How to Handle Disobedience in Kids

No parent wants to deal with their child acting up or throwing a fit. Unfortunately, these situations are something that come with the territory. The good news are there are steps you can take to deal with any problems that may arise, as well as minimize the frequency of these issues occurring:  Follow these tips on how to handle disobedience in kids…

Be Sure Your Child Knows What You Expect of Them 

It’s common for parents to assume that children know what’s expected of them. While this is a reasonable expectation for older children, the fact of the matter is that young children aren’t born knowing how they should act. While it may catch you off guard when your child acts up in a specific situation, this is actually how they learn what they should and shouldn’t do. To reduce the likelihood of having a problem in the first place, make sure you always clearly communicate any expectations and rules ahead of time. 

Don’t Give In 

If your child is throwing a fit because you told them no, don’t allow their bad behavior to wear you down. If their fit eventually results in you reversing your decision and telling them yes, this is going to reinforce the idea that acting up is a way for them to get what they want. By sticking to your guns, you will remain the authority figure and show your child that bad behavior won’t get them anywhere. 

Stay Calm and Explain the Situation 

In most situations, raising your voice or yelling is just going to make things worse. Since you want to correct this behavior, start by physically getting down on your child’s level. Once you’re looking directly in their eyes, explain in a positive but firm voice why what they did was wrong. If it’s a situation where your child is upset because they feel they were the one who was wronged, tell them that while you understand how they feel, their reaction wasn’t the appropriate way to handle things. 

Make Sure There’s Not Another Problem 

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to assume that your child’s bad behavior is just their attempt to make you pull your hair out. However, in many cases, acting up is a sign of another problem. For example, everyone knows the importance of a good night’s sleep. What many parents don’t realize is just how much sleep young children need. Depending on your kid’s specific age, they should be getting between 9 and 11 hours of sleep a night. Since most adults skate by on 5 to 7 hours a lot, this recommendation may seem like a lot. But the reason it’s actually not excessive is in addition to playing a crucial role in development, getting plenty of sleep is exactly what your child needs to ensure they’re able to keep their behavior under control.

About the Author: Jon Wisenheimer is a blogger that writes about babysitting & parenting. Visit for babysitting FAQs.

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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