Q. My 12-year-old daughter sometimes defies me when I tell her to do something. On a few occasions she has confronted me and told me, “I’m not going to do it, and you can’t make me.” She looks me in the eye, and dares me to do anything. She is very strong willed.
I’ve tried grounding her, and taking away privileges, but none of this seems to work when it’s a test of wills. What should I say to her?
A. Don’t say much when she is angry and defiant, especially if she has made you angry.
You don’t want to match anger to anger, will to will. She is not likely to be able to reason with you when she is angry and defiant.
De-escalate the situation by saying something like, “Julie (call her name), we need to talk about this later,” and walk away. If you give her time to cool down, you can discuss the situation at a later time, and hopefully resolve the problem. Chances are, after she’s not emotionally wrought up, she will apologize.