5 Tricks to try when you have a stubborn child
I can safely say I have one of the most stubborn kids in the world. If he doesn’t like the idea he will fight you on it for up to hours. He is three. Yup, you heard that right. My three year old is STUBBORN! Having a stubborn child has taught me how to deal with one. I still have a lot of learning to do. But through these past few years I have gathered a few ways that work great for dealing with a stubborn child.
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First let me give you a couple examples of what I mean when I say my kid is stubborn.
Examples of a stubborn kid
- I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen and had some left over table scraps that needed to go to the chickens. So I asked my three year old son to take them, ( he loves feeding the chickens.) He was more than happy to do the job. Taking the bowl he opened the back door chucked it outside (bowl and all) onto the lawn right out the back door. I knew he knew better and I told him to go pick it up. Well, this is when he decided he was going to test me. Stubborn came out with a vengeance! “NO!” was his response every time I asked him to pick up the bowl. I even spanked his bum with out having any luck in getting him to mind. I ended up leaving him out the back door. It was drizzling out but not to cold.
Our back door is a glass sliding door so I could see him every second. He stood by that bowl and screamed for a good 20 minutes and still would not pick it up. I went out multiple times and asked if he was ready to pick it up and he replied with more screaming. My son was having a major melt down. After about a half hour I went out and had to physically take his hand in mine and help him pick up the bowl. Once the bowl was picked up and returned to the sink the fit was over. Not a tear or wince came from him. He was done throwing his stubborn at me.
- My son often thinks he is boss. If he doesn’t like the idea than he wont be a part of it. My sister was babysitting for me one evening and all the kids (hers and mine) got into the water spout outside. They were all soaked. After my sister let them have their fun she asked them all to remove their wet clothes and put on the dry ones she had gathered. All the kids were happy to oblige except my three year old. – shocker right- He decided, instead of doing what was asked of him he would scream and cry in her back yard for a good hour. Even until her neighbors started to raise a few eyebrows. She even tried to give his bum a swat and he still wouldn’t change his clothes. ( He was totally capable of doing so.) Only after she let him know that dinner was waiting for him, did he quit crying and change his clothes. He again was done with his melt down.
Those are only a couple of times that I have mentioned. There is probably enough stories to keep you reading through the night. But I will just leave it with these two for now.
5 Tricks to dealing with a stubborn child
I have come to some realization through dealing with these tantrums. There are certain steps I take now that result in a quicker, less dramatic melt down or tantrum, and a lot less stubborn comes to the surface when I use these few tips.
1- Let it be their idea.
I have come to find that if I let it be his idea it makes it so much easier. If I would have placed picking up the bowl like a question I probably could have avoided the entire melt down. For example: ” Oh darn, do you think we should leave that bowl outside to get dirty?” He most likely would have liked the idea of returning it to the house so it wouldn’t get dirty. Hence making it his idea to pick up the bowl instead of mine. I think this tip works wonders. Let it be their idea and it will decrease the amount of melt downs.
2- Give them a few moments alone.
I use this one the most I think. When I know a power struggle is coming, and they have started to throw there tantrum or stubborn fit, I will put them in their room. Try to do this as calm as possible. Just put them in there and say ” when you are ready to talk and not scream you can come out and talk to me.” Yes, at first it lasted a good half our of screaming in their room. But it is now an easy three minutes and then they are ready to talk about it. I find giving them a few moments alone helps them cool off a bit. And cope better.
3- Ask them to use words.
I don’t know about other kids. But with mine come so much crying! A good 80% of my day has crying or screaming in it. Needless to say I get to the end of my rope a lot faster than I would like too. I’ve started to ask my kids to use words every time they start to cry. This has helped immensely! They now stop to think about how they can put their troubles into a sentence on what they need me to help them with, or what they are asking for.
4- Take a breath together.
Taking a moment together to simply take a deep breath and calm down helps both of you. I know with me it is so easy to feel like I will burst. Taking a deep breath helps me stay calm so I can deal with the melt down. It also helps the child learn to calm down themselves. And stay calm while you discuss it.
5- Let them now you love them.
It can be so easy to show anger in situations like these. If you keep calm and remind yourself that they are having a bad moment and need you to help them through it. I try to always let my kids know how much I love them. You do have to be careful not to let them think you love what they are doing or how they are acting. But rather that you love it when they behave and stay calm. And give them a good snuggle when its all over. So through all the tantrum throwing try to stay calm, not get angry, and let them know you love them.
Using these methods has decreased the fits by more than half. And they are becoming more, and more rare. But I can honestly say that they do work for me and my son, and hope they will help you if you are struggling in this area.
My Son is a sweetheart.
I do need to let you know that I do have a stubborn son. But I am so glad he is stubborn, this means he wont let people just walk all over him. If he doesn’t like the situation he wont be involved and I admire that about him. He really is such a good little boy, A true sweetheart. And has tantrums and melt downs like any other toddler. I guess he just has a stubborn streak. Ha.
What other ways have you learned to cope with your stubborn child?
Lots of love,
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