Why do children become naughty and what to do about it?

A child is a separate person with his own desires and needs, so he must express and defend them. However, often it translates into impulsivity, aggression and absolute disregard for the word “no”. Such children are often bold, vindictive, and their positive reaction to encouragement and praise is mild.

Where does destructive disobedience come from?

Destructive disobedience can arise from differences in the family – when desperate disobedience is the result of constant stress and anxiety for parents. Or the child repeats the example of parents who act inconsistently and do not listen to each other.

Aggression and insensitivity can also be a reaction to acute grief, for example, the death of someone close or to unexpected changes – moving, the appearance of a brother / sister, stepfather / stepmother, school change, etc. Disobedience in this case is a kind of ultimatum, through which it is worth looking for constructive ways out of the situation.

Most often, demonstrative disobedience is the result of interaction with parents who allow the child to behave this way. This does not mean literal resolution, but is the result of various communication processes that are worth trying to understand in more detail.

“Power struggle”

The cause of the conflict between the child and the parents may be forcing the child to obey through forceful methods of influence – threats, punishments, etc. In this case, the child feels helpless and provokes other clashes in order to prove that he also has a certain strength and a certain influence. [.p]

In this case, it is worth transferring the dialogue from an ultimatum to an agreement. For example, instead of “if you do not clean the room, you will not go for a walk” – “as soon as you clean the room, you will go for a walk.”

Often, after a “forceful” interaction, not only children, but also parents feel bad, because they understand that they have emotionally or psychologically harmed the child. Therefore, it is important not to forget that your goal is to change the behavior of the child, and not to hurt the child and yourself.

Excessive dependence on the opinions of the environment

The bad behavior of the child often provokes condemnation of the environment, they say, in good parents the child should not behave this way. Under the influence of this, parents try to muffle excessive children’s emotionality, absolutely despite the feelings of the child. Therefore, over time, the child repeats the behavior, signaling his needs and emotions.

It is always worth concentrating on the child, and not on the fact that someone else may be uncomfortable or not comfortable with a certain behavior of your child.


Some parents are constantly trying to “temper” the child, putting forward the most stringent requirements for absolutely everything: how to sit, how to eat, how to talk; how the child looks, what they wear, what grades they get, whether they play sports/music/etc. By requiring the child to be perfect all the time and in everything, you provoke resistance, which is expressed in destructive disobedience.

Try to make a list of all your requirements for your child by day, week, month or year. Include the smallest ones in it, for example, stop knocking your foot on a chair. Analyze these requirements and try to understand which ones will be relevant tomorrow, in a week or in a year and what will happen if the child does not fulfill this requirement. If the answers to these questions do not satisfy you – you should reconsider your requirements for the child.

Too soft requirements

It is worth revising the requirements even if they are too soft – it also provokes acute disobedience. Parents should be able to firmly and confidently refuse the child so that he understands the importance of parental “no.”

Sometimes this can be a problem because parents are afraid to upset or offend the child with their refusal. Children are very observant and in an uncertain “no” are able to feel your anxiety and take advantage of it. If it is difficult for parents to establish prohibitions and come to terms with them, it is difficult for children to fulfill them.

If you feel like you’re having trouble establishing a disciplinary framework, learn to separate what you’re doing from what you’re doing it for. Explain to yourself and the child that each rule has a specific goal and a specific reason and they are not to make someone unhappy, but rather to protect, protect and help.