Step Look Inside the Volcano

There are many reasons for a defiant attitude, but here are a few of the most typical. Check ones that apply to your child:

□ Faulty discipline. Is your discipline so harsh that your kid rebels, so lenient that he is allowed to get away with this defiant attitude, or inconsistent so he doesn't know what to expect?

□ Relationship fallout. Is there friction with a particular parent? Is there a lack of time with a parent? Does the child feel unloved or unappreciated?

□ A feeling of resentment. Could he be jealous of a sibling, peer, or your relationships?

□ A feeling of inadequacy. Might he be compensating for low self-esteem, inadequacy, or feeling that he's not good enough?

□ Explosive or quick-tempered. Does your child have difficulties controlling his anger? Is he short-fused?

□ Undue anxiety or stress. Are there heavy pressures on him to succeed (academically, socially, athletically)? Is competition to achieve a big commodity around your house? Is he so scheduled that he has no downtime?

□ Learning disability. What about a learning disability causing difficulties in processing what he hears? If so, are you seeking professional help? If not, why not?

□ Depression. Is he suffering from an emotional problem, depression, or trauma that is triggering this attitude?

□ Unfair expectations. Might your expectations be unrealistic or unfair? Are they within your kid's developmental level?

□ Alcohol or substance abuse. Could your older kid be indulging in alcohol or drugs?

□ Abusive treatment. Is your child treated disrespectfully? Has he now or in the past been verbally or physically abused?

There are many reasons for a defiant, noncompliant attitude. The key is to get at the root so you can deal with the real cause. Once you do, make sure you get the help you need to remedy it.

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