My child is growing naughty. What should I do as a parent?

When we talk about a naughty child we mean a child who defies the rules of a community e.g. at school / church, or rules of common sense such as behavior towards the elderly or showing disrespect and indifference towards those around him.

As I mentioned in the article for teachers, our children learn by imitation for the most part. The first 7 years at home should educate a child who is respectful and attentive in their relationships with others, a child with a constructive, positive attitude and who will adapt relatively easily to different circumstances. So, every parent has the responsibility to form these character traits and social skills.

When we understand that our child is naughty or defies certain rules, it is good to stop to analyze our attitude towards people and society, even our thinking and behavior. If you are careless, showing disrespect for others, then start the change with you. How do we help the child?

Let’s accept that our child is growing up naughty

Parents often deny this reality and find dozens of excuses for their child’s behavior instead of accepting reality. The fact that you deny something that everyone around you finds will not bring the desired solution, namely correction. Every child has issues on which we, as parents, need to help him change or improve. The parent of a shy child will also have to work with his child to overcome his shyness and restore his self-confidence. If you notice that your child is disobedient, if you are told from kindergarten or school or other groups that the child often creates situations that disturb the work of that group, be wise and accept that it is a problem that you need to adress, that you are able and right to solve. 

Discuss the situation with your spouse

It is very important that both parents agree when it comes to educating their children. Although the mother spends most of her time with the child, having the biblical role of overseeing everything that happens in her house and with her children, the father must be aware and agree with certain rules or limitations that will be imposed on the child. If mother says one thing and father says the other, or vice versa, you will not succeed.

Then discuss and try to understand what is the cause of your child’s impudence. The causes are different, so the methods of correction will be different. One thing the Lord clearly warns us: 

„…A child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15b NASB)

Take action and help the child to correct himself

Set some simple and clear rules for your child and family, according to your child’s age.

After discussing the problem with your spouse, and you understand the cause, establish certain rules that will help the child to correct himself. If you do not change anything in your way of communication, in the program of your day, in the way the child relates to others, the desired change will not occur.

So, if you want to help your child, you need some clear, but simple and few rules. For example: you teach him to say “thank you” to every member of the family when he is helped to do something. In this way he will learn to be attentive and to appreciate those who are with him and do something for him. Be careful to do the same for children. They copy you. When we thank children for the little services they do for us, they learn the same thing. Think carefully about what you want to correct in your child and set rules based on that purpose. 

Be an example to the child and be patient

Any change requires time and patience, perseverance. It is said that to develop and fix a new habit it takes at least 3 weeks, during which time we sometimes have to force ourselves to do what we set out to correct. Your child also will need time to learn new attitudes and behavior and during this time your example will help him a lot. Spend more time with him, talk with the educator / teacher, talk to the child and try to understand how you can help him. If he is younger, follow the rules and discipline, with a firm but respectful attitude.

The Bible tells us:

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NASB)

This way also includes his way of relating to others, and impudence is not the desired way. The responsibility lies entirely with the parents. The book of Proverbs in the Bible is full of advice for parents who want to educate their child well. I recommend that you read a chapter of this book daily. 

I leave you with the verse that says:

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15 NASB)

Talk to your child, rebuke your child, punish your child (not necessarily with the rod, although sometimes he only understands that way), set some rules and be an example for him. In other words, be present / involved in your child’s life. Don’t let others educate him, it’s your child. 

Translated by Liza Birladeanu