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Handling Stubborn Kids (Hacks For Parents)

Parents often have to struggle with their child throwing tantrums and attitudes.  It is necessary to understand how to deal with a stubborn child. “Kids are undergoing so many developmental changes that make them act this way, and it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with them or your parenting skills,” explains Christine M. Raches, PsyD, HSPP, BCBA who is a clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the Riley Child Development Center-LEND Program.

It is easy to judge when witnessing a parent–child meltdown. Dealing with this every day can be exhausting. That doesn’t make you a bad parent. Nobody wants to find themselves in such a situation.  Shouting and physical violence never help. 
“No Parents want to shout or hit their kids. They do it because they are stressed and don't see another way,” says Professor Lucie Cluver, Oxford University.

Here are some tips for parents to handle stubborn kids

Tips to handle kids tantrum like by establishing a connection with kids.

  1. Establish a connection
    Communication is the key skill in any relationship. Two way communication is necessary to maintain a healthy relationship with your child.
    James Cowper, a TEDx expert suggests three principles to stay connected to kids. He quotes ,“1. Be Playful,I'm not asking you to be Bat dad , just play a little air guitar, let your guard down. As my wife tells me, lighten up a little bit. 2. Be present Put away your distractions.Listen to the silence.Stop giving advice and respond with "Talk more about that."3. Be a coach.Don't judge. Don't punish.And don't shame.Instead of asking kids why they've made the mistakes they've made, work them through how they can improve upon them for the future.”

  2. Maintain peace at home
    Behaviour of a child is also determined by the environment. They usually learn things by observing their surroundings. It is therefore the parents duty to provide them with a healthy environment.

  3. Do not argue
    “What seems like defiance is actually just your child exerting his autonomy and trying to figure out what he can and can’t do,” Dr. Raches says. Getting into arguments can only make your child more rebellious.

  4. Often give them choices to choose from
    It is important for the parents to understand from where a particular situation is coming from. They need to understand from the child’s perspective regarding the situation.
    “If you want your child to behave,” Dr. Harris explains, “you first need to separate all of your child's behaviors into two categories-- start behaviors and stop behaviors. A great way to do this is to have a family meeting and discuss the behavior that constantly concerns you the most”.

  5. Give them some space
    Be close enough to lend a hand if they need it. But don’t worry so much about pushing. Stay back far enough to give your kids space to learn and explore them on their own. Sudha murthy , says “Give children some space. Give some time for themselves everywhere they can do whatever they like, be it watching TV or playing games etc. Just keep a corner of your eye to see what they see. They are children so it’s better to keep an eye on the content they are consuming. Do not interfere until you see them doing something wrong.”

  6. Set a routine
    Routines are necessary for children and families. They help family life run smoothly. Setting up a routine can have a positive impact on stubborn children. According to experts, “Children do best when they have a  regular routine, which is predictable and take place on a daily basis. Consistent routines help children in fuctioning normally and also help them ease anxiety. This because routines makes them familiar with everyday activities and know what to expect each day.”

  7. Encourage positive behaviour
    It is important to acknowledge children for their actions. This can encourage them to focus more on positive activities.

    Dr F. Felicia Ferrara, a child psychologist with 25 years of expertise advice, “when you are instilling good behaviour in a child, the first thing you want to do is to be consistent. You want to make sure that the behaviour you expect is something that you always expect. In other words, you can’t expect a child to have good manners one day and then let them slack off by being nasty and not sharing the next day. So you need consistency across your selections of behaviour.  You want to reinforce positive behaviour with reward like a compliment and as they get older maybe the reward needs to become more increasingly enticing like an extra TV programme or an extra hour before bed doing something good the other he want to do is besides reinforcing the behaviour is really want to try to ignore a bad behaviour because sometimes we put too much Emphasis on yelling at them for what they did negatively. Try to minimise negative comments and stick with the positive comments.”

  8. Develop negotiating skills
    Kids are amazing negotiators.  Negotiating with them can be a real challenge. “Kids understand the golden rule of negotiation, So never give them anything without getting something in return.” Advices Negotiation expert Bill Garcia. It is important for you as a parent to learn the correct way to negotiate with your child to make sure they do the things you want them to do.

  9. Make them understand the rules and consequences
    A consequence is the result of an action . Consequences can be both positive and negative. Positive consequences helps your child know they have something good and are more likely to repeat the behavior when they get rewarded for their actions as a positive consequences. Negative consequences lets your child know things that you do not appreciate them doing. They are  less likely to repeat the behavior when they are aware of the negative consequences. Negative consequences are sometimes also termed as discipline.

“Parents always want to protect their kids from difficult emotions, but those painful feelings help us learn from our mistakes and make  the right decisions. They’re not dangerous. We need to let kids face the consequences of bad decisions and learn through them. That’s how we’re going to help our kids become adults and face the world” says Rachel Busman, PsyD, a clinical psychologist.

Stubbornness in children is natural and can continue into adulthood if not taken care of. No matter how common the problem is, this does not make the job any less difficult . Therefore, it is essential to make the child aware with the consequences of such behaviour. You also need to acknowledge their hard work and good behaviour to get them to listen to you.

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