Lets say you have an argument with your kid. And the kid needs to understand something very important; lets say almost on the level of importance of life and death. And the kid listens to your explanation and the light bulb still doesn't go on; and the kid still continues to do the wrong thing.

What do then? Is there anything you can do?

  • 1
    This isn't the only sphere I've been running into this on; adults act this way too.
    – leeand00
    Mar 3 '16 at 21:04
  • Could you give us a specific example of a question and how you usually react to it ?It will help us with giving you more detailed answers..
    – Joanna
    Mar 3 '16 at 21:11
  • Say it's something that if they don't stop doing it, they're going to get arrested or something like that; but they don't really grasp the larger picture as to why...
    – leeand00
    Mar 3 '16 at 21:13
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    Can you clarify a few things, I think it will improve the answers you will get. a) how old is the child? b) can you give a specific example or 2? c) What is your action when the kid keeps doing the 'wrong thing'? For instance, if I tell my toddler he can't stand on a potentially breakable toy, and he doesn't seem to understand it will break, I remove the toy - I don't wait for it to break.
    – Ida
    Mar 3 '16 at 21:32
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    I don't think this is the right place for a question that open :). This stackexchange is about parenting. How you will deal with situation like this is very different if you are talking about a toddler, or a teenager, or an independent adult. I don't know the right place to ask a question about adult behavior or arguments, when you don't have a parenting relationship or issue. If this is related to Medical Professions, then maybe Health, or The Workplace. For a more general discussion, maybe Philosophy or Cognitive Sciences.
    – Ida
    Mar 3 '16 at 21:48

The question as stated now is very broad, with no specific examples.

In an attempt to give a fittingly broad answer, try to find a way to allow the kid to experience some [less severe than life and death] negative consequence that naturally comes out of that action, and if it's that important, see if you can show (videos of?) examples of more severe consequences that might lead to productive vicarious learning...especially if the kid has empathy and seems likely to respond to that.

If it's something like a toddler shoving a screwdriver in an electric outlet, you should also invest in physical barriers like outlet covers or maybe GFCI protection, at least as temporary measures until those dangerous boxes are no longer as dangerous. It is a somewhat invisible danger that can be very hard to understand, especially for young kids, and it's not the only example like it.

Similarly, dangerous objects (e.g. matches, lighters, pills, blades, firearms, explosives, poisons, dangerous chemicals, explosives, power tools, certain hand tools, choking hazard objects, credit cards, etc.) should just be kept out of reach (via some effective access control) until the kid is old enough to understand the danger & permanence of consequences, has been appropriately trained in well-supervised settings, and has demonstrated responsibility with access.


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