Call your child stubborn or headstrong, but every parent has to go through this phase with their
kids from the very beginning of their toddler years. It is definitely a daunting task for parents to
deal with such behavior, and getting your children to do things the way you want can be stressful
at times. Children try to assert their freedom and independence by exhibiting such behavior. It is
also possible that they express their stress through such strategies. One should try to discipline a
stubborn child by listening to and understanding her concerns whilst staying calm and composed.
It is also important that as parents you set a good example of acceptable behavior in front of them.
According to research, children tend to behave in an obstinate manner as it gives them a sense of
control over the situation, which in turn, boosts their self-esteem. It is also true that they don’t
really understand how to express their feelings of stress in a socially acceptable manner. Parents
tend to look at stubborness in a negative way whereas attempting to view it in a positive way will
make reasons for the behavior more clear to them. Children like to show that they can think for
themselves and that they can declare their thoughts and beliefs. Knowing this, one should remain
positive as it is a sign of becoming independent at an earlier age. It is important that as parents you
make an effort to understand the root of stubborn behavior in your child. Reasons could vary from
not liking change to irrational fears. Some children like to carry out the occasional attack of
rebellion but as parents you should remain as calm as possible. If you act out and respond in anger
they take it as a reinforcement that negative behavior works everytime. Parents don’t really have
many disciplining options but when the situation may lead to compromising on the child’s safety,
they have to take a stand. Even in such cases it’s not advisable to show anger but to simply state
the reasons and the consequences for disobedience. There is no harm in negotiating with the child
if the situation is not dangerous. Sometimes letting go might also be a safe bet as the child would
stop rebelling when she faces no opposition. You should try to identify the issue that is bothering
the child and involve her in finding a solution for it which will help her feel that you are on her
Navigating through “No!” is another issue parents face all the time. All kids learn the word no very
quickly and make sure to hold on to it tightly. For every question asked and request made you get
to hear a no as fast as the speed of lightning. It’s quite common for children to behave in such a
manner but the spirited kid will have the loudest “no” possible with long and intense tantrums.
They feel anxious and insecure when they can’t predict what’s going to happen next. There are
ways to teach a toddler self-control when it comes to such behavior. Explaining everything to her
in a detailed manner is the way to begin, followed by periodic reminders as to what has to be done
next. Even visual cues can help at times like showing photos of relatives who are coming to visit or
making a scrapbook with pictures for the daily routine. Of course it’s not possible to cut out all the
surprises from your child’s life but giving her a heads-up about these little things will help cut
down on the stress. They need security and consistency with their daily routine. If you let them
watch television one night after dinner, they might force you and demand it every night. Toddlers
long for connection even as they move towards independence, so short activities like playing
together or cuddling might help keep this connection intact. These strategies might slow you down
a little in the beginning but they will help you save time in prevented tantrums. It is very important
to communicate with your child with patience and affection. Even lack of attention from you can
be a cause for stubborn behavior. It’s also important to avoid shouting or arguing in front of the
child as she might get used to it and become more stubborn. Make sure to maintain a peaceful
environment at home.
You are a role model for your child. She will immitate your actions and try to behave like you, so it’s advisable to behave the way you want your little one to behave. Positive behavior should always be appreciated by you as it will instill a form of reinforcement in the child like praising her when she is well-behaved and cooperative. Children need to know that they can trust you to be there for them which will inturn make them more independent in the future.
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