Triple P – Why are Children Disobedient?

Triple P - Why are Children Disobedient?


I have to say that this is the most popular issue that I deal with in my practice.

Disobedience or noncompliance.

So for the next 3 days, we will look at:

  • Why children are disobedient
  • How to teach your child to do as they are told the Triple P way
  • How to manage disobedience the Triple P way

One thing is for certain, children will at some point not do as they are told.  That is just part of their learning, growing and development.

But there are children who are pretty consistent and persistent in not doing as they are asked, to the point where this behaviour begins to affect the energy and atmosphere in and outside the home.

So why are children disobedient?

  • Accidental rewarding.  This is when your child eventually gets what they want after a period of whining and whinging.  They simply learn that to get what they want they need to whine, cry, whinge or throw a temper tantrum.
  • When the only time they get any extra attention from you is when they are do not do as they are told.  So what do you then do?  You stop what you’re doing and turn all your attention to them and try coaxing, yelling, reasoning, discussing, arguing, nagging or repeating instructions over and over again
  • If it gets them out of doing something they do not want to do.  So you ask them several times to do something, they don’t do it, so in exasperation, you end up doing it yourself.
  • When you’re not consistent in the way you deal with noncompliance. One day you allow your child to get away with something and the next you day you expect him or her to follow your instructions.
  • When your requests or instructions are:

Numerous: Every time an instruction is given there is an opportunity for children to be disobedient.  Giving your child too many instructions can lead them to not getting any of them done.

Too few: Have you clearly told or even better showed your child what you would like him/her to do or how to get something done?   For example, a child may have poor table manners because they have not been given enough instructions on how to use a knife and fork.

Too hard: Children may be disobedient or appear disobedient when you give instructions that are beyond their child’s abilities, such as asking a 3-year-old to tidy up a very messy room.

Poorly timed: instructions given when a child is busy doing something, such as watching a favourite television show, are likely to be ignored.

Body Language: such as laughing or smiling while telling children to stop what they are doing.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Haim G Ginott but if you’re struggling with any children behaviour problems  then do get in touch. Triple P slogan says it all – Small Changes, Big Difference. – 07850 85 60 66 (I speak French too!)

Haim G Ginott quotes



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