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Every parent dreads it – a stubborn child. All you would like them to do is just do what you say. It sounds so simple and all you are telling them is the right thing. But no, they don’t want to hear anything of it. And it seems the bigger the fuss they make out of it the better. Prevalent in the toddler and teenage phase of life you may also think you’ll need to suck it up and deal with it for a few years to come. But we have some solutions to take care of this matter right now. So read on to discover how you can discipline your stubborn child and don’t let it drag on no longer.
Don’t Bother with Arguing
It’s so tempting to yell and shout back. But you may have released already it doesn’t really solve anything. As it only resulted in a worse off position than what you had started with. And the results are more destructive than just that alone, the child then observes that this type of behavior of retaliation is deemed okay (well you scream and shout so why not them too). You’d be far better off to keep your own temper at bay before reacting to the situation. You can do the same for your child too. Learn some calming and distraction techniques or when it’s at its most terrible time remove them from the situation and room to take a time out.
Discuss with Your Child
Stubborn children don’t want to follow instructions, full stop! This means you need to take a different approach to communicating with your child. Just as you would with a friend, listen to what they have to say. It makes them feel like they have been heard and in this act ease the stress. Also, some children do not know how to express themselves. Here you can ask open-ended questions to further elaborate on points which in turn could solve whatever the problem could be. Furthermore, you could come to realize that all the child wanted was some affection.
Be the Role Model
Keep up being a good role model for your child. Not only should you stay calm when a child becomes aggressively stubborn but also in your own moments too. Children will pick up on any behavior if you are aware of it or not. This includes watching how you react when you are angry and when you least expect them watching (remember they can hear you through walls too). Show them by example how you work things out just what you would expect from them too.
Make it a Game
Kids will be kids, they are meant to play up. When simple logic doesn’t work you need to divert them in other ways. And just as kids will be kids, they can’t resist a good game. Who hasn’t seen a child want to be first? 🙂 . For young ones beat the clock in picking up their things, eating their food and getting changed. Almost any activity can be a game. And when this game becomes too old, renew it with a behavior chart. Then the child can try to beat their old score in wanting the end of week reward.
Ask for Help
And who hasn’t seen a kid that wants to be a ‘big girl or ‘big boy’ too. Again build on a friendly like rapport by you asking them for help. And since you are working with a child, keep in mind it’s sillier the better. Instead of asking them “How many people can you shake hands with” (at a party), you could ask them ‘Is there a scratch on my back? I can’t see”. It’s totally random but will help break the stubbornness, divert their attention and then you can bring them into the game of greeting guests or staying quite or anything else you need them to do.
Providing options allows the child to make a choice for themselves. It will sound so good to your child’s ears, as they get to do something their way. However here’s the catch, provide options that in any case you would be happy with also. And there you have it, it’s a win-win for both sides. Here are some examples to get you on your way “Which bedtime story would you like to read?”, “What type of fruit would you like in your tiffin?” and “Which top would you like to wear?”.
Offer a Reward
Rewards are exciting, so much so that children will skip all the things they were supposed to do. And the situation will again blow up when faced by instructions such as “You CAN’T have chocolate since you didn’t eat dinner” or “You CAN’T have a toy”. Reword your sentence to make it sound like’s they don’t need to do so much for a treat as in “You CAN have chocolate after dinner” and “You CAN have a toy after your tests”. And in those times they resist don’t deny them a treat, however, make it small that it would normally be. So they feel they still receive a treat though could do better in their behavior next time for a bigger treat.
Use Study Breaks
And for the dreaded homework and study, it’s so dreaded children refuse to do it or get side tracked easily. A good way to get around it is to create breaks where the chunk of workload looks doable. The child can then focus for a short period, quality of work increases, they get a break to refresh themselves (and for the parents too 🙂 ) and on returning finish it off because the workload then looks smaller.
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Until next time.