Before the birth of our own firstborn, many of us tended to see naughty children as the natural result of bad parenting. Now we understand that conflicts between children and parents occur even in the most exemplary families.
Why don’t the children obey?
It seemed that all the prohibitions and requests were as logical as possible and were explained to the kid in an accessible form, but here you ask not to touch grandfather’s tools, and after five minutes you calm down the sobbing crumbs on whose leg a hammer fell. They asked me not to touch it and explained that it would hurt, but still did it in my own way. Let’s see what motivates children when they ignore our requests and prohibitions.
The most common reason children are disobedient is their natural curiosity. We have already written that it is this trait that allows babies to develop, explore the world and become more and more independent. Disobedience becomes a frequent companion of curious children: if the mother has forbidden to do something or go somewhere, the baby certainly needs to find out what she is hiding there.
Intense family and community environment
Disorders and tragic events in the family, its financial and social distress, the rude attitude of others and other stresses are not easy even for adults, and kids need emotional stability and warm relationships with their parents much more. Children’s disobedience is often associated with traumatic events and high levels of stress in their lives.
Copying the behavior of other children
Children tend to copy the behavior of others, especially preschoolers with a not yet formed system of values and moral coordinates. The child simply sees an example of successful behavior and tries to repeat this success using the same techniques. This passion for copying is completely natural, so parents of young children should keep an eye on the baby’s environment.
Yes, growing up isn’t just about adolescent crises. The baby is constantly developing and growing up from the very first day of his life, and on the way to adulthood he constantly needs to feel the boundaries of his capabilities: until recently he could only move in space in the arms of his mother, and now he has learned to walk. It is quite logical for the child to actively use this independence and to demand more freedom from the parents.
Inadequacy of the requirements for the age of the child
Imagine that you are asking the baby to stop screaming and calmly explain what he needs. Absurd? Sure! But very often we put forward equally absurd demands to children a little older: to concentrate attention for a long time, to keep a long sequence of actions in memory, to feel the time impeccably, to understand the feelings of others, not to react to strong stimuli. Of course, the baby is unable to do what is beyond the current capabilities, and unfair punishments cause a storm of negative emotions in him, which the child has not yet learned to control.
How to behave if the child does not obey?
In any case, everything is quite simple in theory and very difficult in practice, in parent-child conflicts everything is complicated even in theory, but there are still several universal recommendations for normalizing relations with a naughty child.
Don’t take a fight as negative.
A hysteria in the middle of a supermarket or complete disregard for your requests does not bring positive emotions to anyone, nevertheless, a conflict is a situation in which a baby tries to defend his boundaries, learns independence and makes the first difficult decisions (believe me, for an open confrontation with a loved one, a lot is needed courage). Consider disobedience as a unique way to teach your child new things and recognize their own mistakes in parenting. Neither you nor your child are perfect, but together you learn a lot and make each other better.
Put yourself in the shoes of a child
No, no, we are not talking now about a simple phrase in the spirit of “Oh, yes, everything is clear, I did not get what I wanted, so he is crying!” Try to imagine yourself at this age and in this situation, imagine in what situations you can experience such emotions, try to look at everything through his eyes. Very often, disobedience grows out of communication disorders and misunderstandings, but only an adult has enough life experience and willpower to make sure that the parties to the conflict are talking about the same thing and represent each other’s positions.
Analyze your reactions
How did the conflict begin? Are your requirements justified? As living people, it is difficult for us to see the situation from the outside: we are convinced of something and believe that it is just as obvious to others. It is even more difficult when we lose control over our emotions: we may be unbearably ashamed in front of others, we may be frightened or even angry at the behavior of the baby, we may feel powerless and confused. All these emotions distort our perception of the situation, so before making decisions, analyze what exactly hurt you in the child’s behavior.
Assess the situation and make an informed decision
A crying child most likely needs your gentle emotional support, but moralizing is best left for a better moment. If your baby is doing something dangerous to health, you need to urgently intervene, and in safer situations, his own experience can teach him a lot, even if it is unpleasant. Sometimes children, due to their high emotionality, can “get stuck” at some event and they just need to be distracted, and in some cases it is more useful to give the baby time to find a way out of the situation himself.
Parenting is an art, which means that any action makes sense, but it is important to choose the most useful and effective way out of the situation. That is why we recommend not to make hasty decisions and, first of all, to analyze the reasons for the problematic behavior of the child, as well as consciously set the rules for babies. Confident and reasonable parents are the most important condition for the harmonious development of children.