Parenting 101

5 Ways to Deal with a Stubborn Kid

5 Ways to Deal with a Stubborn Kid

“The children are delicate; I will travel slowly, at the pace of the children” is a quote from an 18th century B.C.E.

People often describe children as delicate because they are easily affected by how others handle them.

Some kids are more excited and become easily upset. Others are calm and easy-going by nature. But, real parenting is when we have to deal with stubborn kids. It can be both rewarding as well as challenging.

Stubbornness is a trait your child may show early on. Being patient and understanding can help you handle the situation better. Some of the approaches could be establishing routines, encouraging independence, setting up boundaries, communicating with patience etc.

Here are 5 ways to deal with stubborn kids:
Understand by Connecting with Them

Stubborn kids have opinions and they tend to argue so initiate a two-way communication with your child. If you want your child to give importance to you, make sure you give equal attention to him. When you are ready to listen to their side of story, most likely they will also listen to what you have to say.

If kids want to watch TV or use phones, don't make them stop. Encourage them to talk or play other activities instead. This would divert their attention into more fruitful pastime.

Read more: Best TV shows that you can watch along with your child

Offer Choices

Giving options to the toddlers make them feel important and valued. They would be excited to choose independently and would be eager to complete the task. Don't give them more than two options as that might confuse them.

If you want kids to eat fruit, give them the option of choosing between an apple or a banana. Don't just give them an apple. Providing a choice between the two fruits can make it more likely that they will eat one. Kids may be more willing to eat fruit if they feel like they have control over their decision.

Offering two choices at a time helps preschoolers understand and accept limits. On the other hand, they also learn to value what they get and develop self-control.

Be Calm and Patient

Home is a place where a child feels secured, happy and comfortable. Dealing with a preschoolers can be difficult, but it's essential to remain calm and patient. Avoid reacting impulsively or escalating conflicts with anger or criticism.

We need to be polite and extra cautious with the words and actions we display with the members of the family. Also avoiding anger or criticism or insults is vitally important. The child might imitate the situations unknowingly which might lead to building a wrong habit. So, make it a peaceful and enjoyable environment for him to learn.

Step into your Child’s Shoes

To better understand the behavior of your stubborn toddler, try to look at things from their perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and understand the reason for their adamant nature.

Preschooler always look up to their parents with new desires and hopes and feel very disheartened if the parent forces them to do something which they don’t want to do. So, to deal with this kind of situation try to visualize their situation and handle it accordingly. The better you know your child the better they respond to you.

For instance, instead of asking them to study with books, try using fun and creative methods that the child will enjoy. This way, they can learn new things without feeling overwhelmed. And the next time you will be surprised that the child himself is insisting to start the activity.

Use Positive Reinforcement-

The child learns what he sees, so "Lead by example" and present a positive attitude. Avoid using negative words like "no" or "cannot" often when speaking to preschoolers. This can lead them to use these words more frequently and become more stubborn.

Instead, try to use positive language and offer alternatives to redirect their behavior. Encourage them to use words like "please" and "thank you" to promote positive communication.

By using positive reinforcement and modeling positive language, you can help preschoolers develop better communication skills. Instead try to use lots of positive affirmations and show them how happily you agree to everything by saying more of "YES".

Having a stubborn kid is not an adverse situation as the facts tells us that the kids who are stubborn have lots of efficient skills which makes them an achiever in academics as well as personal life. Therefore, in order to deal with the preschoolers, remember to stay calm, patient and encouraging.

Concerned nurturing and sensitive handling of the children will be of great help in the journey of parenting.

“Your action speaks louder than words” --- This is a very famous proverb and comes in handy when talking about preschoolers, so display positivity and patience tactfully.

FAQs

Q1. Why is my child so stubborn?

Ans:. The root cause of being stubborn might be genetic or due to the observation of the environment by the child. Few reasons for this kind of behavior might be – seeking attention, tiredness, hunger, boredom or development causes. Understanding the child from their perspective might help to solve the problem. 

Q2. How can I get my stubborn child to listen?

Ans:. Few easy techniques are to be a good listener to them, to observe and understand the reason for their behavior and act accordingly. Try to give simple and concise instructions, praise them on their achievements.

Q3. Is stubbornness a sign of a behavioral problem?

Ans:. Stubbornness is very normal and seen in every child. It depends on how quickly it can be sorted by quick observations. If the problem still persists one can take the help of pediatrician or psychologists.

Q4. What are some effective discipline strategies for dealing with stubborn kids?

Ans:. Few effective discipline strategies for preschoolers include show and tell technique, appreciating them more often, giving them clear and concise instructions and diverting their mind by play way method.

Q5. What should I do if my child's stubbornness is causing conflicts at school or with peers?

Ans:. If your preschooler’s stubbornness is causing trouble then try to understand the root cause of his behavior by communicating with the teachers and their caretakers to understand the specific problem and work together on it with a more consistent approach. Don't hesitate to ask for an expert help if required.

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Article Author

Author image
Madhur Churiwala

Madhur Churiwala is an accomplished English and communicative skills educator with 15 years of experience. She holds a degree of B. ED in English. She started her career as a Fashion Designer but her passion for teaching and interacting with children turned her into a highly skilled educator. Initially she taught in school and then moved onto online teaching platform where she showcased her skills in education. Her way of teaching in fun and playful environment always inspires children to develop a love for learning. Over the years she has developed her passion for writing. As an author, Madhur brings her dedicated educational background to her blogs offering the valuable insights for educators, parents and students alike.

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