Upbringing Your Child
As cute and loveable as children are, there are some moments when you feel like they could teach a brick wall a thing or two about stubbornness. This attitude can start at as early as two years, and persist long into teenage, perpetually irritating their parents. Thankfully, there are some ways with dealing with this attitude which, if it doesn’t completely eradicate it, then it does at least increase the chances that the stubbornness of today can turn into a strong personality, independence and leadership qualities of tomorrow.
First let’s understand one major no-no. Some parents deal with stubborn children by administering a heavy dose of what they call ‘discipline’. While some parents will swear by these techniques, physical beating and lots of yelling has only one surefire result: distancing your child from you.
Inherently, your child wants to be loved. Constantly treating him like he is a mule will only give him an impression that something is inherently wrong with him. Imagine your child growing up with emotional scars such as from the realization that his parents thought something was wrong with him. That is something as parents that it is your duty to avoid.
Try listening to the child
When he says he wants to do something one way or another, often hearing his side of the case. This doesn’t mean giving into his overbearing demands all the time and buying him a whole shop’s worth of toys, but try to identify what his problem is and then tackle it from that perspective. Does he feel the need for something? Decide if he needs it or not, and deliver it in moderation. A constant barrage of ‘no’s only serves to disheartens the child. A constant ‘yes’ can get pampering. Try to find the balance between the two.
Make them understand
Make them understand the concept of compromise from early on. This works especially well with toddlers, as you can explain to them that if they don’t share their toys with others, the others might not want to play with them later on. Focus left on the negative tone of the consequences, and more on the assurance of future reward. After they see that the technique works, once or twice, you’ll notice that they’ll be much better disposed towards co-operation.
With older children, try putting a few limitations on them. Don’t try to stop them from doing something completely, because that will just send them into a fit of stubbornness again. Instead allow them to do something that they really want to do, but make sure that you make them compromise on some factors – for example, letting your child go out with friends, but ensuring that they come back by 10 pm. Once they see that negotiation is the key to getting their wants, and you’re content with letting them do what they want, so long as you’re satisfied, they’ll change their approach from willful bursts of rage to trying to please you.
Keep your own attitude positive at all times
For your children, you will always be the first role-model they look to. If you display signs of irritation at compromise, or reluctance with sharing the kids will quite definitely pick up on that. Try to make sure that you always give a positive impression, and remember, the key to successfully handling a stubborn child is to be firm, without being imposing. You are there to guide your child, not conduct his life. Be gentle – firm and relaxed as the situation needs it to be, and remember: when teaching compromise, be prepared to exercise it yourself!