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When children don't listen

You say it once…twice…three times…maybe even more! As you get more annoyed you get louder, then, before you know it you are yelling! Only then does your child finally follow your instruction, reluctantly doing as asked — or maybe they start yelling back. If you are wondering how to get a toddler to listen, want to understand child anger and want to know how to get kids to listen without yelling, it helps to understand what is going on in your child’s head.

What is disobedience?

Your child or toddler may be defiant or disobedient at times. But defiance or disobedience is only a problem when it happens regularly — for example, if your child follows less than half the instructions you give them.

Things to look out for when your child doesn’t listen or is defiant include:

  • Ignoring instructions
  • Answering back
  • Demanding things
  • Complaining or whining
  • Doing the opposite action

Why are children disobedient?

Children always have a reason for the way they behave. And if they are not just tired, hungry or feeling unwell, there are plenty of other reasons children will not do as they are told. You may have even accidentally encouraged your child to not listen to you, to not follow your instructions or to be defiant.

When your child doesn’t listen to you or is defiant it could be because:

  • Children will do things to get attention, even negative attention
  • Children might enjoy when you reason, nag or negotiate with them
  • Children will disobey or ignore you, if it gets them out of doing something they do not want to do
  • Children get confused if you are not consistent (you let them get away with one thing today and expect something different tomorrow)
  • Sometimes parents or carers expect too much of their kids — no one is perfect

...or maybe all of these things at once!

It's not always easy to know how to get kids to listen

Getting your child to do something the first time you ask, not the 50th — without the need for raised voices — is a lot easier with the right skills.. Get a handle on positive discipliine, disobedience and defiance (before the yelling, ignoring and answering back gets out of control) for less stress and a more enjoyable family life!

Millions of families
have been helped to deal with disobedience...
and much more!

You can achieve your parenting goals with the Triple P’s toolkit of parenting solutions and strategies. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® is the world’s most widely researched parenting program with 35+ years of scientific testing and re-testing, and real-world studies that prove it works for most families. It is used in more than 30 countries and can work for you too — and is available online!

Find out more about Triple P

Why is Triple P's positive parenting program so different? Because it gives you proven strategies to teach your child life skills, to help them be happy, confident and successful. In the meantime, your home life will be better too… with rules and routines that work, stronger relationships, and less stress! Do you want to find out more about Triple P and how positive parenting can make that happen for you? It's all here…

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