As I stroll through the grocery store, gently repeating “No,” to my son’s demands for ice cream for lunch, I watch in shock as he drops to the floor, falls, and screams to the top of his lungs in front of God and everybody.

I had hoped this trip wouldn’t go this way, but somehow I knew. Why? Because as a mother of a defiant little boy, this has become my life. Not only is this a weekly routine for me now, but it’s also one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

Being the mother of a defiant child is frustrating. He isn’t out of control, but saying he has a will of his own is the understatement of the year. Each day, we go through this multiple times, and I constantly wonder, will today be the day he listens to me?

Sometimes I get frustrated. I am often tired and mentally exhausted.

If you are like me and wonder if you should just give in and give them what they want, remember this: you are doing incredible work. Don’t give up on your little one. Here are some important things to understand about your defiant child.

1. You are creating boundaries.

Defiant children aren’t defiant because they want to make your life hard. They are trying to understand how far they can go and by telling them no, even when it results in a tantrum, you are teaching them healthy boundaries.

2. Your child is spirited and has a will of their own.

It’s normal for kids to be defiant. Defiance shows they are healthy and thriving. Their brain is growing, and they are learning who they are and what they can do.

3. Strong-willed children resist peer pressure.

It may be frustrating at times to deal with your child when they have a strong personality, but people with strong personalities are much more likely to stand up for themselves later in life. They speak up for the underdog and stand firmly by their beliefs.

4. Your child thinks outside the box.

Strong-willed children are independent thinkers and are developing a sense of understanding not only of their own beliefs but their place in this world. One day your child will be grown, and find themselves in a situation in which they must problem-solve their way out, and you are giving them the tools to do so.

5. Defiant kids are more likely to grow into successful entrepreneurs.

Adults who were defiant children are far more likely to grow into successful entrepreneurs later in life. Each of us has a unique set of skills to offer, and strong-minded people grow into leaders, business owners, and successful people.

6. Your child is learning & understanding their place in the world.

It’s normal for kids to express defiance. They aren’t an extension of you, they are their separate person. They learn their place in this world by testing it.

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