Oh, that stubborn child.
You’ve tried so many different things to get your child to cooperate. But they just won’t budge. Depending on the stage of stubborn, your toddler is saying, “No!” or your teenager is refusing to join a family activity.
Whatever the challenge, how do you find the patience and get them to go along?
The goal is more cooperation. And I have 7 simple steps to help you get there.
1. Listen, don’t argue.
If you argue with your child, you give power to their position. You engage in the stubbornness, which will just take you through a stressful experience. Listen to what your child has to say, without defending or refuting. That first step works wonders.
2. Make a connection
If your child is behaving regularly in stubborn ways, how can you make a connection with this child in other situations? This tip starts a earlier than the moment of conflict. If you create rapport with them first, then in moments of stubbornness, they know you have their best interest at heart.
3. Don’t force them
That can be challenging, especially when you know what needs to be done. Share your request, let them know the consequences, and then let your child decide what they will follow through on. (This obviously does not apply to immediate physical safety concerns, like a toddler running into the road. This advice applies to situations like not wanting to eat what’s for dinner.)
4. Give them options
Stubbornness often arises in times of life when children are developing more autonomy. They need choices. They need to know they have power to act in their own lives. So give them the chance to choose. The choices can even be narrow, depending on the situation: “You can do this in 5 minutes or 10, which one do you prefer?”
5. Stay calm
This can be the trickiest one on the list, especially if you’re around younger children all day. The key is to take care of yourself. Yelling works in the short-term, but it destroys the connection you want with your child.
6. Make a deal
If you don’t have patience in the moment, make a bargain. You want your child to behave in a certain way and your child certainly wants something, too. How can you agree to benefit each other? “If you do this, then you don’t have to do that chore…”
7. Understand your child’s true nature
If your child is uncooperative on a regular basis, they are trying to tell you something. There are 4 main Types of children. If you know which Type of child you’re raising, you have the key to decoding their unspoken messages, so you can create more cooperation.
If you haven’t yet read The Child Whisperer, get your copy today. Parents all over the world have been amazed at how much cooperation they experience, just with a few simple changes in their approach.
Your child wants their life to be as happy as you do. Together, you can cooperate and make that happen.