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  3. Introduction

defiant (de,dnt) adj.
The behavior or attitude of opposition or obstinacy; unwilling to yield.

Today, parents often struggle on their own to cope with the myriad issues that were usually absorbed, managed, and healed by a larger family unit in the past. Kids left to fend for themselves, or who bounce from one adult's care to another, or whose extended families are scattered around the country, are more likely to encounter tough emotional issues, and have fewer adults ready to help them cope.

Defiant behavior is one of these issues, so if your child is aggressively or passively defying your attempts to help him develop into a healthy, caring adult with skills for academic, professional, and interpersonal success, chances are you're feeling burned out, frustrated, and alone, even if you have an actively involved partner. That's the hard part about living in the twenty-first century. But there's a silver lining — keep reading.

There is more to being an effective parent and solving this problem than trying harder, giving more, staying up later, and stretching your resources further. You need to understand what could be factoring into your child's behavior, learn proven tips and strategies, and then rethink your approach so that you can work smarter, not harder, within your limits and constraints. In the twenty-first century, there is a wealth of information to help you do this.

As you'll discover in this book, there are dozens, if not hundreds of factors that can lead to defiant behavior, from your child's age to an easily crossed frustration threshold to a traumatic experience, and many more. Some of these issues, such as hearing problems, are easily found and nearly as easily improved. Other problems, such as anxiety, are more of a puzzle, and may take more management on your part to resolve, but they can be addressed, improved, and sometimes completely treated. What's more, many treatment styles are available to fit each unique child's situation.

Finally, there's another amazing characteristic of life in the twenty-first century: a large population. With six billion people on the planet, commonalities abound. Researchers are having a field day running data through their computers, and you and your child benefit. How? Because now there is enough information for researchers to say for very specific problems: “These programs work. These programs don't. These medications work. These medications don't.” Are there errors and gray areas? Yes, but not as many as there used to be. So, you may feel alone, but there are thousands of other parents just like you, with the same questions and worries, and with children who need a little extra support and guidance.

With each passing year, research is giving people a clearer picture of humanity and how to solve common human problems. Child psychology is an area of intense research that has been reviewed for the content you're about to read. Use the information in this book to rethink your child's life and your own parenting style, and apply the tips to make simple yet powerful changes with the goal of raising a happier, healthier child who is comfortable with himself and possesses the skills to meet life's challenges.

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  2. Defiant Children
  3. Introduction
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