How to Discipline Children Who Do Not Respect Authority
If your once sweet child has swirled into a tornado of control and defiance, don't fool yourself into thinking that "this is a phase." Instead, take action. Redirecting that control is imperative, but not impossible.
Part 1Enforce Your Connection with Your Child
1Remind them that you love them no matter what (especially if they deny that you do), and maintain that outlook so your children become more comfortable with you. Remember that connection brings trust, the basis of respect.
2Do this even if they are being difficult and argumentative. For example, if your girl is being difficult when she needs to clean her room, say something like, "I understand you want to go outside and play than clean your room - cleaning is no fun! But it's one of our rules and when you're all done, you'll be able to play." Remember not to force more chores onto them, especially if you made a promise. They may think you are unreliable and you will slowly lose your connection with them.
Part 2Establish Your Rules
1Your child likely just feels chaotic that you don't have set rules and tries to create their own, causing further problems.
2You want to make sure your child understands that rules are rules and they are there for a reason.
3Always follow through with punishments. If you'd like, set up a punishment table or area. This way, the child will always knows what he or she are going to get, instead of having erratic punishments. Although it's likely you may think erratic punishments may be easier to control, pre-planned punishments will give your child a sense of what is going to happen, rather than feeling out-of control.
4For example, let your child "Honey, I understand you don't want to take a bath right now, but it makes me feel bad. Besides, it's time. Let's go play in the bubbles!"
5For example, you could say "Honey, despite the fact that you didn't clean your room thoroughly, I did notice that you picked up your toys and put them in the closet. I appreciate that." After all, making mistakes is just a part of them growing up!
Part 3Reward Good Behavior
1They will learn to expect this if they act good, and will likely want the attention, and this will make them more compelled to follow directions.
2If your children act good for a week, give them a treat to reward them for their hard work. After a month, maybe buy them a toy they've wanted, and so on. Beware; only do this until you feel they are ready to continue without physical encouragement. After all, every time you behave well, you don't get a treat!