How to Stop Rebellion Preschooler: 7 Steps - MakeSureHow
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A rebellious child can throw a home into chaos if parents do not learn how to take control.

All small children tend to rebel to a certain extent, while some have managed to turn the behavior into an art form. If your child is one that repeatedly defies your wishes, and you feel like you've lost complete control -- you might be right! But that doesn't mean you can't change it. Before you throw up your hands in defeat and put your child in charge, try taking back the reins of control. A child who is defiant at every turn needs strong discipline and a parent that knows how to stand her ground.


  1. 1
    Set up a time out area and explain to your child that he will sit in that area if he misbehaves. Let him know what behavior you expect from him. Since he is young, you will want to keep it simple. Say something like, "If you tell me no or don't do what I ask, then you are misbehaving and will go to time out. And if you do something that I said not to do, you are misbehaving and will go to time out."
  2. 2
    Show your child the timer that will ding when he can get out of time out, and set the time for the amount of time he will have to be in time out. Talk to him about his behavior while you wait for the timer to go off, saying things like "Now, when you misbehave you will have to sit here and wait for the timer to ding. But you are going to try your best to do what I say, right? If you do, then you won't have to sit here." When it dings, reemphasize that that is how long he will have to sit in time out.
  3. 3
    Follow through with time-out punishment when he rebels against you. Set a time limit for time out in minutes equal to his age. For example, if he is 2 years old, then place him in time out for two minutes. Little ones cannot sit still for long periods of time, and it isn't fair to make them sit for a longer period than they could last. However, if he gets up from the area, pick him up and take him back. Reset the timer and say, "Now we have to start again."
  4. 4
    Talk to him about his rebellious behavior when time out is over. Since he is little, explain in simple terms what he did wrong and that you will not allow it. For example, "Tommy, you know that you can't jump on the bed. When I told you to stop, you kept doing it, and that's why you go in trouble. Do you understand?" Hug him before you let him up, to show him you still love him no matter what. Continue to send him to time out every time he acts up.
  5. 5
    Take away his favorite toy, game, television show or activity if time outs alone are not solving the issue. Explain it to him simply so that your little guy can understand. Say to him "Having toys and watching television are rewards for good behavior. Since you misbehaved, you don't get a reward today." Remember to give the items back to him if you witness good behavior. This reinforces that you are serious, and he might come to realize that obeying is the better option.
  6. 6
    Encourage and congratulate him when he does good things or listens to you. Give him a hug, a pat on the back or a "good job" so that he sees that you notice and are happy when he is being good.
  7. 7
    Do not compare him to other children. This will only make him feel as if you don't think he is good enough, or that you like someone else more than him. He might even feel resentful or angry because he is too young to understand.


  • If nothing seems to solve the issue of his rebellion, take him to a doctor to find out if something else may be going on. It could be that he is being bullied on the playground in preschool or has been abused by someone without your knowledge, and the rebellion is his way of coping.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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