Saturday, August 2, 2008


Did you feel yourself shudder? I did just reading the word. That is part of the problem is defiance can get our blood pumping. For me personally I can feel I am losing control, things start escalating. It can become a case of trying to "win" rather than deal with the issue. I think with defiance it is important to remember it is driven by fear. Fear does weird things to the brain. Hope that wasn't too scientific for you. : ) Our kids fear compliance = acceptance. I often think one of my kids thinks of birthmom every time I talk to him. If I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do he goes into the fright, flight or freeze part of his brain. Adults are not to be trusted, we are mean, stupid and wrong. This is a tough one. I really think instead of focusing on the issue, such as getting dressed, we need to once again focus on the child. Here are some things I have used for defiance. Some are BC. Some are Love & Logic. There are some great articles I will copy and paste as well. I loved your contributions yesterday and will be trying some myself. So please feel free to add on today. If it is ok I will add your comments to the post.

Reverse Pyschology: Works VERY well on Taz. "Slam your door." means the door will be shut quietly. "Just lay there because you are not going to get your chores done on time." means they probably will get done. "Please make that screaming sound for 5 more minutes" means he will stop. Jim Fay on Violence Jim Fay on Using Enforceable Statements Nancy Thomas on Dealing with Defiance

I have also used "That is fine if you are not strong enough to do that now. You may lay on the couch until you are ready. Let me know." They eventually ask to do something. I say as soon as what I have asked is done they may do that. No privileges until the work is done.

If they refuse to lay on the couch I say "that is fine. Remember there are consequences to all of our actions." I love Nancy Thomas' idea of doing a fun activity with the other kids and letting Jr know he can join you as soon as he is done, something like baking cookies, playing a game or watching a video.

All consequences, words and touching need to be done in love. There needs to be kindness in your words, not sarcasm. A loving look, not anger. A gentle touch as much as they allow. A hand on the shoulder, a high five or a pat if they are not up for a hug. Absolutely a hug if they will allow it.

Our kids are different. Different things work for different kids. All things seem to work for a short time. I find it best to keep changing what I do. Be a consistent parent in that they need to know their defiance does not mean they don't do anything you ask. It means you will always do something but they do not need to know what it will be.

And last is pure silliness. Sometimes I make up a song. Sometimes I turn on happy music. Dance around. Tell a knock knock joke. Lighten the moment. ADHD is easily distracted. Sometimes the defiance disappears merely by distracting them.

Our objective is not to win. Our objective is for them to learn to feel loved and safe so they have the desire THEMSELVES to do what is right.


ali said...

hey brenda
did you like the beyond consequences book? the black and white one with way too few pages to possibly cost so much? it sure was quick for the hefty paperback price! and it was sooo......gooey? sticky? fruity? dripping with over emotional cry candy??? i read it in 2 days and never looked at it again. the methods described seemed great for someone at the very beginning of a relationship, but for someone who has already been parenting the RAD child one way for 5 years, it, (to us and the kid involved)would seem like a a big, fake, weird "do-over" of sorts. the kind that make a kid go "who the heck are these people and what have they done with my moronic, boring parents???" it had some good insight into the RAD thoughts, but as far as actions... it was hokey to me. jackson would take one look at me and say "you are creeping m out, Ma!" lol

Brenda said...

Too be perfectly honest I did not find the book all that helpful. I have found some of Bryan Post's ideas to be more helpful. They are more of an attitude. He really focus' on keep yourself calm. He uses regulated but it still just inwardly calm to me. And focusing on the child and the deeper issues. I still very much value the old school attachment parenting stuff too and do not think the two conflict.

Brenda said...

I should add that Taz had the screaming rage throwing form of RAD. He had no empathy or remorse. I feared no conscience. He shows all of those things now. Bear is complete internalizing. He will lash out in ways that make no sense. There is no such thing as a logical conversation. He says "sorry." many many times a day but doesn't mean it. It just means "If I say what you want you will leave me alone".

Karen Deborah said...

wow, great thinking.