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How to deal with problematic children and make them listen to you?

Updated on January 13, 2010

Let’s define the problem first!

During the years, I have spoken with many parents who have problems with the up bringing of their children. The most common trend is that they can not make their children follow their advices even for the simplest things such as preparing their lessons and going to school. This often results in a vicious cycle of conflicts which worsens and worsens and usually ends up without any positive result. Not only both parts suffer and damage their nerve system, but in most cases parents usually end up by losing their authority and respect.

So what to do to avoid scandals and persuade your children that they are not taking the right decision (when you certainly know that and you are not violating their rights) without actually hurting them and yourself emotionally?

Let’s admit what drives us crazy!

Why other people do not listen to me? Why my own kid turns against me and does not follow my advices? Let’s admit it. What makes us crazy is that children often do quite the opposite to what they have been told to do.

Let’s analyze the problem!

The answer for this problem is very simple but hard to be found, because we hardly try to understand other people’s view and thinking mechanism. It is difficult for us to understand child’s thinking simply because we have forgotten what is to be a kid. However, the simplest way to understand a kid is actually be one and think like one.

When we try to give an advice, however friendly we may be, the child feels that we are trying to impose our opinion over his. In this way we unconsciously humiliate child’s intellect. At this moment, he is asking himself: Am I that stupid that my parents always told me what to do? Of course not! I am going to prove them that I have grown up and I am capable enough of making the right decisions... in fact my decision may be even better than theirs...

How to tackle the problem?

A child with behavior problem is always a challenge to a parent. But If we are friendly, have a good command, firm but kind, understand every situation, then we may earn the respect to a kid. The child would be glad when you spent time to talk with him in private when he made mistakes. That means you respect his right not to be embarrassed in public. Avoid scolding him in public when he made mistakes this would make him stubborn and resentful because he felt humiliated. Respect his rights then he will give back the respect and would be inspired to cooperate. After this, when we create the conditions for a nice talk to our children, we can try to make them think reasonably and reach to our conclusion through careful and constructive discussion so that we do not look imposing our own opinion over theirs.

Yet, that is not enough to persuade a real problematic child.

How to persuade a real problematic child?

The child with behavior problem is very unpredictable and uncontrollable.  In fact the only way to control a bad behavior is to make the person control him or herself. It is like a computer virus. You can not tell the computer what to do but you can reprogram its settings. Therefore, you should not tell the child what to do but what to think. The easiest way to persuade a kid and even an adult to do something important is actually not letting him or her to realize that you are the one who is pulling the strings. Just let your idea flying in the air so that the child can perceive it and think that it is his.

And what if this does not work?

Look at yourself. You are reasonable and a caring parent (maybe caring enough if you keep reading till now my article! :) ) Your child brings in him your genes and more or less has some of your good characteristics and may grow up even wiser than you are. After all, this is what evolution is about! In fact do you remember what kind of child you were? Do not forget that we often judge our children for the mistakes we made when we were young. If you can not teach your child, then life will and be sure that he will grow up a decent person if you love and respect him. And even if he does not appreciate this at this moment, he will when is your age one day!

I hope that you will find the adds on the pages interesting and relevent to the content of the article so that I can continue to write articles that you find useful:)


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    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      5 years ago

      So many parents have issues these days with discipline. I have been working with children for about 30 years off and on, and I find that it's usually the parent who needs the training, not the child. Once the parents learn the basic principles of discipline and can apply them the situation almost always improves. Such an important topic.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We have a problem with a problematic child but not ours but adopted. He tends to do lots of things now he learned to watch porn from classmates, he steal money (not big amounts), he seems to be proud and he has tell people that he is better off, he is intelligent and pass in an entrance exam of a very good school but then later not pass the test as he has learned some new things which facinates him in the computer which he secretly do checking porn stuff. He is very talented kid, good voice and he looks like an angel. The easiest way out is to let him go but we cannot also take letting him go because we know the outcome will be worst. We do not know which way have gone wrong and what to do but really feelings somewhat helpless. Anyhelp? suggestions?

      We talked to him by the way and when we talked to him he cries but seems like the things we discuss just get lost and he improved in some but have some new things which he do that really is schocking.

      He just told someone he is riding his motorbike when he do not have one, he have a laptop from Dad when he just shares with us. Helpless but do not want to give up.

    • hanskrafter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi LizzyBoo,

      Thanks for reading my article.

      I highly appriciate your opinion:)

    • LizzyBoo profile image


      8 years ago from Czech Republic

      Such amazing and interesting hub.Well, I found many practical info in it. Thanks for bringing up such issue!


    • hanskrafter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I highly appriciate your opinion apricotmousse!

      Thanx for stopping by:)

    • apricotmousse profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting hub you have here! Thanks for sharing.


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