A Silent And Obedient Child Is Not Always Happy

A silent and obedient child is not always happy

A silent child, who observes the world from a corner without replying is  not always happy, although it is more comfortable for adults to think so. When we feel fear, despair or shame, we tend to hide in a corner within ourselves. To prevent this from happening, the ideal is to teach the little ones respect, without imposing education through blind obedience and which originates from that same anguish that cancels identity.

We are not mistaken in saying that obedience is an overrated – and even misunderstood – concept by many families. Too often we hear phrases from parents such as “An obedient child will be a happy adult.” Not to mention those parents who feel proud when their child obeys without replying.

Blind obedience is very different from intelligent obedience.  Especially if this is implemented by exploiting fear or if the silent child is instilled from an early age that it is more important to please others than to listen to one’s own needs, criteria and will.

Sooner or later the day will come when the child will stop believing in himself and even defend himself by allowing others to manipulate him at will.

Sad child

The silent child and the consequences of an authoritarian upbringing

There are children who explore and who are curious, who observe everything and ask questions. Little beings that move in space with a tireless curiosity. These are happy children. Then there are those silent children, more reserved, but who have no difficulty in establishing contact with others. Just find a topic that is to their liking to see them shine, demonstrating that incredible richness that they hold within themselves. They are introverted and happy children.

On the other hand, it could happen that we run into those children who avoid the gaze at all costs ; who seem to want to look for that hidden corner inside themselves where they can curl up to pretend not to exist. This is in order to feel safe from a world they do not understand, but which they obey without delay. It is about those children who do not protest for anything in the world and whose vocabulary does not exist “why?”, Or similar questions, nor curious eyes.


It is clear that our children – but also our pupils – need well-defined boundaries and strict rules. However, a silent child who obeys without asking why is often the result of an authoritarian upbringing . The one in which the rules are imposed under threat and not with intelligence.

The intelligence of those who do not use fear, but empathy. Of those who prefer to pass on respect to their children and the opportunity to understand why it is important to follow some specific rules.

In this context, we cannot forget an essential fact. Children need to fully understand what lies behind what we ask them to do. If we just enforce unintelligent obedience, we will raise immature people, individuals who will always need someone to tell them what to do and what not to do, at any time.

Little girl looking down

We raise happy children, not children dedicated to blind obedience

As parents or educators, we all know that raising your voice and telling a child “do this because I tell you. Just do it.” it is a method that saves us time . We do it because we are in a hurry and it gives us good results, it must be admitted.

But do we know what the price is to pay for such a sentence? What are the consequences of the claim of blind obedience that makes use of screams? The consequences are dire. We are raising a child who is silent or will have a provocative attitude. With these authoritarian dynamics, we lose sight of the most important thing we can build with our children: trust.

At this point, the next question is: “How do I get my son to obey me?” Of course, it’s not easy! It is not especially so when until then we have only succeeded with threats and punishments. However, sometimes the answer is easier than we think. If we want our children to believe in us when we ask them to do something, we must learn in turn to believe in them, to respect them.

Mother talking to baby

Respect is shown by listening, answering their questions, reasoning with them, nurturing reciprocity. Respect is won by taking into account their needs, what they prefer, their curiosities. It is therefore necessary to give space to intelligent obedience, in which the child understands the reason for everything , in which he makes the rules we want to give him his own, understanding their usefulness.

We want happy children, receptive to their surroundings, who thrill to learn, not children who are silent because they are overwhelmed by fear and authoritarianism.

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