A Common, Yet Unknown, Cause of Disobedience

All children disobey at times. It has happened, it does happen, and it will continue to happen. Children are human, and humans make mistakes. There are common reasons children disobey. They might be tired, sick, or hungry. You might not be consistent like you need to be. You might be allowing too many freedoms.


There is another, common reason for disobedience that we rarely think of when trying to figure out what is going on. When your child starts to be consistently grumpy and disobedient, and you know you haven’t changed your consistency, ask yourself this question:


Is my child in need of more one-on-one time with my spouse or me?


Life often gets busy. You have a new baby. Your spouse is working long hours. You have a home project. It is a busy holiday season. You have a lot of end-of-year activities to attend. Maybe you have just overbooked yourself. There are a myriad of reasons life gets busy. 


Some children are very sensitive to time spent with parents. We have one child who really gets belligerent if she is not getting enough time with us. As she has gotten older and able to communicate  better, it has become apparent that she doesn’t get disobedient intentionally. She feels frustrated by it and can’t understand why she has a hard time controlling herself. Over time, I had realized she got this way when her time with parents is too low for her. 


Children all need time with their parents, even if they aren’t acting out in result to less time. A consistent monthly one-on-one date night goes a long way to help with this. You might also brainstorm some other ways to get some time in with the child. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Have her help make dinner 
  • Have  her help you with a chore
  • Read to her one-on-one
  • Go for a walk
  • Limit time your child can spend in front of the television or other electronic devices. Sometimes when we are busy, we allow more electronic time because it keeps them busy and allows for us to get things done, but that can limit the natural options of helping with dinner

    and chores.

This isn’t necessarily an easy and quick fix (though it can be). If you suspect your child is in need of more attention, do some thinking and looking over your daily and life schedules to see where you can put more time in with your child. You just might find that one act solves your disobedience issue. 


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2 thoughts on “A Common, Yet Unknown, Cause of Disobedience”

  1. My 3.5 year old son is normally very compliant and loves his little sister. A few months ago my daughter got the flu and it lasted for two weeks. In the middle of that I was packing and leaving for my first trip away from them. My son started acting out against his sister. It took me a while to figure out that he was probably feeling neglected. While I was gone he got to spend a whole day with his grandmother and by them time I came home two days later he was his normal self. The flu also resolved finally and we were all able to get back to normal.


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