In the early days, nothing seems to make babies and toddlers happier than pleasing their parents. A lot of young children relish the role of mommy or daddy’s helper. Over time though, they begin to develop their own opinions and desires, and in some cases, they can be quite stubborn.
Dealing with a stubborn child is quite a bit different than dealing with a stubborn adult. If a child doesn’t want to go home after spending a couple of hours at the playground, they are liable to sit on the ground, fold their arms, and refuse to budge. What is a parent to do in a situation like this?
Here are five simple ways that will help you to deal with your stubborn child:
Explain Your Position
Sometimes kids are impervious to logic. But, other times it can work quite well. To follow the example above, if your child is having a fun time at the playground, they might not want to leave. But, if you explain that you need to leave now so that you can go home and make dinner, they might actually come around. This doesn’t always work, but it’s my first line of defense in confronting a stubborn child.
Ask For An Explanation
While it’s important to explain your side, it’s also a good idea to let your child explain their point of view. If nothing else, it’s good for them to practice expressing themselves verbally. Plus, it opens the door for negotiation. If your child says they don’t want to leave the playground because they are having fun going on the slide, you might counter by saying they can go on the slide one more time but then it’s time to go.
Take A Break For A Few Minutes
Depending on your sense of urgency, taking a short break from the argument might actually let cooler heads prevail. For example, let’s say that you just finished dinner and now it’s time to go upstairs and take a bath before bed. If your little one refuses, and then digs in their heels, it might be a good idea to take a break. Go and do the dishes, or do something else for a few minutes, and then come back. You may find that your little one has changed their tune.
Lead The Way
Maybe your child is playing downstairs after dinner. They might not like the idea of going upstairs to get ready for bed. So, when you ask them to head up, they turn you down flat. But, if you start going upstairs yourself, they might realize that joining you beats the alternative of staying downstairs alone. Leading the way can be a great way to encourage your kids to come along.
Offer A Reward (Ahem Bribe)
Personally, I don’t love the concept of offering up a reward just to get my child to do something that I ask them to do. So, I tend to use this as a last resort when I’m in a pinch. For example, imagine that you are dropping off your child at preschool, and they are refusing to get out of the car. On a normal day, you might try discussing it with them. But, what if you are running late for the train and you need to get into the city for an important meeting? In that case, offering up a special dessert after dinner might just do the trick. Be careful though, since you don’t want to set a precedent that being stubborn is a good way to get rewarded.
If there is one consistent theme in parenthood, it’s patience. You might find that your child’s stubbornness can get on your nerves from time to time. However, if you step back, and take a deep breath, you might remember that this is just one of the many things that come along with parenthood. As much as possible, try to smile even when you have to deal with these sorts of small challenges along the way.
Dear mommies, it will be very interesting to know how do you deal with your stubborn child?
Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.