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How to Discipline a Child that Won't Listen

How to Discipline a Child that Won’t Listen(10 techniques)

Parenting is not easy at all. You have are responsible for someone and you can’t escape it because if you do, you will get in trouble. That’s the law. Speaking or rather talking to a child and the child not listening at all can make a parent furious. Don’t worry about the action you can take as in this installment, we shall discuss how to discipline a child that doesn’t listen.

Discipline is important regardless of an individual’s age. Even an adult has to be disciplined so as to relate with others well. Instilling discipline in a child should start at an early age such that as the child grows, he or she is disciplined. Listening is about respect, if a child respects you, he or she will listen to you.

Reasons why a child doesn’t listen

There are various reasons why a child might not listen to you. Some might be related to respect (discipline) while others might be related to other factors such as health issues.

  1. A child might not be listening to you due to mental health disorder. Children can also be victims of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, Conduct Disorder (CD), and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Be part of a child’s daily life experiences. When you are together at home, while having dinner, ask them how their day was. Being part of their social life improves the bond between the two of you. This might make a child be open to you and tell you the bad experiences of the day. If this happens, handle the issue accordingly with the right words and tone.
  2. Complicated messages. Remember a child’s mind is still developing. Pass simple and clear messages to them. Don’t pass complicated messages and blame them for not acting on them. If you think a task might be hard for a child to perform, show the child how to do it instead of yelling at them. If the message is complicated, understanding it will be a challenge for them.
  3. Auditory issues. A child might not listen to you due to auditory processing problems. If a child can’t hear you, he or she won’t do what you want to be done. in case you suspect your child might have an auditory processing problem, make a point of seeing an audiologist.
How to Discipline a Child that Won't Listen
                                                                            Credit: Robin Higgins from Pixabay

Tips on how to discipline a child that won’t listen

#1. Rules and expectations

This is the first thing that should be done. Set clear rules and reasonable expectations that the child is supposed to follow. Failure to do so should result in a certain consequence. The consequence should be faced immediately after a rule is broken.
Be consistent because if you fail, the child will see it as a “ploy” and won’t be listening to you. Make it clear that rules are made to be followed and consequences are there to ensure they are followed.

#2. Positive reinforcement

Whenever a child follows or does what you tell them, give them a reward even if it’s praising them, giving them a thumbs-up, patting them on the back, or a privilege. This will motivate them to do what is asked and expected of them. Since you want them to listen to you, reward good listening behaviors and you will be amazed at how they will be responding.
Saying positive words such as telling another person how you are proud of your kid’s behavior while the child is listening is also a positive reinforcement strategy.

#3. Listen to them

You might not like it, but listening to your child’s excuses or what he or she might have to say can solve the problem. A child will most definitely give you excuses that won’t make sense and you might know they will lie even before they start talking. Don’t be impatient, let them explain themselves.
After they have explained themselves, they will tend to calm down and release their attitude. This is the time for you to talk. Explain to them why they should respect you (be disciplined) and the impact of not doing so. The chances of the child not listening to you will reduce.

#4. Repetition

A child can easily be distracted during a conversation. They might say they understand something yet they have not. Ask them to repeat what you have said to make sure they do understand. A child might not work on something because they did not receive the message well. Repeating it and asking them to say it is an active listening method that increases the probability of the child forgetting the message.

#5. Give second chances

If your child doesn’t listen, warn them and give them a second chance. If the same is repeated, then let them face the appropriate repercussion. This teaches them to behave and listen to what is said to them. Second chances are all about do-overs hence are met to see if a person understands the warning given. They give a child a new start over in the right direction.

#6. Consistency

Disciplining should not be a one-time thing. Parents need to be consistent (firm) in all the decisions they make. If your child misbehaves by not listening to you, discipline him or her accordingly without hesitation. Don’t be soft-hearted. Let a child understand that she or he will be disciplined if a rule is not followed (misbehave).

When disciplining a child, consider doing so without hitting them since hitting might escalate the situation.

#7. Give children attention

Not giving children attention might make them shift their attention to other things and not pay attention to you at all. If they know you give them attention, they will reciprocate this. If a parent listens to their children, they will also listen to them. So if a child is trying to tell you something, be interested in listening (pay attention) and they will understand the importance of listening while others are talking.

#8. Talk to them (closure)

Closure is very important when disciplining a child. Sit down with your child and talk about what happened, provide closure. This will avoid misbehavior in the future as the rules and expectations will be clarified by the parent.

How to Discipline a Child that Won't Listen
                                                                               Credit: jamesoladujoye from Pixabay

#9. Seek local or professional help

If your child is not listening to you at all, seek help from your friends, family members, or professionals such as counselors. Your child might talk to them instead so, let them talk to your child. They will be able to know where the problem is and assist in solving it.

#10. Respect and attend to a child’s wants and need

A child might not be listening to you because you are not respecting or attending to their needs and wants. Children are stubborn and this can make you mad sometimes. As a parent, you don’t have to eject or forbid all their request. Pay attention to their wishes and limit their wants and needs if you deem them unnecessary. By doing so, the possibility of stubbornness and rebellion will go down.

How to discipline a child that won’t listen: Don’ts

As a parent, try to avoid the below actions while disciplining a child that won’t listen.

Belittling a child

Adding more consequences to the existing ones

Yelling, intimidating, and threatening them

Use of corporal punishment

Not staying calm (losing your cool)

Lecturing them about their behaviors

Bottom line

It’s important to understand why a child is not responding or listening to you before considering any disciplinary action. This is because it might not be the child’s fault, it can be your fault as well.

Children watch their parents and copy their actions. So, be a good role model to your kid. Pay attention and respect them and they will reciprocate. If you are dealing with a teenager who is out of control, there are ways you can do it.

Building a positive relationship with your child is very important as it makes the bond between you and your kid stronger. A child will listen to parents whom they have a positive affection and time with and allow the parents to teach and guide them as well.

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