How to discipline a child that doesn’t listen | Practical Methods

As a child grows, their behavior and reaction towards others start to change.  To understand your kid’s behavior, you have to note the circumstances and changes that they are facing and going through while achieving the developmental milestones. How to discipline a child that doesn’t listen?. It usually goes like this…

“ Drink the milk first, and then go to play!” 

“*Shuts the door and runs to play without drinking the milk.” 

Understanding your children will help you discipline your child without harsh threatening, punishment, or yelling. Teaching Effective Discipline to kids who don’t listen, definitely needs more time and patience from the parent.

 Every parent wants their kid to behave good, respectful, and well-behaved before others.  As parents, it becomes your job and duty to educate kids to behave well at home and in public.  

The child needs parental influence on their developmental stages to transform into a well-behaved citizen in society.

What is discipline? Is there a proper way to discipline a child?

Yes, there are proper ways. Disciplining your child is about educating and guiding them to behave well and responsible with certain rules and responsibilities, without punishment or anger.

Disciplining a child is a long process with effective techniques to teach them about their behavior is acceptable or not acceptable. An effective discipline method uses different strategies, tools, positive reinforcement, and supportive families to educate children who act all difficult to handle!  

Most of the parents use punishments as a tool to discipline the child who has an arrogant and mischievous nature. But punishments sometimes make kids have stress and increase their unacceptable behavior to an extreme level. 

Disciplining a child might sound easy to say and explain, but it becomes complicated and frustrating unless you aren’t aware of the physical and psychological changes that are happening around your children.

Types of child discipline:

Discipline generally differs from a child to a child. Children learn and act from what they see. When the children act weird and adamant, it becomes the parent’s responsibility to help them to be a respectful, self-reliant, and self-controlled person. Based on your kid’s temperament, your temperament and family discipline choice determine the type of child discipline.

A Single disciplining method will not work for all kids. It should be considered with factors like your family and situation. 

Different approaches and discipline techniques as follows

  • Positive discipline – It is based on encouragement, supportive praise, and meetings.
  • Gentle discipline – It focuses on redirecting the kid’s behavior by using humor and fun situations.
  • Boundary-based discipline– It focuses on creating clear consequences and setting rules.
  • Behavior modification– It is based on the negative (ignoring) and positive (praise or rewards) consequences.
  • Emotion coaching – It focuses on educating kids about feelings and emotions.


In the above-given situation, the child might or might not heed to the words of its mother, in spite of clear instructions, and a calm demeanor.  

In case of such situations, you might need a Boundary-Based Discipline approach to enforce on your children, to start responding properly to the parent’s instructions. 

Why is it important to discipline your child?

Discipline educates kids to manage anxiety, make decisions, handle emotions, and equips them with the knowledge to safeguard themselves from unexpected situations in their life.

Discipline ensures your kids to gain skills and knowledge necessary to become responsible and well-behaved adults. Discipline makes your children’s life happy, well-built, and healthy at each developmental stage. 

Without proper discipline and rules, many kids lack the knowledge to handle relationships and challenges like respecting others, self-discipline, and connection with peers.

By approaching a healthy discipline, kids learn about impulse control, self-regulation, and problem-solving skills. When you teach and talk to kids about appropriate consequences, they learn from their faults and gain the courage to face problems without fear.

Why kids don’t listen?

Kids do and behave what they want or do just opposite to their parents’ words. There could be some underlying reasons like disrespecting you, seeking your attention, or unsolved issues with you.

The reasons why kids don’t listen or understand your words are as follows:

  • Lecturing kids with non-stop advice
  • Using improper words or statements that kids don’t like during a conversation
  • Speaking in a high pitch scary or loud instructive tone
  • Talking without actually getting kids’ attention
  • Yelling and asking questions when kids don’t listen
  • Compelling your child to do something that you like
  • Constantly repeating or nagging them to obey your words
  • Giving harsh punishments for their mistakes

How to discipline a child that doesn’t listen. Healthy discipline strategies or approaches that work on a defiant child:

Few positive discipline strategies which help your children to understand and manage their behavior, and also promotes healthy development.  

Healthy discipline strategies that might work on a child include:

Talking with a calm tone 

Educate kids by showing right from wrong with low-pitch or clam words and action.

Set limits

Set consistent and clear rules according to your children’s age, make sure to explain them to understand it and follow without fail.

Give consequences

Strictly, firmly and calmly explain the negative consequences if they misbehave in-home and public

Listen and understand them  

Hear their story fully with a calm and composed approach, before suggesting a solution to their problem. Talk with your children at free times and get to know them well. Spend some time with them even amidst your busy work schedule.

Give your time and attention

Attention is the best effective discipline tool to reinforce positive behaviors. Every kid needs their parent’s attention and guidance for a bright and happy future.

Give rewards for being good

Children need to know what they get when they do good and bad. Notice and catch your children’s good behavior movement and point it out, give praising words and rewards.

Do Not respond to bad behaviors

Ignore your children when they do bad behaviors. Being Silent and ignoring them teaches the natural consequences of their actions.

Redirect from bad behavior

Children misbehave when they are bored or don’t know what to do in leisure times. Plan interesting activities or situations to engage children to avoid bad habits.

Call a time-out

Time-out strategy works best by warning your children when they broke specific rules, and also remind them what they did wrong.

Age-based disciplining approaches to discipline your child

Parents could always follow a set of strategies to keep their kids on track at each stage of their life, and help them learn right from wrong, and keep away from harm.

Guide to discipline your three-year-old toddler

Toddlers are heavy energy bombs, they misbehave many times because they don’t know how to express or handle their emotions.

  • Give choices when toddlers throw tantrums
  • Maintain cool behavior and give full attention to them
  • Nip tantrums in the bud
  • Spend time with them

Tips to discipline defiant preschoolers

Communication and memory skills start developing at this stage, and hence preschoolers are better able to follow rules and hear explanations. You can,

  • Ask them to do things nicely
  • Explain to them about negative and positive consequences
  • Catch them being good
  • Model their behavior by giving tasks

Tips to discipline school-aged kids

  • Take a coach’s approach
  • Remind and repeat words until they hear out
  • Use logical consequences

Tips to discipline tween kids

  • Don’t dictate your tween to do things
  • Negotiate later
  • Have clear expectations
  • Use the sentences “when and then”

Tips to discipline your teen

  • Keep setting appropriate limits 
  • Make strict rules and instructions to follow

Some Golden rules of discipline that every parent has to follow while speaking to your child should be to:

Stand firm, Pick your battles, Praise, don’t punish, Set consistent and clear rules and Give them unconditional love.  

Benefits of discipline:

A parent has to make children understand the long-term benefits that discipline and good behaviors can bring to them, so that children can enjoy better benefits later in their life. 

A Disciplined life allows your children to achieve their goals and avoid distractions in their life. They naturally start feeling good and behave well in public. Having a positive outlook allows children to set a goal and achieve better and avoid negative consequences. A Disciplined Life keeps your children away from emotional outbursts and self-harming practices. 

Consistent and clear discipline strategies train your kids to go in the right direction.  Show them your love, and by continual guidance and protection, drive out their foolishness and transform them into a well-behaved citizen in the future.

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