Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
Disobidient children, oppositional, defiant, lying little guys and gals are begging for help. It's a very insecure position in life to be small and the boss, not to have fair rules and structure, guidance and a chance to feel like a good person, or at least a person. So, when a naughty or nasty-acting child gets spanked, put in time out, or loses privileges or things which aren't related to what he did wrong, he learns that there are consequences and gets attention. However, he doesn't learn what to do instead, how to handle life and people in a way which will lead to real caring and admiration.
Rather than punish, it would work best to teach. Give the child an opportunity to make up for what she did wrong. Practice better behavior with her, like an instant replay of events with things going right this time. Have her entertain the sibling she tormented. Require a series of chores to repay for the disrespect and time which she cost you. Make her tutor or teach another less fortunate child. Community service, home service, any service at all makes the child a better person, resulting in self-respect. Model appropriate handling of difficult situations.Praise improvement and effort in the right direction, even if you staged it. In the long run, even acting feels natural with repetition and becomes part of the child's new, more adaptive repertory.