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How to discipline a disobedient child?
August 24, 2021

A misbehaving child is every parent’s nightmare. While parenting can be a fulfilling learning experience, sometimes it can bring upon difficulties along with it. Many kids, at a tender age, develop a negative communicative skill, which in return hampers their overall growth development. So, what happens when your child shows signs of disobedience? How do you make your disobedient child listen to you? Let’s discuss. 

At a young age, most children defy their parents’ wishes from time to time. It is one way for the children to learn and discover their own selves, as a part of growing up and to achieve a sense of autonomy. However, in many cases, these conflicts and sense of freedom become more regular than occasional disturbances, which finally get established as a pattern of child-parent communication. Disobedience can have a variety of causes, including unreasonable parenting expectations at times. Disobedience can be caused due to school problems, stress, family problems, loneliness, or unstable temperament.  

Important note: Chronic disobedience in children can also be the reason for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. ODD is a childhood mental health disorder that includes frequent and persistent anger, irritability, arguing, defiance or vindictiveness towards one or more people. Therefore, it is important to take care of your children and help them to get rid of such behavior. And to do so, you must learn the correct steps to get your disobedient or defiant child to behave, one at a time. 

1. Children should not view Discipline as a way of Punishment:


In order to instill discipline in your kid, you must not let them develop the idea of it as a mere punishment. Discipline, to them, must be a way of life. Teach children right and wrong with calm words and actions. If they refuse to listen, firmly tell them about the consequences instead of punishing them straight away. For example, ask your child to fold and put their clothes away properly, after they have changed. If not, you will let them play till they decide to comply. If you are firm with your words and in action, they will automatically give in. 

2. Praise your children:


This is one of the most important steps in parenting a disobedient child. Your every word of action must follow with a consequence. Therefore, never stop yourself from praising your child when he/she completes a certain task assigned to them. Praising them makes children feel encouraged and happy, and thus, in return, they will always try to comply, in the hope of getting praised by you. You can also start by praising them randomly for a task that they might think they have done wrong, by simply encouraging them for their hard work. After all, who doesn’t love to hear praises about themselves? 

3. Establish Rules & Follow Them:


As a way of teaching your kid discipline, make clear and consistent rules for them to abide by. Be sure to explain these rules to them in a way that they understand their benefits, the consequences if they are broken, followed by the punishment that they will have to serve. Setting limits or establishing rules for your kids, as a parent, is extremely important as it not only teaches them discipline, but also develops their reasoning ability.

4. Don’t Threaten or Explode:

Your reaction, as a parent, makes a lot of difference in a situation involving your child. Your bad reaction to a certain situation may affect the mindset of a child and as a result, he/she may adapt your ways to implement in their lives, knowing that it is the right thing to do. Do not shout, fight or use foul language in front of your child as children usually follow their parents’ feet while growing up, since a very young age. It is also fairly important for parents to understand when not to react. If a given situation does not require your immediate attention, you must learn to not react and let the child realize it by self. 

5. Style of Parenting:

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A child’s behavior also depends upon the style of parenting. The way you treat them, discipline them, teach them what’s right and wrong, plays a major role in a child’s personality development. An essential factor of good parenting is building up trust between you and your child. You must also be a good listener to your child. Hear out your child’s story first, without stopping them or giving out solutions and then draw your conclusions. Another important step is to give your child enough attention. Remember, all children want their parents’ attention and therefore, it is a good way to reinforce good behavior and discourage others. 

6. Discussing Problems:


Sometimes children misbehave because they are bored or don't know any better. Find something else for your child to do. One necessary step to teach your child how to solve a problem organically is by teaching them the ability of problem solving. Make it a habit at your home to discuss about a problem with your child that he/she must be facing difficulty with, and let them bring up valid points. Help them to come up with their own solution to the problem.

7. Pleasant Environment At Home:

A good home with proper environment provides the best growth of a child. However, when children witness fights and arguments frequently within their family, they automatically become bitter or develop a negative response to everything else around them. As a parent, you must show disrespect to other family members in front your child or show any sign of violence. Yelling at children and using words to cause them emotional pain has also been proven to have a negative effect on the mind.

8. Reward System:

It has been proven to be the most effective way of teaching your kid all the good things. It basically means rewarding your children when they have accomplished a task. Reward system is a good way to inculcate good values and habits in kids as they will happily comply with your teachings, in the hope of receiving gifts after accomplishment. It will also teach them that good actions always have a fruitful result in life. It’ll also teach them the value of Gratitude.


No matter how difficult it may seem to get your defiant child on the right tracks, but with proper guidance, love and care, anybody can turn the tables. Make sure to spend an adequate amount of time with your child and provide them with the best companion that you can be. Happy Parenting! 

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