What Do I Get My Child to Obey Me?

I need my child to obey me, but how do I do it? You might not have the magic answer, but you can surely listen to some wise advice.
What Do I Get My Child to Obey Me?

Last update: 15 January, 2022

You need your child to obey you, but how do you do it? Perhaps you don’t have the most correct answer, but surely you can listen to wise advice to help you achieve it. Sometimes parental love causes their children to become less compliant with them, but it’s never too late to learn.

Children, despite their young age, are also thinking people who have the capacity to develop critical personalities. That’s why sometimes their behavior diverges to a small or large extent from the basic rules that mom and dad usually set.

Consequently, children begin to constantly disobey and in many cases, negative attitudes such as tantrums, talking back, and direct challenges begin to appear.

Tired parents, whether from the routine drudgery of work or responsibilities in general, may quickly begin to lose patience. This may lead them to respond by engaging in violent actions or simply being too permissive and letting children act as they please.

However, as neither extreme is good, parents need to seek the patience that they’re lacking in order to be able to face this tough stage that little ones go through.

With all this in mind, we want to explain the following aspects:

It’s normal for children not to obey their parents

It’s very natural for parents to only look at the behavior of their children, but in reality, they don’t stop to analyze and think about the reasons that lead to such attitudes.

Therefore, an important part of getting your child to obey is observing the possible reasons that may be causing them to disobey in the first place:

  • They don’t understand what they’re being told: On many occasions, we give our children a series of guidelines, but they’re too complicated for our children to understand or carry out. That’s why each of our expectations must be in accordance with their age.
  • They’re distracted by another activity: Children’s attention will always be directed to whatever interests them most. Therefore, we must find a way to get children to pay attention to us.
  • Children get used to the fact that parents will always do things for them.
  • You are used to your repeating the same instructions several times.

Therefore, if you analyze your own actions and behaviors, you may determine why you haven’t been able to get your child to obey you. So, to change things, here are some suggestions.

7 tips to get your child to obey you

1. Set limits

It’s important to make clear what’s right and what’s wrong in order to determine the range of permissibility with which the behavior of children will be evaluated.

2. Avoid being authoritarian

It’s important to keep in mind that children will always act like what they are, children. That’s why it’s best not to act like a dictator, that is, as much as possible, avoid implementing rules and regulations beyond the basic and indispensable ones. Don’t try to excessively control your children just for the sake of exercising authority. It’s not bad to let our children act with some freedom.

3. Try to be consistent

This is valuable advice if parents want their children to obey them, as it’s essential that the rules be consistent, that is, both mom and dad must agree on the discipline given to their children and avoid contradicting one another. Otherwise, this can cause damage to the child’s upbringing.


Parents blaming one another for their child's misbehavior.

4. Talk to your child without yelling

Communication is crucial when making children obey; however, it’s best not to resort to raising your voice, as kids are fully capable of understanding what’s bothering you and what you want them to do without shouting. Shouting only instills fear and frustration in your children, which will damage your relationship.

5. Listen to your child

Many times, parents tend to criticize their children’s behaviors, but don’t sit down to really think about and analyze the reasons for their attitudes. What do children want? Why do they act in such a way? Is there something really bothering them? Your children are the only ones that can provide you with the answers to these questions, and you’ll only get them by listening effectively and letting them know that you understand them.

6. Use consequences

Although it’s true that it’s best not to adopt violent attitudes or anything of the kind, it’s important that the discipline given to children includes a system of consequences, such as a thinking corner, where children are sent to analyze the mistakes they’ve made.

7. Praise their positive behaviors

As well as being reprimanded and punished, kids should also be praised when they comply with the rules or follow the required guidelines and orders to the letter.

A father frowning at his young daughter.

Many people, articles, family members, etc. will constantly tell you about their infallible methods to achieving the successful parenting of your children; however, it’s important that you understand that the key to effective discipline is communication.

Without communication, it’s not possible to teach children to be listened to; In addition, it gives them the opportunity to listen to you. So, express yourself with your little one and you’ll see positive results over time.

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.

  • Ramos-Paúl, R., & Cardona, L. T. (2013). Niños desobedientes, padres desesperados. Punto de Lectura.
  • Egan, P. G., Batz, R., Pauley, D., Gibbons, J. L., & Ashdown, B. K. (2014). Niños buenos vs niños malos: Etnoteorías de un Grupo de Madres Guatemaltecas. Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 48(2), 183-193. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/284/28437146005.pdf
  • Huamán Girón, J. H. (2020). Técnicas de modificación de conducta en una niña con comportamiento desobediente. http://repositorio.unfv.edu.pe/handle/UNFV/4085

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