Skip to content

Dealing with disobedient children

It is estimated that 15% of children have serious disobedience problems , according to data provided by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics and Primary Care. A situation that can significantly harm the development of the smallest during their childhood, as well as their adult life.

One of the most repeated complaints among parents is that of “the child does not pay attention to anything” ; also that of “protest for everything” or “is a disobedient . ” A situation that if it occurs permanently can lead to oppositional defiant disorder.

Disobedience makes education very difficult for both parents and teachers. Fighting child disobedience may seem like a mission impossible for many parents, but there are certain techniques that can go a long way. It is important to remember that it is essential that parents are 100% involved to reverse the situation.

Why is a child disobedient?

There can be many, many causes behind such behavior. In the vast majority of cases, there is more than one cause that explains the disobedience of the little ones. It is possible that the child has a strong character or has certain personality traits that favor this type of behavior; they are hereditary factors.

Of course, another cause has to do with the parents’ style of education ; This is what is known in psychology as an overly permissive parental educational style. In general terms, it is one in which the parents do not establish any type of norms or limits; or, if they are established, they succumb to the child’s requests to be calmer.

There may also be other problems that can influence children’s behavior, such as ADHD . Those little ones who suffer from depression or anxiety can also have these types of behaviors.

It is also important to note that low self-esteem or insecurity can manifest itself through disobedient behavior. Do not forget that misbehavior is sometimes the way in which the little ones express the anger they feel for things that are happening around them and over which they have no control.

How to educate a disobedient child?

Below we explain some of the tricks and aspects to assess to face situations in which the little ones are not able to obey and adapt to the rules.

Know if he is a disobedient child

Experts point out that disobedience begins to appear after two or three years of age . Well, identifying a disobedient child is the first step in correcting this behavior. There are several clues that can help you find out.

First, the child shows a pattern of behavior of continuous disobedience; Furthermore, he has a hostile attitude towards any authority figure. A situation that must be faced as soon as possible since, otherwise, it can cause serious problems in the unit and family life.


Motivation is a key aspect of correcting the behavior of a disobedient child. It is about reinforcing its positive aspects , avoiding punishment and placing special emphasis on education to recetify the negative ones.

It is best to show a collaborative attitude. That is to say, let the smallest child be able to express himself with total freedom; the role of parents is to be there to listen to their concerns, as well as their dreams and goals. Of course, they should also be able to calmly explain to him what his attitude provokes. In this way, the ideal is to reach an agreement between both parties, to reach a pact with the child.

Establish rules and limits

Parents must be very clear when setting rules and limits ; the rules must be communicated to the child clearly, so that he is able to perceive that there is no room for a different attitude.

The rules must be clear and reasonable, adapted to the age of the youngest. In no case is it advisable to demand more than the smallest can get. In addition, when explaining the rules, it is advisable to explain at all times why each of them, and how you can benefit from them.

You may also be interested in:   Freud’s second topic: it, me and superego

Giving orders is not always easy . Parents must take into account the age of their child and adapt the rules to it. In any case, it is always advisable to give the orders one at a time, making sure that the smallest one fulfills the first one before giving the next.

Don’t lose your nerves

Although in many cases it seems complicated, it is important not to get carried away by the moment and lose your nerves before a disobedient child. The role of parents is to try to control their anger . To do this, a good technique is to position yourself at the child’s height, so that there is direct eye contact; this makes it much easier to talk to him.

The best way to do this is with a firm and direct tone , without hesitation; in this way it is explained to the youngest that their behavior is not acceptable, emphasizing the positive aspects of their attitude and personality.


One of the best ways to correct a disobedient child’s attitude is to establish an appropriate routine based on his age . If, for example, you go to bed late and eat at any time, it means that your pace of life is chaotic. Thus, he is unable to adapt to the rules and limits.

Therefore, parents should establish a defined schedule for each activity, keeping in mind that the little ones need free time to play and have fun. It is the best way to create a more collaborative attitude on the part of the child.

Positive reinforcement

In a child’s education, positive reinforcement from their parents is essential; In this way, the youngest learns to repeat those positive and favorable attitudes for their development .

It is about rewarding good behavior, although that does not mean that you have to give something to the child every time he behaves well. The reward is given in words of appreciation and pride, and, of course, affection.


Of course, flexibility also has a place in the child’s education. Depending on the circumstances, as well as the season of the year, some established routines are more or less difficult to perform. For example, during the summer holidays the range of hours in which the child goes to sleep can be expanded. In this way, the smallest little by little is gaining greater security in himself and in others.

Frustration and anger

The frustration is that feeling so unpleasant that appears when you do not get what you want. Well, it is important to learn to tolerate it from childhood. And for this, the smallest must experience it . Sometimes parents prevent that from happening, anticipating the negative consequences of things and overprotecting their child, giving him everything he asks for.

In this way it is impossible for the smallest to experience frustration and, therefore, learn to deal with it, and manage it. Only then can you learn to tolerate the negative emotions that accompany frustration and know what to do with them. One of the most common is rage, which can occur in various ways: hitting objects, crying, screaming …

Parents should encourage an appropriate expression of anger, teaching the youngest to control and handle it; The child has to learn to express negative emotions, but in a more adaptive way. In no case should anger be avoided or nullified, but rather to give it out in the appropriate way.


Beyond genetic or hereditary factors, education plays a fundamental role in the development of children. As we have pointed out, it is important for parents to establish clear and concise rules and limits, appropriate to the age of the children. In addition, it is essential that children experience negative emotions and learn to deal with them; This will be of great help to them in their emotional and sentimental development.

 | Website

Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *