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Stubbornness: Strategies to deal with it

A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn’t act that way very often.  ~Author Unknown

Stubbornness in a child is seen as a negative trait by his parents. Is there another way of looking at it? A child’s stubbornness is both his way of showing the world that he can think for himself and that he has his own thoughts and beliefs, which he can assert. This gives them a feeling that they have some control over the situation, which in turn, boosts their self-esteem. Stubbornness takes a nasty turn when there is resistance to change or attack of rebellion. We come across articles in newspapers; magazines etc about kids being stubborn or putting up a show at public places or even at home when they are denied their wishes.

Nowadays children do not strive to achieve something. Children want instant gratification. If they see something on the television, or with an affluent friend they want it immediately and do not rest until they get what they desire. Parents often wonder what to gift their child? They are in a fix because their child has everything, available in the market. In earlier days children had to wait for festivals, birthdays and special occasions to get a frock or a pair of shoes as gifts.

It’s important to spend quality time with the children, teach them good habits, inculcate values, read stories with a moral. That is how parents would bond with the children. Giving in to the children’s demands is fine up to a point beyond which the parent have to learn to say no and make the child work towards attainment of that particular thing.  Working parents and parents who lead a very active social life and hence cannot give time to their children feel that giving in to their child’s demands would compensate for the lack of quality time spent with the children. Advertising campaigns make ads keeping children as the target audience. This is because of the trend that if a child wants something parents will buy it.

Some useful behavioral strategies

Make the child learn the importance of money

Introduce the concept of pocket money to establish financial discipline or as a reward for a job well done. Pocket money should not be given whenever asked for; instead a stipulated amount should to be fixed. If the child wants something which is of greater value than the pocket money then the child simply has to wait till he collects that amount. It should be limited in amount and the child has to spend it judiciously.  By introducing he concept of pocket money a parent can make the child understand the value of money and boost his morale. Teaching the child the value of money will surely happen. But it will take immense patience on the parents’ part and a few mistakes on the child’ part.

Learn to say NO

Parents have to realize that they are trying to raise their children to have pride, dignity, and good judgment as they have learned these traits from their parents. It’s very difficult for parents to say no but they have to learn this and do it right. Parents do not have to resort to violence or threatening. Making the child understand that why is he being refused will help both the parent and the child. Do not refuse him or suddenly say no. Instead make him understand.

Make the child accept reality

Take time out to make the child understand the financial capabilities and the value system prevailing. Some affluent parents believe in giving their best to their children. Such children have the latest gizmos, flaunt expensive clothes and drive expensive cars. But what about children who cannot afford to have these? Should they force their parent into buying one of those? The answer is “NO”. The parents should make the child realize the differences in social status, financial condition, differences in lifestyle and value systems and   make the child accept it.

Being angry with them is not the solution. Instead it will act as a reagent to the situation. Patience, care, love and respect for your child’s intellect are the keys to good parenting. Nothing will happen overnight. But slowly and surely you will notice the difference.

9 thoughts on “Stubbornness: Strategies to deal with it

  1. Sarvesh says:

    Very good article..

    Parents try to change their kids, without bothering to undergo changes themselves. Children are very smart. They see their parents giving them advices like DONT LIE, and they oberve their parents lying on several occasions! So parents should be the first role model for the kids!

  2. Very true that parents try to see the CHANGE that they themselves can not do to ownself. Like there is saying “Be the change”, if it is obeyed by parents, there won’t be much of difficulty in making the necessary change in their kids.

    Being a parent, experience bolta hai!

  3. Mira Pawar says:

    It is not easy to bring up kids!! Takes a lot of hardships to eventually see your toddler turn into a good/normal human being with the best of values and morals.
    A little patience and quality time is very essential to gift your children. However, this depends on individual choice what is more important.

  4. Sejal says:

    Quality time is that when your kid need’s your time/attention and you are completely free for her………this term mostly use as an excuse. Playing with them or invovling in activities that interest them is important. Children love to participate in activities where whole family is involved….plan out the way that they can take part and feel responsible. Stories and more stories, develops their understanding and encourage their imagination. Respect their opinion and willingly support their reasonable demand…..this child will be ready to your explanation when her demand can not be fullfilled.

  5. Priyanka Vikash says:

    Thanks guys for all those wonderful inputs. I would not call them comments. “practice what you preach” so I agree that parents need to be a role models themselves. I totally agree with Sejal about Quality time but a huge percentage of working parents hardly have time to nurture their own relationship as in the the marriage itself, leave alone taking time time out for kids.

  6. Mala Kanjilal says:

    It has become a fad to say- “I want to give quality time”. What exactly do u mean by ‘quality time’? This has to be given a real definition first. Till the child is young, we can inculcate all the good values and be a role model for them. But i have seen few individuals, when they grow up to be young adults, all our teachings go for a toss and the negative outside influence tend to overpower them. At this juncture, how a parent should handle the sudden changes in their ward?? Of course a parent is a parent, hence they go on trying to understand them and mould them back to an individual having stability, maturity, responsibility and respect towards the society.

  7. NEEL says:

    You will certainly agree with me that wards need structure. Structure includes consistancy,reliability & meeting expectations with a touch of flexibility in it. Parents should err on the side of love in raising children & ensure the path of love , generosity. Mistakes made of either being too harsh or too soft forming the zygote of stubbornness in the ward. Making them understand the fact & reality of life and knowing the ward like the palm of our hand needs something more than conventional. Practically it requires lot of quality time to be spend with the wards so that the family values, belief, trust, tolerence gets adhered to. The love for human being, spiritualism will binds them all. Make them understand that there is nothing in these materialistic world & an existance of another world called spiritual world & this will really need a lot of quality time. As the ward traverse through these ideologies ,the ward will start respecting the values of life and slowly mould into a true human being.

    1. Priyanka Vikash says:

      Thanks Neel for the inputs. It provided a different insight into the issue.

  8. Arjun says:

    This is the incident that we are scanning anything about modifying sites with the system. It looks that you are highly expert blogger. Your method is an superb example of why I keep coming back to remember your good quality content that is continuously updated.

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Devang Vibhakar
Devang Vibhakar
(Editor, www.SpeakBindas.com)
SpeakBindas is a Limca Book of Awards winning blog. It's a PR3 blog with 1000+ articles & Interviews. Devang Vibhakar - Founder - has interviewed more than 350+ people and has been to Scotland, London & Germany. He's a writer, speaker, traveler & movie-goer !! He has also written four books. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of people from various sectors of life to avid readers of SpeakBindas. You can reach him here .