Stubborn Kid : how to make his strong will an asset

Stubbornness is often looked upon as negative behaviour. While there are a lot of spaces in which a teenager can use stubbornness to emphasise on a need, the struggle that most parents face with this attribute is usually a negative behaviour. During adolescence, a child begins to form a will of his own, and while this ongoing process builds into a personality, we often find the child not doing what the parent ‘wills’ of him. This could exasperate both, the parent and the child.

So in this article, we will look at stubbornness a little differently. Let’s begin with a mindset of accepting that being stubborn is not necessarily a flaw, but an attribute that helps develop a personality with self-confidence. Stubbornness, when directed well, helps a child to choose and fight his battles relentlessly. It builds skills of persuasion and isn’t a character flaw. A parent-child relationship often contributes to the very attitude a child is developing. The portrayal of different emotions and expressions freely with a parent only allows the child to unmask entirely in an environment that he considers safe with dependable people.

Adolescence is a phase during which negotiation, compromise, and reasoning are used as keys to managing negative behaviour, especially stubbornness — as parents, using these techniques with your kid will enable understanding of this pattern of behaviour in him.

Negotiation : 

While your child is stubborn about something, instead of an outright no, try negotiating with him. Negotiation from the end of a parent makes the child believe that his wants are valued and not thrown away completely. Most often you will find your child testing the waters to see how far he can push your buttons. Bringing in the aspect of negotiation dismisses this testing by your child because he begins to understand and believe that his voice is being heard and he must likewise hear what the parent has to offer.

A stubborn kid is the one with a strong will , who is highly motivated and directed to achieve what he wants, persistent about pursuing his goal and does not give up easily when refused. It is a mixed blessing. 

Compromise :

At times a stubborn behaviour could be responded to by a compromise not because you as a parent couldn’t win that argument, but because it is okay for your child to choose something you probably don’t agree with, instead of him choosing manipulative ways to get what he wants. Keeping mind that this choice must be a safe one, if not, you as a parent will get the final take on this decision. Picture this: You and your child holding on to a rope and most of the rope is at your end. As your child is growing up, you will need to let loose on some of that rope at your discretion, enabling your child to function independently. So it is with a compromise, at your discretion, allow your child some of that rope you strongly hold on to. This addresses stubborn behaviour as well as builds a foundation of responsibility in your teenager.  

Reasoning :

Your teenager always wants a reason for everything. He wants to know why he is being denied a particular privilege and by ‘why’ he would like to reason with you. While this stubborn behaviour or the  conversation of reasoning might get very frustrating for you as a parent, remember that there are no sides to arguments like these except the one that you believe is best for your child. Give him a reason without indulging in an argument. It is best to approach it from the age of a child as opposed to an authority figure. You want your child to indulge (or not) in a particular behaviour because it is the right thing to do and not because you as a parent ‘said so’. 

Finally, learning to tackle a teenager while giving the bets possible guidance as a parent only comes with a healthy parent-child relationship. There are no possible ‘right’ ways to bring up a child, on ‘right’ investment is an assured claim.  

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