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My Son Doesn’t Obey Me, What to Do?

Questioner

F (39_female_UK)

Reply Date

Jun 13, 2018

Question

As-salamu alaikum, first, I want to thank your team for the great help you are providing. I have 3 children and I have a problem with the middle child. The only problem that I have with him is that he does not obey. Whenever instruction I tell him ( very politely with please), he delays or does the contrary. Please give me your advice.

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•You ask him what you need in a very detailed way and make sure that he hears you as you speak with him.

•Be sure to be consistant. Say what you mean and do what you say.

•You may also benefit from making a behavior chart for your son in which you chart the days of the week and good and bad behaviors that you want to encourage or discourage.


-salamu `Alaikum Dear sister,

Your son is 10 years old and this is incredibly typical for his age.  He is very lucky to have a mom that is considerate and asks him for things in a nice way.  What we know about children’s psychological development is that they need more than nice words, they need structure and consequences.

It is good to ask him in a kind way, though you need not plead with him as you are his mother and ought to present yourself as being self-assured and confident instead of shifting the power difference in his advantage.

You ask him what you need in a very detailed way and make sure that he hears you as you speak with him.  If he does not respond, you ask him if he understood what you asked of him and repeat what you said initially.


Check out this counseling answer


If he still does not respond warn him of the consequences to his insubordination.  It is good at this point to have a good idea of things he likes to do or places he likes to go such that you would say, “if you don’t do ___, then you are choosing to not do ____”.

Emphasis his choice in the matter, as this empowers him to make positive choices for himself free of negative consequences. Be sure to be consistant.

Say what you mean and do what you say. You may also benefit from making a behavior chart for your son in which you chart the days of the week and good and bad behaviors that you want to encourage or discourage and at the end of the week reward him with something that he likes. Children very often need a lot of structure in their lives and sometimes when there is an imbalance in this they act out.


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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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