When children are in their toddler years, they tend to be stubborn. Sometimes, this stubbornness is part of the child’s personality that the parents need to manage. In other cases, stubbornness is the child’s way of testing the boundaries and asserting their freedom on doing or not doing something. It is important for guardians and parents to teach their children the different ways of dealing with stress and expressing themselves. When dealing with a stubborn child, you can discipline your stubborn child by understanding, listening to him, and remaining calm to set a good example of acceptable behavior.

Tips on Dealing With a Stubborn Child

1.      Distract Him

Distracting a stubborn child is a good way of making your child not notice or simply forget that various restraints are being forced on him against his will. So, if you are going into your car and foresee a possible battle over car seats, make sure that you start something that will fascinate your child before setting off for the car.

2.      Offer Treats or Toys in a Right Way

Wise parent always reserve specific beloved treats, snacks or toys for the times when they will need their little one to remain still. Just make sure that you use this strategy at the opportune time. Dangle your bait (the treat or toy) first then reel him in by telling him that he will get it if he gets into the car or house. If you hesitate until your child is hysterical, handing him the treat will not work as you expect. Just be careful not to spoil your child so that his gets everything he wants otherwise he’ll throw a tantrum.

3.      Never Argue, Communicate Instead

This is an important rule for dealing with a stubborn child. When your child is being stubborn or is angry, it is not the appropriate time to argue with him. It is better to communicate with him when he is quiet and ready to listen. Observe your child and try to identify what makes him uncomfortable. Once you have, remove him from that situation as that will help calm him down. Dedication and patience are keys to controlling the situation.

4.      Come Up With Options When Your Child Is Showing Stubborn Behavior

If your child is refusing anything you ask of them, it is time you came up with options for him to choose from. Instead of giving orders like ‘finish your food’ or ‘go to bed’, try giving him an option like ‘would you like to sing a song or hear a story before going to bed?’ That way, your child will be able to feel like their opinion is valued and matters which is very helpful when dealing with a stubborn child. Additionally, your child will have the sense of independence that they are able to make their own decisions even if it is from choices you have given.

5.      Let Him Learn Through Experiences

The only way a child gets to know that a lit stove is hot is by touching it. So, unless there is risk of serious injury, it is best to let your child learn through experience. You should also expect your stubborn child to test your limits several times because that is how they will learn. That way, you will be in a much better position to keep calm when your child is being stubborn.

6.      Don’t Be His Enemy

As it is with all humans, force will always create a push-back. If you are hard and fast in your standing, you can push your child to defying you. When your child starts seeing you as his enemy, you will only set your relationship lose. When you are in doubt, simply tell him to decide for himself and if he cannot, find another way whereby his needs can be met without compromising his safety or health.

7.      See Things from His Point of View

For example, he may be angry at you because you promised to wash his favorite shirt and you did not. To you, that is just stubbornness. To him, he is being justifiably upset because you expect him to keep his word yet you break yours. To clear this mess and be able to move on, you apologize and try to keep the promise.

8.      Create a Peaceful Atmosphere

Transform your home to a place of happiness and comfort for your child is a nice choice for dealing with a stubborn child. Your child should not feel bad about his parents and home. Therefore, even if you are cooking, take time to listen to your child’s suggestions about his favorite foods. Create an atmosphere that is of mutual respect, understanding and affection. Disciplining your child is also essential, but make sure you do it affectionately. It should not go like ‘I tell you to do it and you do it without arguing’. Instead, convince your child the importance of the rules set at home.

9.      It Is Important to Be a Role Model

If parents are angered by minor issues and often get into hot arguments, the children are more likely to become stubborn and express their stress through anger. Parents are the first ones children learn from. So, if a child sees his parents reacting angrily, he will get the impression that getting angry is the best way to communicate frustrations. Parents should be good role models to their children if they want well-behaved children. Teach by showing it to them. You cannot behave however you want and expect your children to be well-mannered.

Life Coaching for Parents: How to Handle a Strong Willed and Stubborn Child: