5 Ways to deal with your Stubborn Child

I got a call from my son’s school teacher this morning that he is refusing to go for his piano classes (which I had to pre-pay for the whole year !!).  My 4th grader told his teacher that he has already informed his parents that he does not enjoy piano classes and they have given him permission not to attend those classes in school! I was totally aghast at this phone call. I did not know whether to be amazed at his boldness or shocked at his gall. On further enquiry after he came home, he said, I don’t like it and I do not want to go. There have been instances in the past when we have tried to make him do what we want, with little success.



Do you also have a stubborn child and are often at your wits end on what to do? The good news is that while on the surface, it seems like stubborn kids are difficult, they also have some amazing traits. Stubborn kids are more perseverant and mentally strong. They can usually stand up for themselves and don’t give in easily. So it is important that as a parent, you don’t break their will and instead harness that power of self within them and channelize it where it can help them excel. Here are a few ways to deal with your stubborn child:

  1. Don’t Argue: I argue with my older child. My stubborn younger one will shout “I don’t care” and clam up. You cannot argue or reason with him in that mode. You have got to give in at that moment, calm him down, distract him with something else, agree to what he is saying and then when he is calm and happy, you bring up your issue and try to convince him.



2.Establish Consequences: When your child is in a good mood, explain to him the consequences if his behaviour is repeated. Taking away privileges can be an effective result for bad behaviour- and always follow through. If your stubborn child has the slightest clue that you have no intention of carrying out those void threats that you made, you can bet your bottom paisa that he is not going to care about his end of the deal.

3.Accept: As a parent it can be very hard to deal with a stubborn child as it is a clash of wills. At one point, you have to accept that this child has a mind of his/her own and you just have to figure out how to get him to buy into your proposals. The sooner you accept and stop seeing his behaviour as something that is done just to spite you, the sooner you can figure out a compromise acceptable to both of you. Accepting also means, many times you may have to let go of what you think has to be done.

4.Don’t Force: Forcing is not the way to turn your stubborn kid into  a submissive one. The stubborn child has to be appeased, reasoned with, and convinced into doing what you want him to do. Anything else will become a power struggle that will result in alienating the child and that is something you want to avoid at all costs.



5.Ask for Options: You will have more success with your stubborn child when you get their buy in. Just be honest and open with them and ask them for how else they would like to do a certain thing, if your way is not acceptable. You might be surprised at the innovative solutions they come up with. It also takes away the pressure of you coming up with ideas all the time and gives them a sense of control.

A study shows that defying parental authority, and scarce regard for rules as a child, are the two most important indicators for monetary success in later years. Well, if that study is indeed valid, then your stubborn child is going to be really rich in the future! So give in a little, let go a little and learn to parent less and collaborate more ☺