Parenting Stubborn Children

Children are easily influenced by what they see and hear. When they see adults refusing to move on a situation or circumstance, they will easily imitate it. They begin to understand that this is how they should act in situations. This creates stubbornness in children that can rival the sanest parent. However, some children are also born with stubbornness that can cause many tears in parents. That is why, whether learned or inherent, parenting stubborn children is all about being patient, consistent and even a little stubborn themselves.

Parenting Stubborn Children

There are many reasons for a child to behave in a stubborn manner. One reason is seeking attention. Many parents complain of their child suddenly acting stubbornly. . A child may think that by acting stubbornly, desires would be quickly and easily granted. Unfortunately, this is what many parents do. A parent needs to remember that “no” means “no” and stay firm in this decision. Remove the child from the situation and correct the child in private when circumstances allow. This may initially result in throwing temper tantrums or yelling. However, remaining calm, patient and consistent will curb the issue in due time (Permanent results of stubbornness disciplining most likely will not occur the first time.

If this is a moment (or longer) of seeking attention, parents should take notice. Does the child in need of some one-on-one attention from a parent? Sometimes the best way to help is to go on a parent-child date. Go out to eat or to the park. Do something that requires social interaction between parent and child. Make this a special time to connect with the just that child. If need be, find a babysitter for other children in the household.

Seeking attention could also be about positive reinforcement. Children need to know that they are doing a good job and that they can indeed do something right. Constantly correcting a child will lead to negative actions. One should realize that children are individuals and overcorrecting them will frustrate them and cause resentment. (Remember the horrible boss at the job that could not end soon enough?) In this way, a parent ends up being a bad guy, no matter how much a child loves the parent. An example of offering positive reinforcement might be that a child wants to eat a piece of cake without their washing hands. Instead yelling or degrading the child, insist the child wash their hands and if they ask why, tell the child about germs and tummy-aches and the child will most likely understand what you mean and go off to do the task. After the task is complete, tell them “good job” or “thank you for listening” and promptly hand them a piece of cake. Often, explaining things in a different way will help a child understand better. All children respond to the disciplining of stubbornness in different ways and parenting stubborn children is a common phase that most parents and children go through. Regardless of the ways one discipline stubbornness, this is truth; patience and consistency are the best virtues to deal with it.

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