It is very frustrating when you don’t know what to do when your child misbehaves and then gets labelled as a problem child. You’re also worried that if you say or do something, it could affect the child, which could stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Children don’t misbehave unnecessarily; they do it because must be identified and dealt with. There are various reasons why kids don’t listen; they are probably doing it because they want attention, or they are very curious about something, and the more you stop them from doing it, the more they would rebel and have an urge to do it.

Their behavior can also be influenced by what they see in school or being with other kids in class. These behaviors can be like habits such as breaking pencils, nose picking, swearing at others, hitting, pushing others, etc. When kids bring this kind of attitude home, in their minds, they think it’s okay to do these things. So, when parents try to put a stop to this, children tend to be rebellious, and they don’t listen.

Let’s look at how you can respond to your kids when they don’t listen:

Discipline Should Not be Viewed as Punishment

It’s a common stereotype that discipline is viewed as punishment; however, that is not true. Discipline is a way of helping children learn the difference between right and wrong. It is a way of molding their personalities into better human beings.

As Dr. Gaydos says, “With discipline, we are teaching our children self-control and restraint.” This skill is important for every to learn and have and is required for the functioning of society. Similarly, your children should also be explained that discipline is not exactly punishment, but it is a way to understand mistakes and how to make things right when committing a mistake. They also need to understand why what they do is wrong and how it can affect others.

Build a Positive Relationship

Building a positive relationship with your children is important. It depends on how you approach your kids and the explanation that you give them. The better the relationship with your kids, the more willing they are to listen to you if you listen to what they say.

Yelling or screaming at them will just make them have a negative impression of you, and they are more likely to go against you. Instead, you can talk to them politely and try to understand their side of the story and explain to them why what they did was wrong. They need to feel valued and loved and heard. As parents, you can achieve this by spending time with them, listening to them, and giving them your undivided attention when they are trying to express something. Doing this builds a closer bond with your kids, making it easier to correct them when they are wrong.

Set Limits

There are some limits and boundaries that everybody sets in their lives. Similarly, your child needs to understand that boundaries are important. Talk to your kids about the importance of limits and boundaries and what kind of behavior is expected from them. However, when you set the rules and limits, you must follow them. One of the best examples is having a curfew time, if the kids are told that they must be back by a certain time, it means they need to be back by that time, and if they don’t, they need to know that there will be consequences unless there was a genuine problem on the way home that made them come late.

Ignoring Behaviors that Seek Attention

Ignoring a little disrespect from your child is more like indirectly encouraging back talk and more disrespect for a situation that may happen next time. But if you try selective ignoring, it is one of the best ways to get your child on track. For example, if you ask your child to clean up a mess they made or their room, they could probably respond with an angry grunt or rolling their eyes, which could ignite a fight between the mother and child. It would be best if you don’t get into their behavior immediately after asking them to do something. That could lead to a heated argument, and nobody would benefit from it. Instead, you can talk about it when you both are calm and express how it feels when they behave like that and the consequences of having a bad attitude or being rude. They should know how others might feel when treated rudely.

Be Specific

It would be best if you were specific about how your child would behave and not assume they would know. It’s important to be specific with what you are expecting from your child and what goals you want them to achieve.

Being specific will help your child know that they need to be obedient and know how to behave without any misunderstandings between the parents and child.

Using When/Then Statements

When teaching your kids, a lesson, using when/then statements are a better way of getting your kids on track. When/then statements give a positive sound, rather than giving statements like can’t or won’t phrases in the statement. You can use statements like “When you wait your turn to speak, then your teacher will respond to you” or “When you are done cleaning your room, then you can go to your friend’s house.”

Don’t use sentences like “If you don’t finish eating your vegetables, you won’t get any TV time.” Negative statements will upset your child and make him want to do the opposite of what you want. When/then statements will help the child modify their behavior; however, you will need to continue repeating these warnings for them to listen.

Giving Immediate Consequences

Although you give warnings to your child, and they still don’t listen, rather take your warnings for granted. However, keep a consequence for every action taken by your child. They won’t like it, but they must know that such behaviors cannot be encouraged.

You can have time in a corner for kids to cool down or think about the wrong things they have done or said. Or if your older teenager back talks or walks out on you when they weren’t supposed to, you can address it by saying “that this behavior is not encouraged in this house, and you should think about it” or “We do not use language that would hurt other people’s feelings.”


Restitution is about doing something nice for the victim or affected person. This could be doing something like finishing chores for your sibling, giving an extra helping hand in homework, etc. If your child is being disrespectful, restitution is another way of making your child understand that that kind of behavior should not be repeated.

Saying sorry is not the only thing that fixes a situation; children need to understand that it takes more than just saying sorry; they need to learn to repair damages and work on the relationships.


Kids have tantrums, behavioral problems, and bad attitudes as they grow up. It is natural, and every kid faces it. What’s important for parents is how it should be dealt with. Just because children have an attitude doesn’t mean they get to do it every time and should be taught how to behave and understand the difference between right and wrong. It all depends on how you would approach and mold their moral character.

See Also: The Importance of Routine For Your ChildProactive Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Do Best In School


How do I stay calm when my child doesn’t listen to me?

You can take deep breaths when you are close to snapping at your child or recognize the triggers and understand where the misbehavior is coming from.

What are some good punishments?

Some good punishments are making them do chores, time-outs, punishment jars, cleaning up the clutter, or cooling-off time.

What are the signs of a disrespectful child?

Putting down their peers for their great performance, expecting praise for everything, and wanting everything their way are some signs you should look out for.