’ll change even the most argumentative child into the real sweetheart you know they are. Do this enough times and your child will love behaving.
    • The secret to why compliments don’t change your child’s behavior, and how to praise them in ways that does.
    • The right way to reward your child. You can’t give them everything they want. But you can give rewards your children will love, that will encourage good behavior. How to do that is inside.
    • The easy trick that turns one of the most used—and least effective—parenting techniques on its head, transforming your child’s behavior so quick you’ll be shocked.
    • How to plant seeds starting today that will lead your child to better behavior in the short-term, and quality life skills in the future.
    • How to not only get your child to listen to you, but love hearing your advice. As your child ages they need to know they can count on you. Here’s how to get that bond started right.
    • Why classic discipline techniques not only don’t work, but actually destroy trust and ruin your relationship with your child over time.
    • And more…

So how much does it cost? Again, we charge $150/hr for individual consulting calls. But this guide is far less. In fact, you can learn all of this—and totally transform your relationship with your child—for just $7.

And I’m so confident that this guide will work for you that

If you don’t see a total transformation in your child’s behavior after trying it out, email me within 60 days of purchase for a full refund – no questions asked.


The relationship you have with your child can—and should—be rewarding, loving and peaceful. If it isn’t right now, this guide will put you on track faster than you probably thought possible.

Make the decision now to start a new relationship with your child moving forward today.

To great parenting and loving kids.

Stephanie and Shannon, Parent Coaches at Behavior Management Coaching

P.S. – So many parents regret damaging their relationships with their children early on. Because it can be almost impossible to recover later. Don’t live with this kind of regret. Act now.

So you’ve heard about Time-outs. What about Time-ins?

Time-in refers to the positive side of parenting. Children often see their parents as people who set limits and punish them for misbehaviors. In order to develop a strong parent-child relationship, you should also be seen as supportive, loving, and a source of positive attention.

It’s important in early childhood for you to develop a strong bond with your children that fosters communication and mutual respect. These elements are critical for parent-child relationships to be strong throughout your child’s teen years.

So what does a Time-in look like?

1. Catch your child doing good. Watch your children’s behaviors. Instead of reacting by punishing when your children are fighting, try praising them when they are getting along. Show them that getting along is something you want them to do by praising them when they do get along.

2. Don’t wait until they do something extraordinary to praise your kids, praise them for the little things along the way. For example, say your child misses 10 shots at his basketball game, but he makes 3 baskets. After the game, praise him for the 3 baskets (even if the team lost the game.) Likewise, don’t wait until report cards come out to praise your child for his grades, praise each test that comes home with a satisfactory score.

3. Be specific when you praise your child. Don’t just say “Good job.” It’s likely that your child will have no idea what they did good. Instead say, “Good job making those 3 baskets in the game today!”

4. Pair your praise with physical touch. Touch is very reinforcing, so when you praise your child, give her a pat on the back or a high-five.

5. Be immediate. The closer you give praise to the behavior being praised, the more likely your child will associate the two. For instance, praise your children while they are playing nicely, not two days later.

6. Avoid backhanded praise. Statements like, “Good job playing nicely together today. Why can’t you act that way every day?” totally undermines the praise.

Pairing these new strategies with ones you are currently using will make dramatic improvements in your parent-child relationship!

For more ways to change your parenting style to a more positive, uplifting parent-child relationship, check out our Defeat Defiance Guide!

How to Make Homework Time More Bearable

If you have a defiant child, homework time is probably one of your most dreaded times of the day. Homework can be an all-out war of wills between you and your child.

Encouraging your child to take school seriously and give to his all can be accomplished, but it takes an honest and consistent effort on your part as well.

In this post, I will cover a few tips on how to make homework time more bearable for you and your child.

First, as with all other parenting and discipline strategies, consistency is key. If any parenting technique has a chance of working, it must be done consistently to teach your child that you are not going to give in, no matter how much begging, pleading, or crying your child puts you through.

A simple way to start providing consistency is by using a Homework Chart. For younger children, a simple homework chart can be used to encourage your child to simply finish his work.

Each night you should make time to sit down with your child and go over any assignments he may have had. If all of the work is finished, you can praise your child and then put a sticker on the Homework Chart.

This is generally an exciting way to get younger children in the habit of getting their work done. And it is also a good way for you to get in the habit of spending time with your child to let him know that you care about his success and will be consistent with following up on school work to be sure it is done.

For older children, a great tool to use is a Homework Planner. A simple one page Homework Planner is a great way for older children to write down homework for the day and then check it off when it is completed. Many schools provide some type of planner to each student at the beginning of the year.

Again, it is important for you to spend some time each evening going over the planner to show your child you are going to be involved and will consistently check to see if daily assignments are completed.

Also, most children do best with routines.

With after school activities and other responsibilities, it is sometimes hard to make time for a regular homework time. Often an assignment may get put off until right before bed or even until during breakfast the next morning. This lack of routine when it comes to doing homework only adds to the frustration and stress levels for both you and your child.

A good recommendation on how to make homework time more bearable is to pick a time that seems to work on most days. Obviously all families have things that come up that cannot be avoided. But in general it is best to pick a time that works on a day to day basis and designate this as your child’s “homework time.”

It is also good to allow your child to engage in some type of physical activity before he sits down to do his homework. Immediately after school may seem like a good choice but actually may not be the best for continued success. For the best long term success, allow your child to get outside and play for a while before sitting down to do his work.

Picking a certain place for your child to do his work is also a smart choice. Using a designated place for homework promotes consistency. A spot that is quiet and free from distractions is best.

For example, having your child sit down in the living room with the television on to do his homework is a set up for failure. Too many distractions (other children playing, mom or dad talking on the phone, television going, etc.) make it almost impossible for your child to pay attention to a task that he may already be trying to avoid.

Homework time with a defiant child doesn’t have to be a daily battle. You can make homework time more bearable by implementing these simple steps. And hopefully it will be a more pleasant experience for both of you.

If you’re still struggling to make this happen, check out our Defeat Defiance guide to finally have a loving relationship with your child and a happy home.

The Thanksgiving Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

It’s a scene that plays out around Thanksgiving gatherings all over the country. The extended family sits down together for a meal that the family has slaved over the stove for hours. All is perfect — except for the lone child eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Sound like your child?

Most people this time of year are writing about teaching children to be thankful. Instead, let’s take some time to save yourself some embarrassment at the family gatherings. 

Here are 6 Tips on how to handle a picky eater and not have to endure an embarrassing temper tantrum in front of the entire family.

Tip 1: It’s always a good idea to teach children at a young age that eating new foods in no big deal.  If you incorporate them in as many meals as possible throughout the year, then your child will be more accepting of new foods in general.

Tip 2: Don’t make it a big deal when asking your child to try new foods.  If you fuss over making sure they eat her vegetables before she’s even tried them, then she won’t want to eat whatever you are giving them.

Tip 3: Be Calm. Even if you’re frustrated or worried about you picky eater, try to at least fake a carefree front. The last thing you want is a power struggle or temper tantrum in front of the entire family over your child trying new foods. If you are casual about it, your child will be more likely to be casual about it too.

Tip 4: Eat new foods and enjoy them yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious! If you’re not into the new food yourself, just take a bite or two. Set an example by saying appreciative things such as, “This looks so good!”  or “Thanks, Grandma, for spending so much time preparing our dinner!”

Tip 5: Get your child excited ahead of time. Talk to your child before Thanksgiving about what you’re going to be eating. Use colorful and descriptive words to describe what the dinner will be like.

Tip 6: Fancy is fun! Kids love new things, especially when they’re miniature or personalized, so consider a set of special bowls, spoons, plates or napkins–anything to make the dining experience more special.

So to save yourself embarrassment and frustration for the upcoming family gatherings, try using some of these quick tips with your family today!

Defiant Children and POWER STRUGGLES!

Does this sound familiar to you?

“Matthew, it’s cold out  — you have to wear your mittens.”
“Put on your mittens like a good boy and Mommy will give you a cookie.”
Now Dad, in a commanding tone: “Matthew, put on your mittens right this instant.”
“I won’t!”
Dad to Mom: “Hold him while I shove them on.”
Matthew starts wailing in earnest.
Mom to Matthew: “Fine, don’t wear them. If your hands get cold, it’s your problem.”
Dad to Mom again: “It’s freezing outside. He’ll get frostbite.”
Mom to Dad: “If his hands get cold, he’ll put the mittens on. Come on, everybody’s staring. We have to get him out of here.”

Do you have a defiant child?  Do you feel like no matter what you tell your child to do, your defiant child won’t follow through with requests?  One key to managing your defiant child is to END THE POWER STRUGGLE!

Most simply put, a power struggle is a battle for control, with parent and child duking it out over which one gets to decide what the child eats or wears, how he spends time or what he plays with, where he goes and when. The key ingredient, though, is that the actual object of the dispute is often not its crux. Usually, either the child is pushing for control beyond his years or capabilities, or the parent’s holding on tight to control something that would be better ceded to the child.

Power StrugglesTypically, emotions run much higher than the issue  — whether eating peas or wearing a tutu to preschool  — would seem to merit. Your child objects to a simple request, and you (“It’s the principal of the thing!”) decide that you’re just not going to put up with this insubordination. Unfortunately, if the battles become a pattern and occur again and again without being resolved, they can come to characterize, and undermine, your relationship.

So make a commitment to end the power struggle today!  Everything doesn’t have to be a fight.  Some things are just not worth the battle.  So many parents get wrapped up in the idea that their defiant child must be MADE to listen to them—that every time their defiant child disobeys them, then the child must be punished.  I’m here to tell you that managing your defiant child’s behavior isn’t about disciplining every single thing your child does wrong.  Instead, it’s about having a parenting plan that will change your defiant child’s behavior over time.

Here are some guidelines to get you started managing your defiant child:

*Start tracking.  For a week or so, jot down in a notebook everything you and your defiant child fight over and when these fights occur.

*Categorize the data you collected and look for patterns.  Do you fight with your defiant child frequently over bed time?  Is your child more defiant when it comes to what they wear or what they eat?

*Rate the defiant behaviors in order of most important to address to least important to address.

*Focus your discipline of your defiant child on the behaviors you feel are most important to address, and let the other ones go for now.  This is where you begin to end the power struggles with your child.  It’s far more important to get your defiant child to stop hitting his sibling than it is to have him make his bed daily.  End the power struggle over the bed and focus on disciplining the hitting behavior at first.

As a parent you can’t fight your defiant child all of the time on every misbehavior that he or she engages in.  If you try, your life will be a constant battle, you’ll be exhausted, and your defiant child will never learn to respect you.  Learn to let some things go, for now at least.  Focus on what is most important.  Fix those things and the other smaller problem behaviors will begin to fix themselves over time.  Remember changing your defiant child’s behavior won’t happen overnight.  It likely took many months or even years for your child to develop these habits and behaviors and it will take several months of hard, focused work on your part as the parent to undo them.  But remember, the longest journey starts with a single step!  Get started today and in a few months your child’s defiant behaviors will most certainly be diminished and you will be a much happier parent in the process.

Behavior Management Coaching can help parents learn strategies to end the power struggle with their children.  End the cycle of endless battles with your children.  Talk to us today! 

Defiant Child + Frustrated Parents = Unhappy Families!

It seems that defiant children and frustrated parents go together like Milk and Cookies…well maybe spoiled Milk and Cookies anyway!  There are many different theories on how to best handle a disobedient child.  Some call for a sensitive approach where it seems that the parent is begging and pleading with the child to listen.  Others preach about the “way dad used to do it” with a firm hand to the bottom.  But just exactly what is the best approach to dealing with a defiant child?  Recently, I found an interesting blog post on the Huffington Post about this very topic.  The blog, 7 New Ways to Navigate Defiance From Your Child points out some effective strategies that frustrated parents can use without compromising their dignity in the process.Defiant Child

1. Don’t ever take it personally.
Disobedient children generally behave this way because they are not feeling connected or emotionally regulated at that moment.  They generally are not acting out simply to be mean to you, although it may seem that way!  For example, when a defiant child refuses to get dressed in the morning before school he most likely is not acting this way because he wants you to be late for work.  It is more likely due to the fact that he’s tired or hungry and just doesn’t have the maturity level to express this to you verbally.

2. Consider why they refuse.
Children, especially younger ones, are told what to do every waking moment of their lives.  They generally have very little control over even the little things in their day to day lives.  Disobedient children who act out are often trying to gain some control over what happens to them on a day to day basis.

3. Talk to yourself.
When you have a defiant child, power struggles dominate many of your interactions.  A great way to end the power struggles and truly not take your child’s defiant behavior personally is to use positive self-talk. When your child is screaming, “I don’t want to get dressed,” and all you want to do is scream back, “”I DON’T CARE! GET DRESSED NOW!” you can keep yourself calm by using deep breathing and telling yourself to stay calm so you won’t become emotionally charged in the interaction.

4. Reflect and honor a child’s feelings and meet them where they are.
Acknowledge and validate your child’s angry feelings.  Disrespectful children need to feel heard and understood.  Saying something like, “You seem angry and like you’re not ready to get dressed right now.  I understand you’re mad, but we have to leave for school in 15 minutes” will show the defiant child that you have understood what he was feeling but unable to use his words to express.

5. Hold boundaries on unsafe behavior only.
While you want to de-escalate power struggles, save your big guns for only unsafe behaviors, such as hitting, property damage, or other forms of aggression.  Stop aggression by stating something like, “It’s not safe to hit.  You may not hit others.”  No matter how intense the verbal aggression, you should always treat physical aggression in a more firm way.

6. Keep a positive view of your child.
While it’s extremely hard to see through the negativity of your disobedient child, it is important to always do so.  A focus on the positive will work wonders when it comes to improving the defiant child’s behaviors.  While your child may be defiant most of the time, if you keep your eyes open, you will often catch him being good multiple times a day in various situations and settings.  When you do, use labeled praise to point out in specific terms what he did that you are proud of or happy about.  Don’t use general praise such as “Good job” which leaves the child wondering what he did right.  Instead, say something like, “Great job not hitting your sister when you were mad.  You came and talked to Mom like you were supposed to.”

7. Use some humor and power play.
Laughter can be the best medicine when it comes to a defiant child.  This can serve to de-escalate the situation.  If you don’t believe me, just try laughing and being mad at the same time.  Power play enables the aggressive child to express some of his anger in a healthy way.  Just like grown men go to the gym and beat up a punching bag and women enroll in kickboxing classes, children need a healthy physical outlet to release some of the pent up anger and strong emotions they have within them.  Believe it or not, kickball, soccer, and other sports offer a release for some of these pent up strong emotions.

Behavior Management Coaching can help parents deal with the frustration of dealing with a defiant child by teaching concise, proven interventions to reduce childhood behavioral problems, improve the child’s self-esteem, and drastically reduce parent’s stress levels in the process.  Talk to us today.