“He drives me crazy!” or “She makes me insane!”.. Have you ever heard these or similar phrases about children? Usually, we can say so about naughty children. But what if the child always does what he wants, no matter what? What if he or she always insists on his or her opinion or decision? Is it all about your child? Congratulations! You have a stubborn child.

Sometimes parents don’t know what to do with such a child and do a lot of mistakes. First of all, let’s explain who the stubborn child is and is not. And after that, let’s discuss how to avoid the horrible mistakes in upbringing your children.

A stubborn child is a child who causes emotional and educational problems (in the family, kindergarten, school) by his behaviour, such as the presence of constant disputes and disagreements on serious occasions and because of minor trifles, unwillingness to hear someone else’s point of view, as well as situations that cause an increase in danger to the life of the child (lack of obedience on the roadway, disregard for the safety rules of the house, etc.).

Now let’s talk about the ways of communication and upbringing such a child.

MISTAKE 1: Don’t try to intimidate the child.

This is the most common mistake! When we see a naughty child in the mall or on the street, we think that his parents did not teach him or her how to behave. That’s may be true. Or maybe this child is just stubborn. Anyway, being a parent, we want our children to behave properly. And sometimes we say: “I’ll punish you at home”… The child obeys this time as he or she is afraid. But you will lose your connection with your child. What to do then?

Solution: You need to have the rules and to follow them strictly! If you have the rule to go to bed at 9 o’clock, it does not matter that you are having guests today. Your child must go to bed at the set time. It is very important for stubborn children as they need to learn how to follow the rules.

Also, you need to talk about consequences if he or she does not follow the rule. Do not intimidate, just warn. For example: “You need to come home at 8 o’clock. If you don’t, I’ll have to take your phone away for a week”. Leave them a choice!

MISTAKE 2: Don’t bargain with the child.

Again, very often we want our child to be obedient or… manageable at least. We can say: “If you behave well today I’ll buy you… (choose your own thing)”. The child will obey this time but he or she will demand something bigger next time. This is the way to nowhere.

Solution: Sometimes we notice only the bad behaviour of our children. It is not right. We need to notice when they do their best. If you see it, you can reward the child with a small present or candy. It’s nor a bargain as you promised nothing beforehand.

MISTAKE 3: Don’t allow children to do anything they want.

In the mall: 

  • Mommy, I want this car now! Buy it, please! I really need it!
  • No, dear. You have hundreds of cars at home and I do not have spare money for it.
  • Mommy! I don’t have a car like that! I need it!!!! Please, please, please!
  • I said no.
  • AAAAA!!!! You don’t love me!!!! AAAAA!!!! I hate you!!!!! AAAA!!!!!
  • Ok-ok! I’ll buy you this car, just, please, be quiet.

Sounds familiar?

Don’t do that to your child! You teach him or her how to manipulate. When such a child grows up, he or she will behave the same way at work or in the family. Nobody likes manipulators!

Solution: Try to distract the child or pay no attention. If the child sees that you don’t react to his or her manipulations, he or she will stop, because it is useless to behave like that. Or, you can offer him or her something. For example: “ OK, I’ll buy you this car if you need it so desperately, but not now! Your birthday is coming ( or Christmas, or… any other holiday). I’ll buy it as a present, deal?”

MISTAKE 4: Don’t use the word “NO” all the time

This type of children can make you mad very easy! And often you want to forbid them everything because you are angry. Don’t do that. It won’t help.

Solution: The balance is very important for any child. But it is extremely important for stubborn children. You mustn’t underestimate the “yes/no” balance. If it is necessary to say “no”, say it with love and explain why it is “no”.

MISTAKE 5 (THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE): Don’t try to reeducate or break your child!

I know, sometimes it is very difficult to be a parent of a stubborn child! You feel hopeless. You start to yell at your child or threaten him or her! You are doing this because you don’t know how to force him or her to obey. It is not the right way.

Solution: Love your child as he or she is. Be a friend for the child, because it will help them to be honest with you. At the same time, be a parent, who sets the limits. Stubborn children are not fostered like that. This is their temper, feature of the character. Be thankful for that, as stubborn children often become strong leaders and can be very successful in their lives.

So, what’s the conclusion? It’s not easy to be a parent of a stubborn child, but it definitely worth it. Love your child, set the limits, reward them for good behaviour and be proud! They will be successful if they feel parents’ support.

One more thing! there is one great book about stubborn children. If you still have any questions or doubts, I recommend you to read it. Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child by Robert J. Mackenzie. And how do you cope with your stubborn children? Leave us a comment!

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Kate Dem

Author Kate Dem

I'm Kate. A woman, a wife, a mother, a dreamer. I like travelling, reading and helping people.

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