Dealing with stubbornness part 1 – Aajol

Dealing with stubbornness part 1

“My child is becoming more and more stubborn by the day”

This is the experience of many parents around this time. 

Let’s look at a fourfold plan to deal with stubbornness.

We are going to use an example of a child who wants a glass object and when you refuse to give it, the child cries till the time you give it.

Firstly, lead with a ‘yes’: If the child asks for a glass object, you may say ‘no’ because it is delicate, it may break and your child may get hurt. But can you let your child explore the same object under some conditions? May be supervised? On a mattress? In a safe way?

Can you say, “Do you want this? Okay let’s play with this. Come on the mattress.”

This will demand more energy and involvement from you but here is the upside.

  • The child’s exploration will be smooth
  • The child will move on to something else soon
  • You are spared from a tug of war and power struggle with your child (which takes up more energy)
  • A foundation of cooperation is built in the relationship
  • The child doesn’t feel the need to explore with the same object in your absence
  • The child will feel that their desires, thoughts and feelings matter, that they matter (this is the most important one)
  • Self-esteem and self-worth are a direct result of this if it is done consistently
  • Your creativity flourishes when you find new ways to make things happen for your child

Secondly, When we call the child ‘stubborn’ or ‘adamant’ or any negative label, this becomes a part of the child’s self-concept and the child shows more and more of that behavior. In the presence of our child telling others that the child is becoming more and more stubborn has the same effect. It has an additional effect of harming the trust in your relationship with your child. Let’s stop labelling our child.

Stay tuned for the other two parts in the next post. 

Activity:

When your child asks to explore something, think about ‘how can I make this happen?’

Observe how creative solutions come to you once you decide to lead with a ‘yes’. Hold yourself back consciously when you feel like labelling your child.

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