How to Handle A Stubborn Child
Sun, April 18, 2021

How to Handle A Stubborn Child

Children can be both a delight and a nightmare for parents. They can be sweet as candy, but there are times when their parents just want to lash out in frustration whenever their little angels display stubborn behavior / Photo by: Aleksandr Davydov via 123RF

 

Children can be both a delight and a nightmare for parents. They can be sweet as candy, but there are times when their parents just want to lash out in frustration whenever their little angels display stubborn behavior. However, parents and caregivers alike should keep in mind that this behavior is usually normal and it can be managed easily. 

According to MomJunction, a website created to guide readers on the joys of parenthood, the best way to handle a stubborn child is to show them that their bad behavior doesn’t get on your nerves. Parents must keep in mind that they are actually encouraging the stubbornness of their children whenever they give in to their tantrums. 

 

Listen to Their Concerns

Tantrums are the children’s way to express their discomfort and concerns. This is why parents and caregivers should encourage them to communicate with the other people around them what they need or experiencing instead of throwing fits or shouting. Remember that communication is a two-way process, and children, even though they are young, also want to be heard. 

Defiance starts when someone feels that they are not being heard. When your child insists on doing or not doing something, it is advisable to have an open conversation with them regarding the things that bother them in the first place. In this way, adults are also encouraging young people to reason out their ideas and opinions clearly.

 

Practice Active Listening

One of the successful techniques used in effective communication is active listening. Kids are known to have a short attention span. They might be listening to you in one instance but a second later they would be distracted by the things around them. Verywell Family, a modern resource that offers a realistic and friendly approach to pregnancy and parenting, discussed on their website that parents can practice this technique of active listening by repeating back some of the words the children uttered during the conversation. In turn, asking the child to repeat what you said will let you know if the message was well-received or not. 

It is also a great way to make them remember the implication of what you said. However, you must make sure that you have chosen the perfect timing for your conversation with your child regarding their bad behavior. Interrupting them in the middle of a game or disciplining them in front of their playmates might not be a good time to instill the important lessons you want to impart, as they will be distracted enough for them to retain the things you want to point out. 

One of the successful techniques used in effective communication is active listening. Kids are known to have a short attention span / Photo by: Aleksandr Davydov via 123RF

 

Stay Calm

It can be overwhelming to handle a stubborn child. But keep in mind that kids are still learning how to act upon their emotions and how to communicate effectively with the people around them. Thus, it will not be helpful to aggravate the situation by yelling and lashing out at them because of your frustration. 

Eve Woman Magazine, an online portal for parenting and relationship advice, mentioned in an article that when parents show that they are losing control of their emotions, it is more likely that the unruly child will get more upset and even more defiant. As adults, we must make sure that we are capable of handling our emotions especially in front of the kids. Stay calm and don’t let the stress overwhelm you while handling a kid throwing a tantrum. Remember your happy place!

 

Learn to Negotiate

Since communication is a two-way process, it might come to the point where you’ll find yourself negotiating with your child. Kids can display a stubborn behavior if they don’t get what they want. If you’re asking them to do something and they refuse to do it, you really should listen to them to know why. It might be something so trivial that it can easily be solved or it can be complicated that you need to step back and assess the situation. 

Negotiations don’t mean that you will have to cave in. It is best to show consideration and practicality when having a conversation with a stubborn kid. Let them know the consequences and rewards that are waiting for them if they heed your command. As a result, the chances of making them willing to obey you will be higher. 

On the other hand, if negotiations reach an impasse, compromise is highly suggested. Children are motivated to follow orders when they are heard and respected by their parents. Forcing them to do things they don’t want to do in the first place will just make things messier and in the end, their stubborn behavior might just get worse.

Since communication is a two-way process, it might come to the point where you’ll find yourself negotiating with your child. Kids can display a stubborn behavior if they don’t get what they want / Photo by: nd3000 via 123RF

 

Reward Positive Behavior

Rewards as an incentive for good behavior usually works with children. It can be a candy bar or an hour of video games. This will also let them cool down if they are angry and exhibiting aggressive behavior. However, parents must be careful in handing out lavish rewards to kids because it might just encourage negative behavior instead.