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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Just Ask Joyce — Raising a Defiant Darling?

Q: “All you hear about when talking about toddlers is the ‘Terrible Twos.’ I believe the challenging ages are 3 and 4. How can a mother keep her sanity?! My sweet, loving toddler is now a defiant, doing-what-he-wants child. How do I break him of this without feeling like I am disciplining him 24/7?”

Joyce:  Been there, done that. I reared two: one strong-willed child who challenged me, one who did not. Why the difference? Individuality.

You can’t afford to allow the strong-willed child to strong-arm you, the parent. There is, however, a balance to strike without breaking the leadership qualities hidden beneath that strong-willed disposition. It could well demand around-the-clock discipline in some manner or another. I would be careful to be creative in your style, however. 

Time-out will lose its effectiveness if this is all you do. Some examples of tried-and-true methods are: taking away a treat, a  stern look, a different tone of voice, speaking a child’s full name to get his attention, and sitting the child in a corner facing the wall instead of time-out on the stairs. Coming from an abusive home life, I would caution you to be careful in any hand-to-hand/hand-to-fanny discipline, but be mindful of the wisdom in Proverbs.

This season in your child’s life could do one of two things: pass quickly or carry on into rebellious pre-teen/teen years. My best advice is to rein it in, and sooner rather than later.

Need parenting advice? Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources at Listen to my live talk show Monday through Friday on WFIA 94.7fm/900am at 3pm.


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