How Obedience Is Formed in Children From 3 to 6 Years Old

Obedience must be instilled in children between 3 and 6 years of age so that they understand the importance of respecting rules.
How Obedience Is Formed in Children From 3 to 6 Years Old

Last update: 16 March, 2022

One of the aspects that parents want the most is for their children to respond in a good way to each of their requests and demands. This is how they can guarantee their little ones’ safety and, little by little, help them acquire the most fundamental teachings.

This way, during the early years, you have no major inconveniences in this regard. This is because children are still quite fearful and listen to their parents in order to feel that they’re not exposed to anything bad.

However, when they reach the age of 3, a complex stage usually begins for parents. The child feels the need to be autonomous and explore certain aspects of the environment on their own.

This often happens until the age of 6 because, until then, kids aren’t completely rational. Therefore, it’s normal for them to be driven by impulses and by what they think is best for them.

In addition, from the age of 3, children begin to have more communication and developmental skills. Because of this, they feel that they can refuse and resist when they don’t agree with a decision.

For all these reasons, it’s essential that parents find the right ways to instill obedience. This is the best way for children to understand, little by little, the importance of respecting rules and behaving well.

A daughter talking back to her mom.

Actions to encourage obedience in children between 3 and 6 years old

Although it’s a complex process at this age, it’s possible to maintain children’s obedience. Although we know that what they want is to perceive new sensations and challenge themselves, we must guide them as we always have. For this reason, we’ll take a detailed look at the habits you should adopt in order to achieve this goal.

Be firm in your decisions in order to instill obedience

When a child begins to behave adversely, it’s essential that you let them know and indicate the negative consequences of their attitude. This way, on a future occasion, it will be clear to the child that this is detrimental to their well-being and to their coexistence with others.

Likewise, parental firmness allows the child to identify that parents aren’t going to give in despite their tantrums. This prevents them from getting used to fighting in order to get their way all the time.

A mother correcting her son.

Highlighting the positive

By indicating to a child that the actions they perform are right, you allow them to feel at ease and, in this way, the child feels interested in doing something for their well-being and happiness.

Apart from this, the child feels that their actions are valued, and by satisfying their parents, they understand that they play an important role in the family.

Establishing consensus promotes obedience

Since what a child is looking for at this age is some autonomy, they can be allowed to communicate their points of view. This opens the door for you to dialogue with them and explain to them why it’s not possible to do everything they want.

This allows both parties to reach an agreement that suits them, and this gives an important message to the child: Their freedom is respected. Consequently, obeying ceases to be something clearly negative for the child.

A mother looking her daughter in the eye while they talk.

Understanding the child’s needs

Parents should also understand the fact that children want to explore the world out of an instinctive need. For this reason, the best thing to do is to offer them novel and entertaining activities. Through these, children get involved in new experiences and acquire a lot of knowledge. In addition, they feel that their wishes are fulfilled and are less interested in imposing their will.

Be a good example

Parents are always the role models that children want to imitate. Therefore, if they show obedience in their daily lives, the children will be attracted to include that same behavior in their personality.

Apart from this, the children will be able to see that this action generates positive consequences for their parents and they’ll feel the desire to imitate them to enjoy the same fullness and happiness.

A mother and daughter sitting on the couch facing one another and holding hands.

You may be interested in: Obedience According to Maria Montessori

About the importance of instilling obedience in childhood

This process requires a lot of dedication because no child is able to be obedient at all times. This is due to the fact that impulses and the desire to stand out are part of our human condition.

However, recurrent and loving dialogue allows us to reach the best possible outcome. Children are able to understand what their parents expect from them and strive to achieve it in each of their actions.

In addition, it’s clear to them that learning to follow the rules is the right way to go. Otherwise, a discomfort is produced that not only harms their emotional well-being but also prevents them from advancing towards their achievements.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ibarra R. Salmán M. Desarrollo de la personalidad en la edad temprana [Internet]. Mazatlán: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional; 2008. [citado 04 de enero de 2022].

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.