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Why does my child not listen to me?

Q: My son is eight years old. He is very short-tempered and ill-behaved. I have my father-in-law at home who is 90 years old and has a problem with hearing. Whatever he does irritates my son. He shouts at the top of his voice whenever he speaks to him and never answers him. He doesn't like even when we talk to his grandpa. In addition to this, he never obeys us. I have tried a lot of methods like talking to him about his behaviour, making him understand his mistakes, scolding, shouting, punishing and even beating. But nothing worked. Though he knows that he is behaving badly or doing a mistake, he cannot control it. Otherwise, he is quite friendly and gets along well with others. He is very curious especially about electronics. I have an aquarium, two turtles and two rabbits to keep him engaged. But still I cannot see any change in his behaviour. How can I improve his behaviour?

A:In your submission, you have mentioned some details and left out some crucial ones. Usually, both parents have a role in bringing up children, but you do not even refer to the other parent. The child could be taking advantage of the absence or non-interference of the other parent. Children generally learn behaviour by imitation of real life models or friends and school mates or characters in films and TV. Sometime in the last few years, your son has been allowed to have bad manners and to display it. These things do not happen suddenly. Perhaps the child is over-indulged, and possibly he is the only child in a family of adults. You must cut down his privileges, like TV time or computer time. Also make sure that his diet is wholesome and does not include Cola drinks and fried snacks. I would guess that he is tending to be overweight too. But I may be wrong. See if you can get him into adventure sports, camping or trekking. He needs to see a larger world and learn to behave better. Discuss the matter with his teachers. Be firm in your discipline and consistent. If you do not take suitable steps now, you will have a real problem on your hands ten years later.

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