Dealing with a stubborn child is a problem that many mothers and fathers face, and there is no doubt that the majority of us can make mistakes when handling this problem. They constantly feel that they needs to make an effort persuading them about the simplest things like eating or taking a bath. They find themselves constantly angry and frustrated which causes even more problems. So today we decided to answer a very common parent question...
How to deal with a stubborn child:
The most important rule in dealing with a stubborn child is not to make them believe that this stubbornness will get them what they want desires. So that could eventually motivate them to change their way and approach. This requires a lot of patience. As you know when raising kids, you go through many stages that require patience and trying to be calm.
Also note that every child is different, they all have unique personalities, so things might work on some kids, but not on others. Try to understand your kid and their personality in order to see what best works for them and where to adapt.
1. Listen to them!
Sometimes stubborn kids have strong opinions and want to communicate or impose them on you. So you need to hear these point of views first and then act. Don't belittle them because of their age. Good communication between a parent and child is the basis of healthy parenting. Remember that your kid will listen to you when they find you listening to them.
2. Don't force them into something
We know this is a common mistake many parents make when dealing with a stubborn child. They resort to forcing them into doing what they want or the order, which is usually against their will. Unfortunately, this causes them to be even more stubborn. Instead, find other ways to get them to do what you want without even realizing it.
Example: Instead of forcing your toddler to quickly walk next to you, race with them. Here they will feel that the atmosphere has become more fun, and will be more keen on speeding up so they can win.
3. Respect your child's opinions and discuss things with them
Kids should be respected just like adults are. We also have to respect our children. You should listen to them, understand what they want and discuss things with them. Also, never ignore your child's feelings, as you might ask them to do something that doesn't make them feel comfortable, makes them upset or causes them stress.
4. Give your child options and alternatives
We can all admit that no one likes taking orders! I think we all resist them one way or another and it's the same for your little one. So try to stop giving them orders and replace them with options. The point here is to rewire your approach with them so that instead of saying your request strictly that their mind automatically rejects it, you can say it among a number of options in a way that their mind starts to accept it, thinking that they made the choice and it wasn't forced on them.
Example: You want your little one to brush their teeth before bed? Ask them "Do you want to brush your teeth with mint toothpaste or strawberry?" Here, they will either pick one or remain stubborn choosing not to brush it at all. You can then simply tell them that that wasn't one of the options.
5. Cooperation and participation
Cooperation and participation are the basis for the success of anything from work and marriage to even raising children. So instead of asking your little one to clean their room or collect their toys, start doing it yourself and ask them to join you. Or, instead of asking them to eat their food, have them stand in the kitchen with you while you're preparing it and talk to them them about how delicious it's going to be. Just try to cooperate and share everything with them.
6. Stop criticizing them
We know that parents sometimes get angry at the persistent stubbornness, which can lead them to constantly scold and criticize their child about their misdoings. This constant criticism will only increase the stubbornness and bad behavior. Instead, try to praise them more when they do something right, and when they do something wrong, discuss or show them how upset you are or help them understand why it was wrong.
7. Try to stay calm
Stress, anger and a raised voice will not get you any results or improvement, it will only make things worse. So try to remind yourself to stay calm as much as you can. If it happens that you are unable to control your anger, immediately end the discussion and go do anything else, like taking a warm bath to cool down.
8. Start with yourself
Yes, your child will look up to his parents at a young age with everything. So if you as a couple are constantly arguing in front of them or one of you is constantly rejecting the other's kind requests, your child will immediately assume that this is the norm. They will implement what they saw you do. So start with yourself and create a suitable, positive environment for your little one.
9. Do not give in to your baby
Some mothers think it's easier to give their child what they want, than to have to persuade and argue. However, this can be problematic as well because it's important to teach your children that they can't just get anything they want and that stubbornness or whining isn't a means to get what they want.
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