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Disobedience, Discipline, and Children

Updated on October 12, 2012

"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." Colossians 3:20 K.J.V.

Disobedience and discipline do not go hand in hand. Chances are, if you have a child who is disobedient, then that child is probably categorized as undisciplined.

Today, discipline is one of the most important things a child needs to learn, but it is one of the most ignored things, and children suffer because of their lack of it.

Since disobedience does not go along with discipline, then its opposite, obedience, must go along with it. It is this act, the act of obedience, that most children have a problem with.

Why is this? Why do children have such a problem with obedience?

Webster's Dictionary describes obedience as 'the act of obeying, or the state of being obedient,' so disobedience would be the opposite of this. Thinking about disobedience caused me to realize that people are not disobedient but rather obedient to either the right or wrong thing.

When a child is being disobedient, that is, refusing to obey a parent or a teacher, he is in fact, obeying his own will instead of the relevant authority. This disobedience, if allowed to continue, leads to a lack of discipline.

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Romans 5:19 K.J.V.

Why Does My Child Need To Be Disciplined?

I know many parents who, though they think that other people's children need to be disciplined, think nothing of disciplining their own child. They do not consider that a child who is not disciplined will be more than a handful to not only them, but others as well. As a matter of fact, it seems to me, that parents believe and expect the teacher to easily accomplish educating their child to the highest degree without disciplining them.

A child with no control over themselves will not be the easiest child to deal with in a class. This child will refuse and answer teachers disrespectfully, influence his classmates to do the same, and, on a whole, disrupt the class. Not only will the undisciplined child hinder his education but other children's as well.

As a parent you should realize that your child, depending on how you raise them, will either help or hurt society.

Jan Steen's 'The Severe Teacher' - 1668
Jan Steen's 'The Severe Teacher' - 1668

"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." Proverbs 10:1 K.J.V.

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.: Proverbs 13:24 K.J.V.

"A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself." Proverbs 18:2 K.J.V.

Why Can't Teachers Discipline Children?

Often, when speaking to a parent whose child has a discipline problem, I get told that the child does not perform well at school. I also hear the complaint that the teacher is either not being hard enough on the student, or that the teacher is not being considerate enough of the student.

Either way, blame is being put on the teacher and not on the student. A teacher does need to have a level of discipline in his class but he should not have to enforce discipline very much. I firmly believe that the more a child is raised to be obedient and/or respectful to people in authority, the less problems the child will have at school.

If a teacher has to spend time correcting a child about behavior, then the time the teacher spends correcting has to be taken away from the time a teacher spends teaching. Its simple Math, really.

With all of the red tape that exists in schools today it is very hard for a teacher to find inventive ways to discipline children without being taken to task for it. A child can no longer be described as badly behaved but rather 'disruptive'. Parents cannot be told that their children do not listen and are disobedient, instead they are told that they are 'distracted'. It is my opinion that this watering down of words is harming children rather than hurting them. By walking on eggshells for fear of stepping on some toes with the truth, children are growing up to be hooligans, thugs, and bums, who have no regard for anything that does not concern them directly. This might seem to be a harsh statement but I have seen so many children who have no clue about respecting the elderly and who see nothing wrong with answering an adult rudely and they all have serious issues with their education as well. I say, and this makes sense to me, the more disciplined a person is, the more able he is to learn.

What About Homeschooling?

To me, Homeschooling is the better option. As a parent, you can make sure that your child is being educated the way you want them to be. You can be certain that your child does not get lost in class, never falls behind and every thing that he may not understand most likely will not get swept under the rug when homeschooling.


even if parents choose the option of Homeschooling, a child needs to be disciplined and obedient to authority to attain all of the education that is available to him. Too often, children who have a serious problem are taught at home without the problem being addressed. There are no rules enforced, there are no boundaries and the child is free to do what he wishes.

A child who gets away with everything, will not listen when the parent is trying to teach. Why? Because that child does not respect the parent since the parent has never taught him what respect is. He is a law unto himself and he therefore obeys only himself.

If you are not aware of it, or have never spoken to an in-disciplined teen with attitude, you should know that explaining respect is one of the hardest things to get them to understand. They have been so accustomed to having all of their protests reasoned out by parents that they believe that they need an answer for everything. The only people they blindly obey, besides themselves, is the friends (or bad apples as the child's parents call them) who led them 'astray'.

How Do I Train My Child To Be A Disciplined Individual?

It is simple really. You have to teach your child to obey other people besides himself.Do not let the small things go unchallenged. Do not explain everything - children are not stupid and they sometimes question authority so that they can cause you to look stupid in order to pamper a feeling of superiority within themselves. Teaching obedience only became a tricky thing when people started to think in the murky color of grey instead of black and white. Yes, each child is different and children have to think for themselves but not to the point where they think that words like self-control, morals and respect are curse words and all the profanities are a part of life. Not to the point where they believe that freedom is doing whatever you like when you like and forget the consequences. Not to the point where responsibility is thrown out the window and the parent is left to clean up the mess for an eternity. There are things that are wrong and there are things that are right. Teaching your child these things and expecting his respect and obedience to you will cause him to respect others and treat them as he should.



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    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi The Stages Of Me,

      Yes, reading God's word does bring obedience because it tunes us in to His voice.

      Thank you for reading and appreciating my article.

      The Lord bless you and keep you as well.

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      Kathy Henderson 

      6 years ago from Pa

      North Wind ~

      This is so true about obedience. I suppose the lack of witness to acts of obedience is not to surprising in these times. Sadly it is a state of complacency that has been allowed to poison our world. I love your reference "that it is one of two things obedience to what is right or obedience to what is wrong." This is so emphatically true. We choose and we are allowed free will given by God. Sadly many must have turn from His word or spend little time in it to not see the importance of our obedience to that word. Perhaps if more went to the instruction of the word we would at long last see a revival of obedience to things that are right in our world once again. Peace in your stages and God Bless.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      It is so great that you meet as a group because at least that means that some parents are willing to listen and that there is still hope for discipline. Obedience only becomes a hard thing when we rebel. It is just like when you swim with the current - everything goes smoothly and you move along quickly. If you swim against the current, you go nowhere and there is a high chance that you might drown.

      Thanks for your visit, and your support, Hyphenbird!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      North Wind you are so smart and have written a highly needed article. I see so many children and almost always one reason is because of no discipline. Our Circle of Parents group meets weekly and the parents are exhausted but then admit kids have televisions in their rooms, go to bed after midnight and many other issues. I love how you said "Teaching obedience only became a tricky thing when people started to think in the murky color of grey instead of black and white." God's Word is black and white. Our obedience should be also.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you Caleb DRC. We do have to discipline ourselves to follow Him. The road is straight and narrow and if we are not disciplined we could step away from the path. As Christian was advised in The Pilgrim's Progress, we must not turn to the left nor the right but press onward to the gates of the Celestial Kingdom.

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 

      6 years ago

      Regardless of our personal opinions, this hub is consistent with Scripture. I liked what you implied: Disobedience is obedience to the wrong thing. Also linking an undisciplined life to poor education is on target.

      Absolutely, watering down words are bad for the child, and everyone else, because euphemisms are Satan's way of watering down sin so it is not the pernicious act that it is, causing millions to go to eternal torment, and caused Christ to have to pay its price for each one of us who discipline themselves to obey Him; i.e. saving faith.

      Good job, North Wind.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      I would say that it is the grace of God, TexasLadyJuanita. It can be only that.

      Thank you again.

    • TexasLadyJuanita profile image

      Juanita Holloway-Walters 

      6 years ago from Kemah, TX

      Sometimes an undisciplined and spoiled child will do exceptional in school. They are looking for boundaries to make sense of their young lives. They wind up being leaders who just happened to have a lot of common sense in spite of the whirlwind at home. I have seen it, and it is amazing when a rose comes from weeds.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi TexasLadyJuanita,

      I agree, there are some exceptions to the rule as Mekenzie pointed out.

      "I tried to tell them that what you laugh at at 2 will be a horror when the child is ten, and then it is too late. " - I am amazed you mentioned this because I never really know how people stand on this generally. I always think that laughing at something a toddler does that is wrong is the wrong thing to do. I have been told that I am too harsh but I just see it as a way of condoning bad behavior. Just because the child is cute does not give him an excuse to do wrong.

      I appreciate you sharing with us the story of your grandchildren. I also have witnessed something like this. The parents I knew were very indulgent of their children even though they did try to teach them right from wrong. Because they never said no, the children became quite spoiled and they have raised children who are indescribable (and not in a good way). But there was one exception. Only one child from that group who got the same upbringing, chose to observe the mistakes made and did not repeat them with her kids. Her children are completely different to their cousins and if you met them you would not think that they came from the same family.

    • TexasLadyJuanita profile image

      Juanita Holloway-Walters 

      6 years ago from Kemah, TX

      Thumb up, interresting, and useful. I totally agree, but in real life it isn't always that cut and dried.

      I have 2 sets of grandchildren. The set that receives loving discipline are happier and learn more. In the other set, I tried to tell them that what you laugh at at 2 will be a horror when the child is ten, and then it is too late. Sad, that in this second set is a 12 year old child that still does a blood curdling scream when frustrated. It is sad for us grandparents who have been told that we are wrong, and that our views on discipline are not welcome.

      More interesting - the first mentioned grandchildren above - their parent responded well to different disciplines at different ages. This parent, as a child, did not repeat the same mistakes.

      The second mentioned grandchildren above - their parent did not respond to any discipline. I could have taken all priviledges away as a teen and that child just didn't care - or was a very good actor. This parent, as a child, made the same mistakes over and over again.

      Sometimes you can raise two children exactly the same way, and the result is as different as night and day.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Michelle,

      I am so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well and that her teachers are great. It is a blessing when teachers put in the extra effort and parents appreciate that. I know that you are a very caring mother and want the best for her and your care will make the teachers show more interest. I am very glad to hear that she is doing well.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      What a wonderful hub. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Parenting is important and that is we do, we have meeting with our daughter's teachers. Her teachers call us. She is doing really well now. She does go to a school for children who have autism or asbergers syndrome. Her teachers are wonderful.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Eddy,

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment to let me know that you passed by. I hope that all is well with you!

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Mekenzie,

      Thank you for mentioning the troubled ones who come from great homes. I know that these exist too and it is a sad thing to see the grief that they cause their parents.

      Your comment holds a lot of truth. Parenting is one of the most important jobs that God can entrust you with and it must be taken seriously.

      I too was adopted by God and I thank Him everyday for grafting me into His family. His mercy is sweeter than words can describe!

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Faith Reaper,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I agree - teachers can only d so much and when a child is not disciplined this lack takes away from what a teacher can give. I know many frustrated teachers who see the potential that children have being wasted.

      On another note - your bundle of joy must have arrived by now....I hope he is well and that we see a picture of his toes soon! God bless you and your lovely new grandson.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi teaches, thanks for your input about teachers. Most people do not realize that their children will help to shape the society in the future. The way you raise them is quite important! I appreciate your vote up very much!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      So interesting and thanks for sharing.


    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Parents have a huge responsibility when they choose to have children. We are entrusted with their lives and are responsible for what we teach them and train them to be.

      It is unnerving to witness so many disrespectful children in today's world. Some parents just don't know how to discipline and have never had a good role model of parenting.

      I am glad you included some resources for those who want to be the best parent they can be. I know I read everything I could get my hands on regarding parenting as I was one of those parents who had no one to model it for me.

      God in His grace redeemed me and adopted me into His family. He is my rock and because of His deep love I trusted Him and He was there in my parenting years.

      I'd like to point out that not all kids who are 'trouble' come from undisciplined or unloving homes. Some have been abused and/or a major tragedy has left them angry or in isolation. Seeing beyond the behavior to a child God gave His son Jesus to redeem will cause us to speak words of life into his broken or grieving heart .. and the love of Jesus will touch that child in profound and life changing ways.

      Well written and an important message to parents.



    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent write on discipline of children. Very insightful point made here. As teaches has already stated, it really does start in the home. I really feel for a lot of teacheres, as they are sometimes left with children whose parents have failed their children by the lack of discipline, and leave their children to disrupt the class of those who are actually there to learn something. The teachers really have no say anymore it seems. Voted Way Up God bless In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Good post on teaching children discipline. I do believe it starts in the home and it will help children to become model citizens. Teachers can only do so much for your child, parents do have to do their part as role models. Also, teachers cannot spank children, it's against the law these days. I believe this protects both teacher and the child. Well done and voted up++!!


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