D for Defiant: Positive Behaviour Support

Defiant behaviour is defined as the act of refusing to comply with a rule, direction or request made by someone in authority (e.g. parent, educator, support staff or other adult) by challenging, opposing or resisting behaving or conforming to what is asked or expected. Defiant behaviour may look like sarcasm, backchat, breaking rules, rude remarks and swearing.When a child begins to persistently exhibit defiant behaviour, the climate of the context (e.g. childcare, early childhood, primary and secondary school, disability support and youth services) can change dramatically. A considerable amount of time and energy can be spent on the child showing the defiant behaviour, which can have a deleterious effect on the quality of the learning experience for all the children. Supporting a defiant child leaves adults feeling defeated, exhausted and unsure about what to do next.

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It feels like everything becomes a never-ending battle of wills. Adults become concerned that each time they give in, they are reinforcing the defiant behaviour; they worry about what that is teaching the child and how it is going to affect the child in the long term. It can also create stress, doubt and conflict between adults supporting the child. Research consistently shows that managing behaviour is linked to staff experiencing high levels of stress, burnout and job dissatisfaction.

Based on the evidence-based Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) approach this user-friendly guide, D for Defiant will help you develop a comprehensive PBS plan step-by-step:

  1. Work out why your child is defiant (assess),
  2. How to respond when your child is defiant (manage), and
  3. How to minimise or eliminate the occurrence of defiant behaviour (prevent).

Use the practical tools (checklists, forms and strategies) provided to develop comprehensive PBS plans that can be used to support children of all ages consistently in all contexts. This invaluable resource is useful for parents, caregivers, educators in childcare, early childhood, primary and secondary schools, disability, mental health, allied health and supervisory professionals.

Download Accompanying Forms Resource