Disobeying Due to a Lack of Understanding

Are your children purposefully disobeying you or do they not understand your request? Rita explained how frustrated she was when her 3-year-old daughter, Sidney, colored on the table rather than staying on the paper. She had repeatedly told Sidney to keep her crayons on the paper but Sidney often forgot this rule.

One time after telling Sidney once again to keep her coloring on the paper, Rita asked Sidney “What did I just say?” Sidney replied “I don’t know.” Rita explained again to keep the crayons on the paper and asked Sidney again what she had just said. Sidney again claimed “I don’t know.” Rita found yet another way to explain it to Sidney and this time Sidney was able to repeat it back in her own words.

Once Sidney could say it back, she followed the rule and kept her coloring on the paper. Rita learned to check with Sidney’s understanding of a request before jumping to the conclusion that Sidney was purposefully disobeying.

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