How do I deal with children who refuse to behave or listen?
Last Updated: 04/24/2018 at 3:24pm
Penny Dahlen, Ed.D., LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
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Top Rated Answers
Discipline a stubborn child by remaining calm, listening to and understanding the child and setting a good example of acceptable behavior. Discipline with patience and affection. Children need to feel safe and loved, even when they are in trouble. And demonstrate reward.
In my experience, encouragement and natural consequences will make a child more likely to listen. They will not feel like they are being attacked. Encourage them to work with you to come up with a solution, like you are a team and set consistent boundaries and limits. If they refuse to stay within those boundaries, I love using natural consequences because then you are not to blame. Sometime you may need to enforce other consequences those. Be very consistent, everyday, everytime. Use the same rules and consequences along with lots of encouragement and specific praise. An example of natural consequences is when my child was not listening and getting ready to leave. Instead they were busy tying their shoes together. Well, when it was time to go to the park and play, their shoes were tied together so how could they play? It worked. Try it and let me know how things go for you. Parenting can be challenging but I know since you asked this question, you will do a great job.
I am trying another way to persuade, when talking and shouting didn't go well, usually whispering will do. When it didn't work either, I'll take my time off from him/her a while -for cooling down myself and him/her. Then I'll try to deal with him/her again.
You have to be more stern with them. I'm not saying you have to physically discipline them, but it may take that. Only do so IF NECESSARY! There are many different ways of dealing with children that doesn't involve physical punishment. Just try something different than what you may already be doing.
There are many different ways to deal with children who refuse to behave or listen. You can give your kids time outs, ground them, take things away such as their favorite toy, Use a tone of voice that is respectful yet firm, State the directions in simple and clear terms with reasonable consequences if they aren't carried out,If you don't think your child heard or understood, ask her to repeat it back to you so that you can clarify that your child is paying attention when you are giving the instruction and that there are no distractions.
Structure and consistent punishments. Make sure they know if the behave time out or taking away a toy is what will happen. Reward proper behavior verbally saying thank you or good job. Kids thrive when they know what to expect, good or bad.
See if you can find a reason... are they tired, hungry, feeling ignored or helpless? Dealing with any of those issues for poor behavior will help. Also, remember that many things children have are privileges... tv time, computer/tablet time, many toys, etc. When children are defiant or refuse to listen, often the best consequences are something that will matter to them... such as taking away a toy or x minutes of tv time each time they refuse or ignore. Also, natural consequences work well also. For example, if he is told to put his shoes and jacket on and pick up his toys so you can go out shopping, his disobedience could result in not getting him a treat you planned to, not getting to pick out which of two options he would like, or not being able to go at all.
It can be really draining to deal with children who refuse to behave, but you may want to try listening to them for once to gain their attention and/or trust; starting an activity/game you think will get them attracted and so on.
Try to be patient with them and take them step by step. Dont force them to do anything just be gentle
Finding the source of their refusal to behave or listen. Find a way to communicate with them that best fits with them. Show them that you care.
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