Teenager with fingers in earsStubborn children can be challenging. You want them to do something but they just dig their heels in and refuse to budge on their actions or their thoughts or even ignore you when you discipline them.

It can make some parents feel angry and frustrated and often helpless too. It is not easy for parents who are not stubborn themselves and therefore do not understand why their child does not want to do what they say.

Stubbornness in children has always been viewed as a negative trait but it can be viewed as a positive thing. A child’s stubbornness shows that they can think for themselves and that they are able to assert their thoughts and beliefs. I don’t see too much wrong with that. Stubbornness can also give them a feeling that they have a measure of control over a situation, which in turn, will boost their self-esteem – another positive.

It can be hard for a parent to come around to this kind of thinking but if they can they will find a way to work with it more.

Here are a few tips that can help with dealing with stubborn children:

  • Try to see things through your child’s eyes and solve the problem that you have together. It shows them that you understand where they are coming from and that you are considering their ideas or thoughts. They will feel you are on their side!
  • Praise them when they co-operate.
  • Be firm when you ask your child to do something.
  • If you want your child to do something, try to time your request so that it does not interrupt them while they are doing something else. This will avoid conflict and them sticking their heels in.
  • Explain to them why their thoughts are different to yours and that it is possible that one of you is right or you may both be right in some way.
  • If your child is not very happy about change, give them adequate notice of something that is going to happen so that they know what to expect and they are willing to cooperate.

What do you do when your child is stubborn?

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