How to manage stubborn child
How to deal with a stubborn child
As adorable as they are, toddlers can be notorious and adamant at times. They refuse to listen to you and have one answer to everything you ask of them: “NO!” Dealing with a toddler who is bent on getting her way is not easy. Some toddlers tend to be negative and uncooperative at times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn their “NO” into a “YES.”
Here are a few smart tricks to get your stubborn child to agree to something, without hurting their emotions.
1. Don’t Act Too Smart When Dealing With A Stubborn Child
In this equation, you need to be an adult without being too demanding or intimidating. Know that children are egocentric too and are unlikely to listen to you when you force them to do something. Be smart but don’t show it off. Act as the child, be naive in a fun way, and you can get them to straighten you out and take responsibility themselves.
You can playfully put your child’s toys on the table, or leave them in an unexpected place, and act innocent. Then they will put it into their toy box when they can’t find it or have some work with it. When parents get too strict, or too lenient, children specially toddlers become stubborn. But when you point out their mistakes playfully or in a light vein, they will learn to behave appropriately.
2. Go for a Win-Win Approach
Instead of doing it only your way, you can also take your child’s suggestion. Trying to turn the NO into a YES by completely overlooking their thoughts can backfire. Also, sometimes even a child can have a valid point. Sometimes, you can resolve the issue by meeting them halfway. For example, you might be at a child’s play date, and you suddenly get called for some work. But if your child wants to stay back, then let him stay back under another adult’s supervision. You could come back and pick him up later so that he gets to play, and you get your work done too.
3. Try Reverse Psychology
Conflict is good sometimes and can be used to get the answer you desire. How? Reverse psychology is the answer for it. If your child is adamant and wants to the exact opposite of what you ask him to, the child is most likely say a NO to your YES and a YES to your NO. So ask him the opposite, and you can get a YES.
For example, if your little leaves his favorite toy outside and you want him to put it in the toy basket, forbid him from getting it inside and tell him that it will be lost. When you do that, he will rush to pick up the toy and put it away safely in the closet. That way, you get the job done and make it look like it was your toddler’s decision too.
4. Instead of YES /NO, Offer choices
Why does it only have to be a YES or a NO? When you don’t want a ‘No’ for an answer, don’t let it be an option. Instead of asking a closed question that can result in a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No,’ ask a question with multiple options that are not negative. For instance, say “Do you want to eat an apple, banana or a peach?” instead of “Do you want to eat fruit?”
At bedtime, ask your children which bedtime story they want to hear instead of just telling them to get to bed. The first is likely to get you a positive reply than the second one.
5. Plan ahead, Be prepared
In time, you start to understand the pattern of your toddler’s behaviour. You know exactly why the child is throwing a tantrum and when she is likely to get cranky and refuse to cooperate.
Keeping that in mind, plan such that the child doesn’t have a chance to throw a tantrum. For example, if you know that your little one can get irritable when he is tired, put him down for a nap before he gets cranky, but do not tell him to stop playing and go to sleep. Don’t let the kid starve before a meal. Give the child regular meals and at the same time every day, so that you have a less fussy toddler at the dinner table.
These five simple tips can help you change the child’s negative responses to affirmative responses. Sometimes it’s all about trying to understand where they are coming from. You can use songs, games and other fun ways to teach the child good habits and encourage them to cooperate with you. And finally, look at your own behaviour and attitude. If ‘No’ is a word you often use with the kid, you shouldn’t be surprised if he throws it back at you.
Be the model parent and teach the right behavior and attitude by saying and doing the right things around your child.
Aradhana is a writer from India. She covers topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. She has more than 150+ publications from reputable sites to her credit. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.