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Parenting Tip

September 17, 2013

When Children Resist Instructions

When a child continually demonstrates resistance to instructions, then it’s time to decide whether you need to emphasize relationship more or you need to discipline for a lack of responsiveness.

Sometimes we take our children for granted, order them around, and don’t appreciate them enough. The result is children who tend to resist instructions. If that’s the case in your family then it’s time to show more love and emphasize the value of your relationships together.

On the other hand, some children resist instructions because of poor character. Training is work and some children need to learn how to demonstrate genuine responsiveness when someone wants to talk with them. If you ask your son to come help in the kitchen, and before you finish your instruction he’s whining and complaining, then stop the process. You may have to postpone discipline for a time because you need to get the table set in order to stay on schedule, but don’t just let it go.

After dinner, talk to your son and confront him about his poor attitude. Explain the importance of cooperation and that you’re going to have him help you with dinner every evening for a while. Increasing the workload to give more opportunity to practice may be just the constructive consequence needed to build a cooperative attitude.

Kids want life to be easy. The reality is that life is hard. Cooperation is an essential character quality all children need and now’s the time to teach it.

For more on how to build a good Instruction Routine consider the book, Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character In You and Your Kids by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. You can also learn more about a 5-Step Instruction Routine in the Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs Kit. Lesson one outlines a 5-Step Instruction Routine.

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