Around the world, parenting advice columns are filled with politically correct pearls of wisdom that effectively tell parents to tip toe around stubborn kids, to watch what they say around them so that they don’t sound confrontational and to enforce discipline in a way that basically makes parents look and feel powerless. Here are some no-nonsense tips that can help you really deal with stubborn kids better.
The silent treatment
Most advice columns tell parents to try and talk a child out of stubbornness. That method simply doesn’t work. If a child has broken a rule, the pre-established punishment needs to be handed out and any arguments about it should not be entertained. If a child is refusing to listen to you, you should simply stop talking to them till they begin behaving themselves. The point here is to basically give the child some space with his own anger or frustration and to take some time to yourself as well. Arguing with a stubborn child will only send him the message that arguments will be entertained in the future as well.
Throw the (law) book at them
Most young kids will grow out of their tantrum throwing phase. It is a little harder to do with older kids. One of the best methods that works for older kids is explaining real life child safety laws to them and how if you don’t follow them, what social services would do. You may even set up interviews or meetings with kids in state run homes or juvenile facilities to help the better understand why you as a parent need to do to be lawful.
Get the child involved in the rule making/punishment setting process
A great way to deal with stubborn kids is to get them involved in the process of setting the rules. Pick a day when they are in a good mood and get them to discuss what the rules of the house are and what punishments should be in place for breaking them. It will make the child feel heard and you could always tell them that they agreed on punishments for braking rules beforehand.
Kids can sense insecurity in parents and handling them with kid gloves does nothing to help them understand why parents need to be enforce rules with them and say no to them. The above mentioned tips are some tried and tested methods that can help you melt a kid’s stubbornness away.