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My child does not listen to me!

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childA child learns through imitation till the age of 7, reflecting the actions, language, culture et al of parents and immediate family. For example, if a child is born in a family that prays before meals, the child too learns the same; if there are loving exchanges among the family members, the child learns how to exchange love with others; if the members of the household pick up fights with each other, the child learns to fend for himself or herself through fights. Therefore, the home environment is the primary source of learning in these formative years.

So, when we deal with our child’s problem, more than correcting the child’s behavior, we have to first look at what the environment is. As parents, we have to closely look at our thoughts, our actions and our outlook in life, which the child is closely observing and absorbing every second of the day, before we can conclude where the problem is.

Let’s look at what are the needs of a child. A child needs two primary things from parents: love and attention.

A child naturally seeks love from the parents. Love is the basic need, not only of a child but of human beings at large. What it means for a child is not that you buy the next toy demanded, but that the child needs to know you really care. It could be that you set aside some time that you will spend with the child, like playing with the child every day, reading a bedtime story, cooking meal that the child likes with the child on your side etc.; basically, spending some time exclusively with your child. You can figure out how your child wants you to spend time with him or her in specific, and make it happen for the child. Mind you, the child looks for attention from both the parents, so both have to put in that effort. The child has the intelligence to perceive how much effort you put to take your precious time out to spend with the child and the child will value it. When the child values you, the child will listen to you and make an attempt to understand what you are saying.

Love also means a lot of physical closeness with the child – hugging, kissing, cuddling, snuggling etc. from both the parents. You might think your 10 year old is a grown up boy now and might have weaned out of physical affection of the parents. That is unfortunately not the truth. Every child (unless there is a medical condition needing therapy or intervention) needs physical affection of the parents. It reassures the child and builds his or her sense of security. And only the parents can give this through their affection and attention.

A child seeks parents’ attention as it is his or her birthright and when the parents get busy with other priorities in their life, the attention seeking child resorts to negative tactics to gain the attention of the parents—crying, bawling, breaking things, not listening to instructions, nagging and even anti-social behavior, the list is a long one! When this happens, repairing the situation means to really take a deeper look at your priorities in life and see how you can make changes in your lifestyle to accommodate the needs of the child.

Upbringing of your child is an art and a long term investment of time and effort. There are no shortcuts to it. Recently, one of our family friends applied for one year leave to take care of his new born child. This is his second child. He had previously quit his job to take care of his 1st born child as well. He wants to invest time and effort in bringing up his children in the most loving environment and that is the secret of getting your child’s attention.

As parents, you have the prerogative to create a healthy environment for your child so your child has the opportunity to blossom under your loving care.

In the next few articles, we will discuss how your listening skills can affect the child and what undivided attention really means; when to say ‘no’ to your child and how to say it; and how to create a nurturing environment of love and care for your child.


– Mrs. Preethi Dhiman

…Read Articles in preethi’s Blog

  1. October 16, 2013

    Y. Raja Shekar

    Great article. To take care of children and give them love and attention are the primary duties of any parents. We can learn this love and attention nicely through the very natural and spontaneous example of HH Radhanath Swami who indiscriminately exhibits this quality towards all living entities.

  2. October 17, 2013


    As you sow so shall you reap!

  3. October 17, 2013

    Ravi Garg

    Very instructive & helpful article……I & my wife will try to imbibe some qualities mentioned here….

  4. October 17, 2013

    pratik desai

    Very nice and helpful article. Thank you for sharing.

  5. October 17, 2013


    Amazing article… We have to look at where the problem is, whether it is within us, creating a bad environment…

  6. October 17, 2013

    Kalpana Kulkarni

    Very informative article. Worth meditating upon! Its true that the atmosphere at home and the parents attitude plays a major role in the development of the child.

  7. October 18, 2013


    Children are the mirror of their parents!

  8. October 19, 2013

    navin poojary

    Thanks! this was very useful.Looking forward to your next articles

  9. October 20, 2013

    Tallam Sita Ramaiah

    A nice article on “upbringing of a child”. Very practical and useful for parents.

  10. October 21, 2013

    Y.Raja Shekar

    Nice article on how and why to give love and attention to children. We can learn this quality of right attention to children by observing the dealings of great souls like HH Radhanath Swami.

  11. October 22, 2013

    Paramesvara Dasa

    It is very much important to give attention in bringing up a child who is in fact the child of God who has given him a chance to make this child God conscious. Hence the parents take all care to see the child be God-Conscious. All glories to all Vaisnavas.

  12. October 22, 2013


    Thanks for sharing!

  13. October 22, 2013

    Anjan reddy

    Very well written. A must read for all parents.

  14. October 24, 2013

    Y.Raja Shekar

    Nice article on how we should show by our personal example to children. This quality of exemplary behaviour is amply exhibited by HH Radhanath Swami.

  15. October 24, 2013

    Y.Raja Shekar

    This article gives us a lesson on how we should show by our personal example to children. This quality of exemplary behaviour is amply exhibited by HH Radhanath Swami.

  16. October 27, 2013

    Poonam kamath

    wow….something every parent needs to know…kindly keep writing on this

  17. October 28, 2013

    Sada Nandini

    Thank you very much for this very wonderful and practical article in raising children. It is very helpful for all the parents.

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