Do you have a preschooler that refuses to wear anything except blue? When it’s time to leave the house, does she throw a tantrum? Is she refusing to sit in her car seat because her outfit makes her uncomfortable? Do her socks get uncomfortable after you assist her in changing her outfit, necessitating the purchase of new socks? Will she refuse to eat crusty bread? When things don’t go her way, does she clench her fists and scream? Will she clutch a toy like it’s the Titanic’s final life preserver when another youngster wants to play with it?
If any of this rings true, take solace in knowing that you are not alone.
Preschoolers are notorious for their stubborn Child behaviors, which are completely appropriate from a developmental perspective, says Carolyn Pirak, a social worker and parent educator at Talaris Institute in Seattle. “There are so many sources of input to the child,” explains Pirak. “It takes years to be able to manage all of that input and have output that is socially acceptable. As a result, small children get overstimulated. With a newborn, parents expect lots of crying and fussing. Preschool children experience the same overstimulation, and they still can’t control their responses.” Parents sometimes think their preschoolers are trying to be difficult. Preschoolers are really just developmentally stuck in these behaviors in the same way infants are, says Pirak.
Don’t force me!
There are two main reasons that preschoolers can act frustratingly stubborn Child , according to Cindy Leavitt, faculty member of the Neufeld Institute, an international parenting education program based in Vancouver, B.C. Leavitt says the first main reason for stubbornness in preschoolers is “counter will” — an instinctive, automatic resistance to any sense of being forced.
Counter will can rear its ugly head any time your preschooler feels coerced. This is an adaptive instinct to resist and helps vulnerable, small children avoid coercion from strangers. We all want our kids to yell “No!” if someone is about to hurt them. It’s just that this system is so very good that they yell “No!” at us, too.
Disciplining Infants and Toddlers Before They Can Talk
Babies and toddlers are easy to understand.
- Because a baby’s brain is continually developing and learning, storing knowledge that he will use for the rest of his life, the first three years of life are described as a “critical time” in child development. Baby actions that appear to be difficult or even naughty are actually natural learning processes concerning cause and consequence.
- If you have a pattern of merely saying “no” or making an angry expression whenever your child engages in an unpleasant activity, it’s conceivable that the child is simply repeating the behavior to check if your reaction remains the same. Your youngster will learn that he cannot always obtain the answer he wants by altering your response to the behavior and He’ll experiment with various behaviors.
Change your surroundings.
- Instead of scolding or spanking your child for touching the same breakable object every day or refusing to stay out of the kitchen cabinets, restructure the house to make it safe and accessible for her. It is, after all, her home, and she learns best when she is free to explore it.
- Babies learn via exploration and are not attempting to be mischievous by getting into stuff. Rather than trying to stop typical learning habits, move your breakables and “babyproof” your home.
- You’ll uncover new locations that need to be made safe for your baby as she develops. This is all part of her environment being structured in such a way that she is secure and has the best opportunity to learn and play without risk. Before your child is mobile, you should start babyproofing your house (usually around nine or 10 months old).
Accept the invitation.
- The majority of newborns and toddlers spend their days hearing “no” after “no” and seldom engaging in the actions that they desire. Make it your mission to say “yes” as frequently as it is safe and practicable once you’ve modified your home environment to make it safe. If you choose “yes,” your child will be able to direct his own learning and study topics that he is interested in.
- Allow as much time as possible for your child to play outside, make crafts, or splash in the tub. Creative and physically-expressive activities can help to burn off some of that toddler energy, allowing him to sleep better and becoming more obedient and less defiant as a consequence.
Redirect your child’s focus.
- Say your baby’s name and then redirect his attention to a toy or diversion that he loves if he is about to engage in an inappropriate conduct. Keep a stash of tactics on hand to divert your baby’s attention at any time.
“Gentle hands” is something you should teach your Child’s.
- Hitting, biting, and kicking are some of the most prevalent undesirable behaviors seen in newborns and toddlers. They do it to test what kind of reaction they’ll receive instead of hurting you or others. It’s critical that you educate your child safe ways to interact with others.
- Take the baby’s hand in yours and repeat, “We don’t hit.” “Our hands are delicate.” Then, while still holding her hand, gently touch your arm or cheek (or wherever she smacked you) while repeating, “Gentle hands.” See? Hands with care.
- ” You may also softly touch her with your hand to demonstrate the difference between striking and a delicate touch.
- Use the same approach to educate a newborn or toddler how to interact properly with pets and younger children.
- You may also model proper conduct by reading simple board books to her, such as Martine Agassi and Marieke Heinlein’s “Hands Are Not For Hitting.”
Follow through with the repercussions.
- You must follow through if you declare that a given conduct will result in a specific consequence. Make no empty threats; your youngster will learn that you are inconsistent at best and a liar at worst if you do so.
- If you tell your child that she has to tidy her room before going to a friend’s house, don’t give in if she hasn’t done so when it’s time to leave. The importance of consistency cannot be overstated.
- Because consistency is so crucial, you should never create a consequence that you won’t be able to keep. It is often best not to do this in the heat of the moment, as you may become frustrated.
- If you have to say, “If you do that one more time, I’m going to…”, chances are you are already upset and are likely to overreact. Instead, attempt to establish limits ahead of time.
- If you know your child will frequently get out of his chair at dinnertime because he has a habit of doing so, remind him before dinner that you want him to stay in his chair and what the consequences will be if he doesn’t (for example, dinner will be finished, etc.).
Keep an eye on your replies.
Many obstinate kids and tweens are very aware of your behavior and tone of voice when you chastise them. Eye-rolling, sighing, shouting, or annoyance are likely to be mirrored in their replies to them.
- When dealing with a difficult child, it’s natural for parents to grow irritated and even furious. The trick is to keep your emotions under control and not let them affect how you connect with your child.
- When dealing with your child, pay attention to the sorts of things that appear to set you off. If your child creates a mess, talks back to you, or isn’t obedient, you may be easily enraged.
- The things that irritate you most frequently refer to places where you feel powerless. Dealing with your own challenges (from employment, upbringing, or other relationships, such as your marriage) might help you respond to your kid more positively.
Learn how to bargain.
Parents in previous generations were encouraged not to give in to their children’s demands, fearing that doing so would lead the youngsters to lose respect for their parents and forget who was in control. However, today’s psychologists acknowledge that children need to feel in charge of their life, and that parents should not strive to micromanage every decision they make.
It’s fine to let your child have her way when the decision isn’t about her health or safety, but rather about her opinion or preference.
- You may prefer that your children dress appropriately when out in public, but your child may have a different idea of what is fashionable and comfortable.
- Choose your fights wisely when it comes to matters like this that don’t really important but could offer your child a sense of control that she lacks as long as she is clothed.
Pre-puberty is something to be aware of.
Children begin to undergo hormonal alterations that lead to puberty around the age of 10 or eleven. Emotional outbursts, unexpected obstinate conduct, and retreat are all common outcomes of these transformations.
- At this age, children frequently push the boundaries of their freedom.
- Even while it might be irritating for parents who are used to being in charge, this is a natural and healthy aspect of growing up.
- It’s crucial to give kids a sense of control over decisions that impact them, so let your youngster assist plan the weekly food or choose his next hairstyle.
- Remember that your child is first and foremost an individual. Stubbornness is merely one facet of a complex personality, and it’s possible that stubborn Child is a positive attribute.
- Stubbornness Child will be a crucial proponent of your child’s growth into a healthy human being if you can educate him to stand up for himself and his friends, to resist evil influences, and to always do what is right.
Some children are simply built to squabble with their parents. You may call it obstinate, strong-willed, or anything you like. If you live with one of these individuals, you’re well aware that simple approaches for encouraging them to follow instructions or behave don’t always work. They want to be the boss. Of course, you do, too!
Try my so-called stealth or judo parenting tactics instead of turning to the traditional verbal fight (aka shouting or pleading). Being stealthy with your kids doesn’t have to imply being underhanded or manipulative. Instead, “‘sneaky parenting’ is actually’ smart parenting,'” says Sharon Silver of Proactive Parenting in Tucson, Arizona, and author of Stop Reacting, Start Responding.
According to Susan Stifel man, author of Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected, the best approach for the younger set is nearly always to make picking up toys into a beat-the-timer game.
Games and challenges may entice even the most obstinate children, so see how many toys your child can put away in five minutes. You may take the concept a step further by keeping a record and encourage your youngster to “beat his best effort,” possibly with a sticker or a privilege if he succeeds.
Stubborn Child Psychology
To deal with your obstinate child properly, you must first understand why they are this way and what causes them to be this way. It’s one thing for your youngster to be determined, and quite another for him or her to be obstinate. ‘Firmness of purpose’ is described as determination, whilst ‘the reluctance to modify thinking, behavior, or action under any external circumstances’ is characterized as stubborn Child. Stubbornness is both a hereditary trait and a learned behavior gained via observation of others. However, this behavior may be harnessed to help your child develop into a well-rounded individual.
Having Issues With a Recalcitrant Child
It’s not simple to raise a rebellious youngster. If you don’t find a solution quickly, every little problem might develop into a daily struggle. You may have read a lot about how to deal with obstinate children, but every day presents a new obstacle. Disciplining a rebellious youngster may not always be the ideal answer, and finding a workaround may be more successful.
Choose your fights carefully.
It might be beneficial to let your child do what she wants if she attempts to resist you in a relatively minor scenario. “If she insists on getting dressed herself, “you may allow her do it on the weekend when you have time to spare.” Your child will feel that she has some of the power she desires in this manner. Giving her options, such as green beans or peas with dinner, might also help her satisfy her need to make her own choices. However, don’t give her more than two choices; any more than that will overwhelm her.
Excessive use of the word “no” should be avoided.
Although all children require exposure to the word “no,” if you use it frequently, your child may begin to tune it out or become even more resistant. “Instead of screaming, ‘No running,’ you might say, ‘I need you to stroll,’ which is a more pleasant engagement. Look for methods to reward your child for positive conduct so he doesn’t feel like he’s being punished or reprimanded all of the time.
When to compromise
Pirak agrees and suggests that parents choose their battles. “If it can work to compromise on an issue like clothing or food, then do,” assures Pirak. “Or give a choice of two things, both of which are acceptable to you. Often kids will be happy to choose something that is acceptable because they are focused on the power of choosing.”
It can be hard to stay a step ahead of your kid all of the time. It can also be frustrating and even embarrassing to experience a preschooler’s stubborn Child behavior, especially in public. “Take a step back and understand why it’s so frustrating to have a stubborn child,” encourages Pirak. “Often parents think it is reflective of their parenting, but usually it is not. Try to separate your feelings about the child’s behavior from the behavior itself.”
So, should we just resign ourselves to being tyrannized by our preschoolers? Not at all, says Leavitt. “It’s important that parents stay in the lead with respect to children,” she explains. “Be willing to say no and help your child adapt to the inevitable frustrations through gentle understanding and continued efforts to connect.”
Pirak agrees. “Parent and child have to work together in daily life. Sometimes that means the strong will can’t win. Parents need to impose clear, calm parameters when appropriate, in the simplest terms.” Don’t argue about details and overexplain with a stubborn Child preschooler, says Pirak. That is a battle you cannot win.
Keeping your cool in these situations is perhaps the hardest thing, but Leavitt really encourages parents to focus on being cool. “When we are triggered,” says Leavitt, “it takes us out of the leadership role and puts the child into the leadership role.” Preschoolers are not ready for that.