Stubbornness and Defiance

A toddler’s growing quest for independence can lead to some undesirable stubbornness and defiance.


It can help to understand that your child is growing, becoming more curious and realizing that she’s a separate person. Just keep that in mind when she shouts “No!” when you ask her to do—or not do—something. Acknowledge that she isn’t happy but don’t back down if what you are asking is important.

Remember, too, that toddlers aren’t always able to immediately stop doing something you’ve told them not to do. They need your calm, patient reminders and protection. And sometimes, distracting them or removing them from a situation is your best option.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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