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How do you react to a defiant 8yr old?

(46 Posts)
BlueLego Sun 25-Feb-18 14:30:58

Example... How would you react in this situation?

You take 8yr & 4yr old to the park, it’s sunny but cold! You sit there/walk about a bit freezing your arse off for an hour and a half while they play.

It’s time to go but 8yr old repeatedly refuses to get in the car. Just says no, doesn’t walk off but just refuses to leave the park.

What do you do? I’d be interested in hearing how you handle it, as I feel like I’m either too soft or too harsh!

tshirtsuntan Sun 25-Feb-18 14:38:30

I usually try to apply a sanction to the rest of the day, for example, "if you don't come now then no screen time/ Pokemon cards/ sweets later" whichever applies, if still no joy I've been known to confiscate current favourite toys/games. You have my sympathy, defiant phases are exhausting!

halcyondays Sun 25-Feb-18 14:44:10

Yes, something like no screen time for the rest of the day would probably work.

lizkt Sun 25-Feb-18 14:44:26

Read 1,2,3 Magic book to curb obnoxious and defiant behaviour.

Essentially you need to apply warnings and then follow through on consequences with no discussions.

Ilovecamping Sun 25-Feb-18 14:48:11

Sit in the car to keep warm, they’ll get the message soon enough

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sun 25-Feb-18 14:48:17

Prior agreement of how long park is going to last (make sure child has watch). 5 Minute warning before leaving. If child then refuses to leave warning of consequence (must have impact, use whatever child currently wants). Count out then consequence applied. Follow through rigidly.

BlueLego Sun 25-Feb-18 14:50:53

Thank you!

I threatened to drive off and he just said he’d walk! So that back firedhmm

Finally, after noting the tone in my voice had changed, he got in the car. I had to ask him, then tell him many times over.

By the time he got in the car I was pretty cross and told him not to expect me to do anything for him again! (Bit OTT!).... I said that if he is going to be selfish and say no to me, despite me taking him somewhere I didn’t want to go in the 1st place! Then I will say no to him when he asks for dinner, or needs his clothes washed or wants friend to come round after school! I will also say no to him when he asks for his tablet at home!

I think I was too harsh!

Jammycustard Sun 25-Feb-18 14:55:16

I don’t think you were too harsh, he’s got a nerve not listening to you back there.

PhelanThePain Sun 25-Feb-18 14:55:21

What’s his vice? My DS(8) loves his tablet and playing out with friends. He is very good now but when younger and tried to throw his weight around I would use loss of tablet time or outside time as a threat and I always followed it through so he learned quickly.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sun 25-Feb-18 14:55:22

You can’t actually follow through on any of that though so whilst not necessarily harsh it completely undermines your authority in his eyes.

Jammycustard Sun 25-Feb-18 14:56:26

Posted too soon.

But I think you need an actual punishment/sanction.

PhelanThePain Sun 25-Feb-18 14:57:22

Oh another thing that works is giving him the exact timeframes up front. So if I say we’re going to the park I will tell him we’re staying for 45 minutes and then he knows that at 45 minutes we will be leaving.

user1493413286 Sun 25-Feb-18 14:57:41

We do the choices thing where you say you can either refuse to get in the car and have no sweets/screen time/other consequence or you can get in the car and we’ll go home and have a nice snack/watch a film/play at home. It seems to work as she sees both options and feels she is making a choice.
I also quite like the idea of just sitting in the car letting him stand out in the cold with the natural consequence of him getting cold and bored.

user1493413286 Sun 25-Feb-18 14:58:56

I understand why you said what you said but he will also know that you aren’t going to refuse dinner or to wash his clothes. The punishment needs to mean something and be followed through on

Happened Sun 25-Feb-18 15:02:44

My sister did this once so my mum got in the car and drove off (very slowly). She screamed and ran after the car. Never did it again.

fleshmarketclose Sun 25-Feb-18 15:07:27

I used to use the same wording so "You can choose. You can choose to get in the car this minute and avoid a consequence or you can choose not to and will have no screens for the rest of the day. I'm counting to three" If ds hadn't got in the car by three he'd lose his screens.
To be honest though it was so predictable that just hearing "you can choose" would have him comply.
I would also have given a chat beforehand on what behaviour I expected from him and what would be the consequences if he failed to meet my expectations.

MrsBartlettforthewin Sun 25-Feb-18 15:22:40

I do clear time warnings (5 mins left etc) then if DD (she's 8) says no I give a warning I.e if you don't get in the car by the time I get to three you won't have X for the rest of the day. Start counting and she's normally complied by 2. If not I carry through the threat every time.

Been doing this since she was tiny so if needs be I can just hold up 1 finger to start a count ( if not wanting to draw attention to her behaviour) and she will comply normally. Works with my three year old as well and my two year old is beginning to understand it too. Helps keeps me calm as I have the steps I follow so I hopefully don't add to the situation by getting stressed at them. ( that bit doesn't always work though)

PhelanThePain Sun 25-Feb-18 15:23:54

so if needs be I can just hold up 1 finger to start a count

I do this too!

Waddlelikeapenguin Sun 25-Feb-18 15:27:27

I would ask them why they didnt want to leave & take it from there. I find that a bit of sympathy & understanding fix most seemingly defiant behaviour.

PrivateParkin Sun 25-Feb-18 15:35:54

I agree about the time warnings in advance. Sanctions don't work for my DS. It just ends up escalating the situation and then we both get upset. I know they do work for some kids though. You know your son OP & what he usually responds to - but I think what works for us has been advance/repeated warnings about how long is left to play/until X is happening etc. He still has his moments though (as do I).

BlueLego Sun 25-Feb-18 15:36:42

Totally lowdoor.... I’m just so crap at sanctions!.... I’m either too soft and let things slide, or give out false threats due to being cross confused

I do normally say, yes to park but we have to go in an hour or whatever. Most of the time it’s one of them coming up and asking to leave.

Choices is good. user See I know all of these things! But in the moment I’m crap!... Also, I know I’d never not cook his dinner and wash his clothes. I wanted him to realise that I too do things I’m told to do, and that we’re a team working together but it kind of backfired.

happened I reckon that’d work on 4yr old, but 8yr old is either too stubborn, or just knows I wouldn’t leave him.

The counting works well on my dd. My ds not so much hmm

Choices is definitely good! Thanks!

I do know all of this stuff, but in the moment I tend to just go overboard with sanctions and go on about my expectations blah blah....

I did say that he wasn’t having his tablet when we got home. But about 10mins of getting in the house he apologised. So about half an hour later, I said he could have his tablet.

I find his age so hard as he’s generally good boy, and it’s like I’m interacting with a normal human being. But then he will become defiant for selfish reasons

BlueLego Sun 25-Feb-18 15:38:31

Yes waddle I do talk to them and ask them in a respectful way, and treat them with respect. I don’t shout, but it does upset me when they are deliberately defiant when all I’ve been to them is nice!

PhelanThePain Sun 25-Feb-18 15:43:49

I did say that he wasn’t having his tablet when we got home. But about 10mins of getting in the house he apologised. So about half an hour later, I said he could have his tablet.

So today you taught him that he can misbehave as much as he likes and as long as he says the magic word afterwards he can avoid any consequences.

Next time, stick to the consequence. He will kick up a fuss but ignore and don’t be drawn into discussion about it. You parent, he child. Remember that. You set the rules, you set the consequences. Not him.

PhelanThePain Sun 25-Feb-18 15:45:32

but it does upset me when they are deliberately defiant when all I’ve been to them is nice!

Dont take that personally. Theyre kids. They get bold, naughty etc. It’s nothing personal against you. Remain calm, keep a firm tone and issue warnings and consequences without getting emotional.

Dontsweathesmallstuff Sun 25-Feb-18 15:47:10

Personally i think you need to follow through even if he apologies or he will start to think he can do what he likes (or not, in this case)and all he has to do is say sorry and he gets back what he lost.

Last time ds refused to do a perfectly reasonable request because he "didnt want to" i just said ok and left it. Later that day when he asked me to do something equally reasonable i told him no because i didnt want to... He got the message.

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