Why teaching your child to be obedient could actually cause them more harm than good, a child development expert warns

Teaching a child ‘obedience’ might be a ‘convenience’ - but did you know that it could also put them in harm's way?

child with angel behind her, suggesting obedient child
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Parents are being warned over the hidden dangers of training their child to be obedient, as a child development expert highlights how you could be putting your child MORE at risk.

You might wish your child would do everything you tell them to, especially if you often ask yourself 'is my teenager even listening to me?' when you're trying to get something done at home. The thought of an 'angel' child might be a dream, as you frantically search for ways to discipline your children after your child laughs in your face when you reprimand them.

But a parenting expert has highlighted the hidden risks of training your child to be obedient. Jessica Milburn shared on her @responsive-parenting Instagram account some important things to consider.

She warned, "Training your child to be obedient makes them easier prey for predators. But no one wants to talk about that. We just want obedience because it’s convenient. Because it’s what the school, child care, swim teacher and the soccer coach all expect. It makes everyone’s job easier… well you know who else’s job it makes easier? Predators. Obedience… at what cost? That’s what I think about… at what cost?"

A post shared by Jessica Milburn

A photo posted by responsive_parenting on

Jessica went on to highlight one parenting method that doesn't focus on obedience as she shared some exciting news with her followers. "There are other ways to parent that don't focus on obedience as the main goal. One of these methods is Responsive Parenting. I have some exciting news… I have released a new EBook [Finding Your Calm]!! I have taken the Connect Instead of Correct Challenge and turned it into a book. Why?! Because I basically explain how to connect instead of correct in most of the common scenarios that parents ask about."

So the next time you're feeling envious of your friend's child who does everything they're told to do, or feeling pretty low when your child pushes back, refusing to do something, remember that them saying 'no' could well protect them from predators.

child scared with hand shadow

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In other family news, if you're struggling with discipline this might help: ‘I’m a psychologist and here are 4 ways to teach your kids how to manage their anger’. Meanwhile, did you know that 14-year-olds are most open to life-changing advice, according to new research - here are 7 quotes for teens from some of the most inspiring names in the UK.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)