Published on : 25 November 2018

Parents, Your reaction matters!

If you react to your child's talking back by exploding or losing your temper, he will respond with disobedience and disrespect. By contrast, he will become more obedient when you remain calm, cooperative, and consistent. He will learn to be respectful if you are respectful toward him and others in the family. If he becomes disobedient and out of control, impose a timeout until he calms down and regains self-control.

When your child is obedient and respectful, compliment him for that behavior. Reward the behavior you are seeking, including cooperation and resolution of disagreements. These positive efforts will always be much more successful than punishment.

When to seek additional help

For some disobedient children, you may need to obtain professional mental health treatment. Here are some situations where outside counseling may be necessary:

  • If there is a persistent, long-standing pattern of disrespect of authority both at school and at home.
  • If the patterns of disobedience continue in spite of your best efforts to encourage your child to communicate his negative feelings.
  • If a child's disobedience and/or disrespect is accompanied by aggressiveness and destructiveness.
  • If a child shows signs of generalized unhappiness - perhaps talking of feeling blue, disliked, friendless, or even suicidal.
  • If your family has developed a pattern of responding to disagreements with physical or emotional abuse.
  • If you or your spouse or child use alcohol or other drugs to feel better or cope with stress.

If relationships within your family show signs of difficulty and lack of cooperation, then family therapy may be indicated. By dealing with and resolving these problems at a young age, you can minimize and even prevent more serious struggles that may emerge as your children reach adolescence. The key is early identification and treatment.


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