Tunde! Will you get back here now!” Mrs. Campbell shouted, furious with what her son had done.


“For what mum? Aren’t you done with your long sermon over this little matter? I don’t even understand why you derive joy in making a mountain out of a molehill, always making unnecessary noise.” Tunde replied, walking out as he did.


This is not my Tunde, Mrs. Campbell thought to herself. Tunde has always been respectful regardless of any situation. Things began to change when he joined himself to a set of unruly boys in school. She had tried all she could to correct him, but he kept getting worse by the day. The last straw that broke the camels back was when he beat up a mate, and while he was being chastised he threatened to slap her.

Frustrated, Mrs. Campbell opened up to a friend who advised her to thread with love and patience. She held on her friend’s advice like a doctor’s prescription. Little by little, Tunde began to change. He opened up on the negative influence his friends wielded over him, apologising for his past behaviours.

Raising children can be exhausting, it is quite difficult to build a total child in our world today because of the so many distractions. It is easy to love and correct someone who is easy going and conforming but when it comes to recalcitrant children, we all tend to have issues with them.


Everybody wants a child that obeys at the first instruction but unfortunately children are not wired to be stereotyped. They always want to try something new. We are now in the days of options where there are so many things to choose from. In the western world it is now a great sin to even beat your child.

Difficult children get parents confused and frustrated. Parents resolve to yelling, beating, name calling, threatening and abuse of any sort. It has been proven that beating and yelling make children more difficult to handle. Yelling may work for children below preteen but it has a negative effect of encouraging low self-esteem. The moment they are becoming a teenager, yelling no longer works.

How do we now handle a difficult child without getting frustrated? All we need is love. Behind every human body is a soul waiting to be loved and appreciated. Everybody wants to be valued, nurtured and feel protected by their family. We just have to show them that we love them genuinely. Until they feel our love, they can never hear our words.

How do we now show that we love a difficult child? It is by patience. We have to be patient with them, allow them to grow with love around them. They must feel safe around us. To nurture and discipline children, we have to keep them close. With patience and love, we can now inculcate our values into them. What are the things we want and things we do not want? We have to set standards and give them safe guidelines without stress. Recalcitrant children need love, patience and values.

Some of the values that are most important for recalcitrant children are structure and social skills like negotiating, respect for other people’s opinion and choice. Music has a way of calming the soul. Ensure there is slow music in the house. Loud music is not good enough for difficult children.

When talking with recalcitrant children, we must keep a low voice,stay calm and collected. When they are trying to raise their voice, calm them down with your voice.

In conclusion, it is important that we know that we need love,patience and values to raise both gentle children and recalcitrant children. Also be aware that no child is better than another irrespective of their temperaments or behaviors. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.

Written by: Oyadeyi Kunle. 

Kunle Oyadeyi is an instructional technologist who has years of professional experience using strong communication skills to enhance learning of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Optimistic and forward thinker with a strong ability to connect with young people and a talent to help them maximise their potentials. As a peer and social educator, he has spoken at several gatherings on life building skills, leadership and equipped parents on how to raise a total child. Kunle Oyadeyi is a man of simplicity, discipline and excellence.