The Defiance phase describes a phase in toddler age in which the child reacts strongly with defiance. Although it perceives itself as a personality, it cannot yet separate its own desires and feelings from those of other people and defies when a conflict arises from them.
The defiant phase describes a phase in toddlerhood in which the child reacts strongly with defiance.
According to current opinion, the defiance phase is divided into two phases separated by age. The first phase of defiance begins around the age of one and a half and is still relatively easy to understand. With their very limited vocabulary, children begin to ask their parents questions that can be either affirmative or negative. "Yes" is something positive for the child, a negative is emotionally negative and can react to it with defiance.
In a one and a half year old child, the left hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for logical thinking, is practically inactive under stress - it can no longer communicate as usual. The only reaction left to the child is defiance.
While the first defiant phase cannot be observed in every child, the second defiant phase develops much more noticeably between the ages of four and five. Characteristic are the why questions and questioning of the adults when the child realizes that they too do not have an answer for everything.
The defiance phase is very exhausting for the child's educator, but it fulfills an important role in his or her healthy development. The first phase of defiance arises when the child first experiences negative feelings such as anger, sadness or disappointment. Some children then become stressed in the only way possible at this young age: defiance. Since their left, rational brain hemisphere is not yet developed enough to counter negative feelings with communication, children express their feelings in a very emotional way. In addition, at this age the child only perceives their own feelings and does not yet know that other people can feel completely different at the same time.
At the beginning of the second defiant phase, the left hemisphere is already so advanced that the child can express himself better and deal with stress differently. In the second defiant phase, getting to know and understand the environment plays a decisive role. The child asks why questions to the adults, but these also lead to the fact that they sometimes contradict them when they understand their environment differently.
In general, children of this age disagree a lot. They try to use emotional outbursts or creativity to let adults know that they are overwhelmed. An outburst of defiance can also occur if they cannot get their way, as children are only now learning that they cannot have everything just because they want to.
The second defiant phase is therefore also very important for the child in order to better understand his place in society and to learn how he can communicate his wishes and needs in an accepted way. It also learns to persevere in order to communicate itself clearly to adults.
Especially during the first defiant phase, it helps to reflect the child's emotions if you want to calm them down again. The same thing happens the other way around, often in the second defiant phase, which is much more stressful for the nerves of the educator, since the child can now articulate himself well and thus also provoke himself.
In some situations, while an adult's anger can help bring an overly defiant child back down to earth. However, if it happens too regularly that first the child and then the adult experience an outburst of anger, this is at the expense of the parent-child relationship and can damage the mental health of both the child and the adult. If the defiance phase becomes too stressful for one or both of them, a family therapist should be consulted.
Difficult situations in the defiant phase also arise if the child becomes violent during a tantrum and anger. Some children hit, kick, hit or, in the worst case, bite. While the defiant child may strike (unintentionally), the limit is exceeded when biting. With this behavior, children signal that they cannot deal with anger beyond the defiant phase and that they need help that their parents often cannot give them in the cases that occur. Since children with such behavior endanger their fellow human beings, a therapist should be consulted as soon as possible; the pediatrician can also be the first point of contact.
While a child defies, it should be given a safe environment if possible. This means that as few objects as possible should be within reach so that they cannot be damaged. Above all, in the defiant phase of the child, the risk of injury should be taken very seriously. Sharp edges or tripping hazards are no longer recognized by angry children and can lead to unforeseen injuries during a tantrum.