A difficult child: what to do with children who do not listen
Difficult children – an eternal headache for parents and teachers. One way or another, 99% of moms and dads are faced with child disobedience. And as paradoxical as it may seem, but in most cases, bad behavior of children can be defeated by radically revising the behavioral reactions of the parents themselves!
Most often parents begin to complain to doctors and teachers that the child has become disobedient, “fought off” and behaves badly, at a time when this child is “knocked down” already 5-7 years old and with his tricks and tantrums he has had time to “bore” all his relatives – both close and distant. But the techniques of education, which help raise adequate and obedient child, should begin to practice much earlier – as soon as the baby was a year old. Especially because these techniques – in fact – only a little bit.
The main law of pedagogy of all times and peoples: a little bird does not rule the flock
Perhaps most child psychologists and educators around the world, no matter what kind of concepts of education they were promoting, agree in one opinion: the child in the family should always take the place of a subordinate (slave), not the subordinate (leading).
The main law of pedagogy says: a little bird cannot rule the flock. In other words: a child cannot subordinate the will of adults (with his or her screams, tantrums and caprices). Otherwise, this explicit and terrible assumption on the part of parents and other household members can harm the whole family in the future, causing considerable damage to the psyche of the child himself.
However, parents should understand that “subordination to the will of adults” is not at all violence against the personality of the child or the constant forcing of his will on the desires of adult family members. No! But the child should understand from a very young age that it is the parents who make all decisions in the family, and that any prohibition should be performed unconditionally, first of all, because it ensures the safety of the child.
As soon as this family law is turned upside down and the child’s voice becomes dominant in the family (to put it simply: adults “dance to the tune” of the child) – at this very moment a disobedient child appears in the family…
Where do “difficult children” come from?
Before you learn how to deal with children’s moods and tantrums, it is worth to find out how and when cute babies turn into “difficult” naughty children. In fact, a child’s behavior in the family (as well as the behavioral reactions of a cub in a pack) is primarily and most closely dependent on the behavior of adults. There are some typical and most common situations when children-“little angels” turn into “monsters,” getting on their parents’ “necks. Children become naughty, disobedient and hysterical when:
The family lacks pedagogical principles. For example, a parent communicates with a child solely on the background of his own mood – today Daddy is kind and allowed to watch cartoons until midnight, tomorrow Daddy is in a bad mood and already at 21:00 has driven the child to bed.
When the pedagogical principles of adult family members differ sharply. For example: when a child asks to watch cartoons after 9 p.m., the father says “not in any way”, and the mother says “yes”. It is important that parents (and preferably all other members of the household) should be united in their positions.
When parents or other house-fellows are “led” to the child’s caprices and tantrums. Small children build their behavior on the level of instincts and conditioned reflexes, which they catch instantly. If a baby can get what he wants from adults through tantrums, yelling and crying, he will use this method always and as long as it works. And only in case the screaming and tantrums stop leading him to the desired result, the child will finally stop screaming.
Larissa Surova, “The Child from 8 to 13 years. The most difficult age.”
The teenage years of a child – the most difficult and unpredictable for parents, sometimes greatly shocking to their minds. It’s really hard to believe that even a short time ago your “little angel” happily climbed up into your lap, and now – all alienated and withdrawn into himself. The child changes the perception of the world, and it was at this point you have to be his support and encouragement. This age is very complex and important for the child, so your task – to help the teenager, with an understanding of the change in his interests, to be patient and give him his love.
Note that kids are never capricious, no screaming, crying and throwing tantrums in front of the TV, furniture, toys or a complete stranger. No matter how small the child is, he always knows exactly who is responding to his “concert”, and whose nerves are useless to “shake” with a shout and a scandal. If you “give weakness” and pass up in front of children’s whims – you will live with them side by side all the time a child shares with you the same space.
How to stop children’s tantrums: in one two!
Most parents believe that turning a “difficult” naughty and tantruming child into an “angel” is akin to a miracle. But in reality, this pedagogical “maneuver” is not difficult, but requires parents to make a special effort of morality, endurance and will. And it is worth it! Moreover, the sooner you start practicing this method – the more calm and obedient your child will grow up. So:
The old scheme (as most parents usually do): as soon as your baby cried and screamed, stomped his feet and hit his head on the floor – you “flew up” to him and were ready for anything to calm him down. Including agreeing to grant his wish. In a word, you behaved according to the principle “I will do anything as long as the child does not cry…”.
A new scheme (it should be done by those who want to “re-educate” a disobedient child): as soon as the baby began to cry and “scandalize”, you calmly smile at him and leave the room. But the child has to know that you continue to hear him. And as long as he is screaming, you do not go back into his field of vision. But as soon as (even for a second!) the baby has stopped yelling and crying – you again return to him/her with a smile, showing all your parental tenderness and love. Seeing you, the baby starts to yell again – you calmly leave the room again. And you come back to him again with a hug, a smile and all your parental adoration exactly at the moment when he stops yelling again.
So sooner or later the child will “figure it out” (at the level of reflexes): when he has a tantrum, he is left alone, not listened to and not listened to. But as soon as he stops screaming and “scandalizing” – he is returned to him, he is loved and ready to listen.
Well-known popular pediatrician, Dr. E.O. Komarovsky: “As a rule, the formation of the child’s enduring reflex “When I yell – I am not wanted, and when I do not talk – I am loved by everyone” takes 2-3 days. If parents can outlast this time – they get an obedient baby, if not – will continue to have children’s tantrums, moods and disobedience.
Tatiana Shishkova, “So that the child is not difficult. Raising Children from 4 to 14 Years.
Shishova’s book “So that the child was not difficult,” having stood for several editions, is a perennial success with parents and teachers, helping them avoid many errors in parenting that are fraught with discord in child-parent relationships and upsetting the child’s psyche.
The magic word “Can’t”: who needs a ban, and why?
No child education is impossible without a ban. And on how properly you use forbidding words (such as “no”, “can’t”, etc.), depends to a large extent on the behavior of the child. So-called “difficult” children are most often found in families where adults prohibit “no, you can’t” either too often (on and off), or do not say them at all – that is, the child grows up in a mode of total permissiveness.
Meanwhile, parents should use prohibitions in upbringing of children correctly and as carefully as possible. First of all, because the safety of the child and his or her environment often depends on it.
On how adequately (and therefore – quickly and systematically) the child reacts to a ban, his or her safety depends first of all. If the baby rolls on a scooter, carried away by the process, and immediately stops in front of a stream of cars, clearly and obediently reacting to mom’s shout “Stop, you can’t go any further! -this will save his life. And if a child is not accustomed to “iron” to react to bans, you will not be able to protect it from an accident: not reacting to “no”, he’ll get his hands into the fire, jump out onto the roadway, knock over a pot of boiling water, etc.
In a sense, the forbidden word “You can’t” has a protective quality for the baby. Your parental task is to accustom the child to instantly react to the signal and obediently follow it.
Precisely because prohibitions play such an important role in the education of obedient children, parents need to know how to use them correctly. There are a few rules to help them do this:
The word “not allowed” should be used seldom and only for the reason (most often it is used either if the prohibition concerns the safety of the child and other people, or in order to observe a common social norm – you should not throw garbage anywhere, you should not call bad names and fight, etc.)
The child should clearly understand that if something is forbidden to him, this prohibition is always valid. For example, if a child has a strong allergy to milk protein and cannot eat ice cream, then even if he brings from school 15 “A’s” at a time, he will not be allowed to eat ice cream.
Prohibitions like “no” or “can’t” are never discussed. Certainly, parents should explain to the kid as much as possible in detail and in a clear way why they forbid it this or that, but the fact of a ban should never become a subject of discussion.
It is inadmissible that parents’ positions on any prohibition differ. For example, Dad said “no,” and Mom said “okay, once can do it;
Any “no” must be respected everywhere: in Africa, 5 years later, it will also be “no”. To a greater extent, this rule applies not even to children and parents, but to more distant relatives – grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. Quite often there is a situation: for example, at home you can not eat sweets after 5 pm (it spoils teeth), and at grandmother’s on vacation – you can as much as you want and when you want … There is nothing good in that in different places a child lives by different rules.
If Nothing Works
In 99% of cases of bad behavior in kids, this problem is purely pedagogical in nature. As soon as parents start to properly build their relationship with the baby (learn to adequately use the ban and stop reacting to children’s cries and tears), the child’s moods and tantrums will come to naught…
Ekaterina Murashova, “Troublemakers and Children’s Tantrums. Hyperdynamic and Hypodynamic Syndromes.”
Scientists have long argued about whether or not ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) actually exists. The book by Ekaterina Vadimovna Murashova, known for her books “Your Misunderstood Child,” “Treat or Love,” and “Love or Raise,” presents the view of a practicing family psychologist on this issue. Her extensive experience in the children’s district clinic gave her valuable material for observation. And the conclusions she draws will help you better understand the problem and ways to solve it.
Dr. E. O. Komarovsky: “If the parents behave correctly and unbendingly, consistently and fundamentally, if they keep up the spirit in front of the child’s moods and tantrums, and their willpower is enough not to give up, then any, even the strongest and noisiest, tantrums in the child will be 100% and literally in a few days. Moms and dads, remember: if the child does not achieve his goal with tantrums, he just stops screaming.
But if you are doing everything correctly, do not react to fancies and tantrums, follow the above rules clearly, but the effect has not been achieved – and the child is still shouting, demanding his/her own strength, and continues to have tantrums – most likely you need to show such a child to specialists (neurologist, psychologist, etc.), because the cause in this case may be not pedagogical, but medical.
The most important principles of education
The topic of child-rearing is immense, multifaceted, multi-layered and generally difficult for ordinary people to grasp. Every year in the light of tons of clever books on raising children, but as well as a hundred years ago, most parents are now and then confronted with the problems associated with disobedience of their children. And these parents in solving problems need some kind of support, some basic principles that they would have to be guided by. Such principles may include:
Always praise your child generously when he behaves properly. Alas, most parents “sin” by taking good kids for granted, and bad – as something out of the ordinary. In fact, the child is still building his behavioral reactions and patterns, for him there is often still no assessment of “good” and “bad”, and he is guided by the assessment of the people close to him. Praise and encourage his obedience and good behavior, and he will gladly try as often as possible to do exactly as you approve.
If a baby is capricious and behaves inappropriately, don’t judge the child as a person! But judge only his behavior at a particular moment. For example, let’s say that the boy Petya misbehaves on the playground – he shoves, hurts other kids and takes away their shovels and buckets. Adults are drawn to scold Pyotya: “You’re a bad boy, you’re mean and greedy!” This is an example of condemning Petya as a person. If such messages become systemic, at some point Petya will really turn into a bad boy. Scold Petya correctly: “Why are you behaving so badly? Why are you pushing and hurting others? Only bad guys hurt others, but you are a good boy! But you behave like a bad boy today – I’ll have to punish you…”. So the child will understand that he is a good boy in his own right, he is loved and respected, but his behavior today is wrong…
Always take into account the age and development of your child.
The demands you make on your child should be reasonable.
Punishments for misdemeanors must be consistent over time (you can’t deprive a three-year-old kid of evening cartoons for spitting up porridge in the morning – a small child won’t be able to understand the misdemeanor-punishment connection).
What to do if the child of 6 years does not obey?
What to do if a six year old child does not listen? This is a query often typed into search engines desperate parents. And not always find sensible answers. So why six year old children do not listen, and what to do about it? Family psychologist Alina Vinogradova answers.
Why is not listening?
What is disobedience?
To begin with let’s understand the terms. Disobedience is, as it is considered, this behavior, which creates difficulties for adults. For example, a boy gets up at a traffic light and does not go, his mother has difficulty with him, and she scolds her son for his bad behavior. It is important to distinguish behavior that is difficult for parents, and the behavior not corresponding to the generally accepted norms (which can be called really bad). Of course, both are uncomfortable for parents, but there is still a difference. It is one thing when the child is just being naughty, fights, refuses to do something necessary – and quite another when, knowing full well that it is not good to do so, he/she does it anyway: fights, hurts little and defenseless people, shows aggression in general. And most often we encounter “difficult” behavior rather than “bad” behavior.
How does difficult behavior manifest itself in six-year-olds?
Mostly it is disobedience or lying. At six years of age, tantrums are less common than at five, but they happen nonetheless. In addition, the older the child, the more different ways he has to express his discontent violently.
Why do not children obey?
Reasons for disobedience
The reasons may be different, including purely domestic or psycho-physiological: tired, hungry, overexcited, not getting enough sleep, something frightened. But more often the child tests the degree of parental attachment to him or her by means of difficult behavior. The reasons for doubts can be quite different: a parent became distant, or stopped talking. Therefore, the child checks (or, in the words of psychologist Ludmila Petranovskaya, “pulls the rope of affection”): does it still matter to parents or not? Has something changed in their relationship, or is everything the same?
For a six-year-old, affection is very important, and for him, for example, asking to buy him something is a way to get attention. Paying attention to him means they are attached to him.
How often does a child hear “no” in response to his requests?
Here it is already a question of the child’s needs, the extent to which they are met. If we often say “no” to perfectly reasonable requests related to natural needs, the child may react with disobedience. Here again there is a refrain of attachment, because the child may think, “If my needs are being ignored, am I even needed?”
When he’s tired, he doesn’t hear!
It is important to remember that a child, unlike an adult, still has a very weak, undeveloped will, so he cannot make a conscious effort to correct his behavior. The brain is not yet that developed. It is believed that by the age of seven, only the rudiments of the will appear, and it is fully developed only by the age of fourteen. Yes, a six-year-old, unlike a toddler, has learned to hear his parents, but only if he is not tired.
Fatigue occurs when there is emotional or physical “overload” – and then the child becomes a “jetpack. In such a state, it is almost impossible to explain anything to him or her.
What can be “overload” for a child? An emotional movie, an abundance of new information, a large number of people or toys, a bright environment. And this tension can lead to tantrums – if parents misbehave during these minutes.
Six is not equal to seven!
If five and six-year-olds are quite similar, then between the six and seven-year-olds there is a noticeable difference. At age seven, the child begins to become aware of himself. If you ask a six-year-old, “What are you like?” – he will say, “Big,” while a seven-year-old will say, “Small,” because at seven, the child begins to understand his or her place in the world. A six-year-old plays games in which he is already an adult for himself: a real doctor or a fireman. A six-year-old has self-confidence, he can make comments, be a kind of mentor: “Mom, Dad, you have to do it like this!
However, even though he or she feels like an adult, he or she is not aware of responsibility for his or her actions. Responsibility is a very high level of reflection that occurs only in adolescence. But although our irresponsible six-year-old thinks he is big and wise, his parents are still a huge authority for him. So if he does not listen, it is not because he does not count with them.
It is because parents mean so much to a six-year-old that it is important for him to feel their support. And if there is no such support… For example, parents agree with the disgruntled neighbor at the entrance and scold the child in front of her. For him, it is a real betrayal, he becomes anxious, and he again begins to test affection by disobedience.
Children under seven years of age are very different because of the immaturity of the brain, they can behave in different ways. And difficult or easy behavior depends not so much on the upbringing, but on the peculiarities of the nervous system. With a stable nervous system, the child will be calm and conventionally “obedient”, and vice versa: with easily excitable, he will be “overloaded” by any new impressions. The ability of the nervous system to inhibit and switch is also important.
Lying as a symptom
Disobedience can also manifest itself in the form of lying. Preschool children lie, first, because they do not want to lose their relationship with a significant adult. Second, because their view of the world is magical in a sense: when a child says that the cup broke on its own, he thinks he has “changed reality” and now everything has become exactly as he said.
How not to respond to disobedience?
The “it’s the parents’ fault for the children’s disobedience” position is wrong because, as already mentioned, not everything is up to the parents. Everyone has different children, and everyone speaks differently about their needs, and sometimes they don’t speak about them at all. Still, there are several erroneous behaviors common among parents.
1. Giving excessive freedom.
A common mistake is the position “the child is already big, let him or her choose for themselves” or “we shouldn’t interfere with the child, limiting his or her personal freedom. Parents with this attitude, for example, ask their child, “Are you going to clean your toys? The child will usually think, “Of course I won’t, why should I?” The child is at a loss: “Why are my parents asking me that?” This gives him anxiety and, as a result, disobedience.
Children need rules, stable foundations. They want to trust their parents, they need to know that a parent’s word is an ironclad word. For them, predictability is important. From the point of view of psychology, we can talk about a free personality only in adolescence, when the child has the ability to reflect, responsibility, and so on. Therefore it is incorrect to talk about the free will of a six-year-old child. This all appears gradually and later.
2. Punish .
Another mistake is punishment. When do we resort to this way to make a child obey? When there is nothing else to do. Thus, punishing, parents literally sign in the powerlessness. Therefore, punishment should be avoided, trying to solve the problem more constructive methods.
You should not react too emotionally to disobedience: to shout in a fit of righteous anger, to wave your hands threateningly etc. You should not punish impulsively, being in an excited condition. You should not isolate the child, ignore him or her, because it only increases his or her anxiety and mistrust. In general, isolation, silence is a manifestation of psychological violence, which deeply traumatizes the child for life.
3. Nodding at “the psyche.”
The third mistake is to immediately write off the disobedience of the child on “mental problems” and to drag it to psychologists and psychiatrists. Even if the child is quite healthy, anxious parents are not satisfied with the opinion of one doctor and go to the next, until they are finally prescribed something “really good. Or the doctor himself, being guided not so much by medical as by commercial considerations, finds something that must be treated. And it must be expensive.
Of course, difficult behavior may be a manifestation of some problems or difficulties in a child, such as hyperactivity. Here it is important to avoid two extremes.
The first is when the child is, in general, normal, but parents try to keep him or her within strict limits, and any deviation from parental expectations is perceived as a mental problem.
The second extreme is when the child really needs medical help, and the parents do not go to the doctors and lose time in which to help the child. Who, by the way, also suffers from his difficult behavior.
First of all, parents need to understand the reason for this behavior. If we cannot explain it with the usual motives: the child is awake, fed, gets enough attention, is not in an environment that causes anxiety – only then should we turn to specialists. That is, if the child is awake, fed, gets enough attention, is not in conditions that cause anxiety, but nevertheless goes berserk – only then we should think about the “medical factor”.
What is the right way to respond to disobedience?
1. Give attention.
If a child demands something, for example, to buy a toy, it is not the purchase that is important for him/her, as we have already found out, but attention. You can offer something in return: to do something with your hands, to spend time together. After all, a tantrum is also an attempt to get attention, which works, as a rule, without fail.
In case, if the child is capricious, because he is tired, it is necessary to act as if he was younger than his six years: look into the eyes, put him on your lap, give him a drink from a tube, offer to “breathe, calm down”. The child cannot do it himself, he is small. If he is tired, our task is to switch it over, to calm him down, to get him out of a situation where his nervous system gets too much stimulation.
2. Calmly explain.
How can we explain to him why he should do it this way and not that way?
Firstly, it is important to find a contact with your child, to be on the same level with him. At the end of the day he will not hear his mother shouting from the kitchen, “Put away your toys at once!” You can offer him an imaginary choice: “Will you take the toys in this car or that car?”
Secondly, there should be few rules, they should be reasonable and clearly stated. For example: you should always stop and look around before crossing the road, because otherwise you’ll get hit by a car and get hurt.
If we are still talking about punishments, then the only effective punishment will be to let the child face the consequences of his behavior. If he broke his toy in a tantrum, don’t expect that he will immediately get a new one. If, in spite of the ban, he got into a puddle and got his feet wet – let him walk around with wet feet for a while (if, of course, you understand, that in this case it is safe for his health).
There is no need to directly contradict the child, guided by clichés and stereotypes, but it is necessary to go to him on contact, to find ways of solving, for example, through the game, which six-year-olds love very much.
3. Control yourself.
A parent’s ability to control himself is important. If he or she feels that he or she cannot hold back, it is enough just to say his or her emotions: “I am very angry” and postpone the discussion for later. This is like the oxygen masks on an airplane: the main thing is that the parent should be in a stable and safe condition to be able to help his or her baby.
Praise for good behavior.
It is important to maintain a good relationship with your child, such as praise for good behavior. By doing so, we are practically telling him directly, “Do this.” It is like training, but in certain situations, we cannot do without training, because the child’s brain is not formed enough.
The dry residue
Let’s try to make a rough plan of what to do if the child does not listen.
First: you should understand the motive underlying the child’s behavior.
This will almost always be a desire to check the attachment of parents, caused by the need for attention, anxiety. Also, the reason could just be fatigue, overexertion from too much stress on the nervous system.
Secondly, if a child’s actions threaten his or her health and life, it is necessary to interrupt them, and, having established contact with the child, calmly explain why not to do so
In all other cases the reason for his or her difficult behavior should be eliminated.
It is important to calm the child, to switch his/her nervous system: first of all aggressive nervous stimulation has to be stopped
You can give your child a bath, give him something cold to drink or eat, or blow bubbles. But just do not put him in front of cartoons. In this case, they will only increase irritation and overload, with which it will then become even more difficult to fight.
Parents should figure out what they really need: a trusting, good relationship with your child, or their own right, which only exacerbates difficult behavior.
After all, what is called “obeying”? There are safety rules that a child must follow. And can it be that the child is not capricious and walks “in line”? This is utopia, achieved only by psychological violence, which deeply traumatizes the child for life.
As a rule, after reading such articles, parents feel enthusiasm and try to become ideal educators. However, you should first reconsider your methods of communication with children, remembering the old adage: raising a child begins with raising yourself. You have to be willing to accept the consequences of their behavior.
The main thing is to accept as a given that it is impossible to reach the ideal of a perfect error-free parent, and that trusting relationships with children are more important than much else.