What This Situation Is Like for Parents


There are so many reasons that parenting is exhausting. But sometimes it’s not only exhausting, it can also grate on your nerves.

…Especially when a child is making a really awful noise or doing something else that is driving you crazy

…And then another child starts complaining that the other child is being annoying (as if their complaining isn’t annoying…)

We know we can’t FORCE children to stop doing something, and that feeling of being out of control makes everything so much worse.


What This Situation Is Like for Children


Some children are always looking for something to do… Their brains are seeking the next “exciting” thing, and when that excitement doesn’t come, they’ll find a way to entertain themselves.

Often that “entertainment” comes in the form of moving their bodies around, or making loud noises, or bothering the people around them.

And then when they realize how much POWER they have when their behavior affects so many people… well, often kids don’t feel power in too many ways, so this can feel really good.

For both of those reasons, they won’t necessarily want to stop just because someone asks them to stop.



How It Usually Goes

When A Child Won’t Stop Doing Something That Is Annoying Others



A brother, Anderson, is singing a song out loud and his sister Aubrey asked him to stop. He ignores her and keeps singing.


Mom: Anderson! Did you not hear Aubrey? She asked you to stop singing.

Anderson (ignores Mom)

Mom: Anderson, stop it!

Anderson (keeps singing)

Mom: If you don’t stop it, you cannot go to your friend’s party tomorrow!

Anderson (looks up): What?!

Mom: You heard me.

Anderson: Mom, that is SO UNFAIR! You are always getting me in trouble!

Mom: Anderson, this was NOT my fault. Aubrey asked you to stop singing and you ignored her.

Anderson: I didn’t HEAR her!

Mom: Oh yes you did…

Anderson: No I DIDN’T! You never believe me! I’m sick of being in this family! 


How It Could Go

When A Child Won’t Stop Doing Something That Is Annoying Others



A brother,  Anderson, is singing a song out loud and his sister Aubrey asked him to stop. He ignores her and keeps singing.


Mom: Anderson! Did you not hear Aubrey? She asked you to stop singing.

Anderson (keeps singing).


[expand title=”CALM”]

Anderson’s mom is initially annoyed that Anderson keeps singing. After all, his sister and just asked him to stop… and his mom knew he heard her.

However, she also knows that her annoyance will not motivate him to stop. So she uses her own Yuck Release Strategies and calms herself down so she can connect with him, which she knows will work better. [/expand]


Mom (walks over to Anderson). Hey, bud. (She puts her arm on his arm.)

Anderson (stops when he feels his mom’s arm on his): What?

Mom: Aubrey asked you to stop.

Anderson: I didn’t hear her.

Mom: OK. Whether you heard her or not, please stop. (Pauses.) Oh hey, I’m looking for a new recipe to try tonight. Want to help?


[expand title=”CONNECT”]

Instead of arguing with Anderson (which she knows will simply turn into a power struggle), his mom tries to see the situation from Anderson’s perspective. She recognizes that he’s probably making noises because he has nothing to do or because he’s looking for some attention, so she suggests something for him to do. [/expand]


Anderson: No. That’s boring.

Mom: What wouldn’t be boring?

Anderson: Getting on my electronics.

Mom: Unfortunately, that’s not an option right now. BUT…You can certainly talk to me about your game. You got to level 4 of last time, didn’t you? How did you do it?

Anderson: Oh, it was so cool… (Anderson starts to talk to his mom.)


[expand title=”CORRECT STEP 1″]

Because Anderson’s mom realized he was seeking stimulation, she could offer a tool — engaging him in a healthier way — to help improve his behavior. When she found the “missing need” under the behavior, she could redirect his behavior to something more respectful. [/expand]


…And if Anderson STILL won’t stop doing something that is annoying others

  • Anderson’s mom needs to re-state her boundary
  • Anderson needs to let out his Yuck, ideally using healthy Yuck Release Strategies
  • While Anderson is letting out his Yuck, his mom shouldn’t do much… if she wants him to get through his Yuck Release more quickly, she will show him that she can handle his disappointment when she sets a boundary.
  • Once Anderson has released his Yuck, he will be able to act respectfully (and find other ways to engage himself) again.


[expand title=”CORRECT STEP 2″]

Anderson’s mom recognizes that Anderson will NOT act positively, think rationally, or solve problems while in Yuck.

He needs to release his Yuck so that he can be more thoughtful of other people’s feelings and act responsibly.   [/expand]



How to Make the In-the-Moment Strategy Work


The “proactive deposits” discussed in the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap will make all of the difference in how this situation plays out in the moment.

If you want to be able to handle the situation when your child won’t stop annoying others, remember:


[expand title=”Depositing into CALM”]

Anderson’s mom will not be able to stay calm if

a.) her own biological or emotional “needs accounts” are low or

b.) she has the expectation that Anderson will be “obedient” all the time and will always do what anyone asks of him.

When she makes sure her own needs are met and sets realistic expectations PROACTIVELY, Sam’s mom is more likely to be able to stay calm.

See Step 1 of the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap for help meeting your needs and setting expectations proactively so you can stay calm. [/expand]


[expand title=”Depositing into CONNECT”]

Anderson’s mom will only be able to connect if

a.) she respects that all behavior has a reason and

b.) she understands those reasons (in this case, Anderson is making noises — and intentionally annoying others — because he is understimulated).

When she becomes comfortable with the reasons behind behavior PROACTIVELY, she will be able to connect more effectively.

See Step 2 of the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap to learn the reasons for children’s behavior so you can connect more effectively. [/expand]


[expand title=”Depositing into CORRECT”]

Anderson’s mom will be able to correct behavior by offering a tool if

a.) She has demonstrated consistently in the past that when she asks Anderson to stop doing something, she means it. She is not going to let him bother his sister.

b.) She has made enough deposits into the relationship that engaging with him in a conversation does not make him more defiant.

When she demonstrates that she means what she says and when she makes deposits into Anderson’s emotional needs PROACTIVELY, she will be able to correct Anderson’s behavior more effectively.

See Step 3 of the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap  to learn more about improving your influence so you can correct behavior.