How to Deal With a Stubborn Child

Check out various ways to deal with a stubborn child naturally. Learn different ways to communicate with a slightly aggressive kid along with healthy ways to discipline a baby when acting out.

deal with a stubborn child

Some children seem to be created only to plague their parents with their stubbornness. However, we need to ask ourselves is stubbornness always a negative trait? After all, for a child, this can be a way to demonstrate their desire to think on their own and uphold their beliefs.

In addition, these children have better-developed ability to focus, and this improves the quality of their learning. So, if your stubborn child decided to learn how something is arranged or how to assemble a designer, he/she will be very purposeful in this desire and will fight for their idea.

Understanding Stubbornness and Where it Comes From

Stubbornness is when a child insists not because it really wants something, but only because it demanded that thing.

The kid does not want to give up their initial decision, even if the circumstances have changed for a long time, is humanity.

What is Stubborn

What do you think is the difference between perseverance and stubbornness? Do not rush to read the answer, think for yourself. Try to formulate for yourself an independent solution. After all, we learn to be good parents, don’t we?

Have you thought about it? Well, right, perseverance is when a child wants to get something and asks for it, achieves it.

A stubborn child insists on what he does not really want or does not want at all, or has long since become hungry.

So, whatever you seduce him with like a candy, a toy, etc. the obstinate man cannot abandon their original decision. The kid demands that their opinion be considered.

Cries, spanking and threats are not a cure for the little stubborn man.

Stubbornness: Enough is Enough

Till now the child’s stubbornness was considered a passing phase but what if it’s not that. So, the question arises when does stubbornness become a problem?

Of course, it is good to encourage independence in the child, ability to defend one’s opinion. However, this should not have negative consequences and turn a child into a small monster that will never move.

Stubborn Problem

Obstinacy begins to grow into a problem if the following moments take place.

  1. The child constantly argues with you or you have a disagreement with him because of every little thing.
  2. The child does not want to listen to someone else’s point of view.
  3. The child has problems in the kindergarten or school related to his relationships in the group, the classroom.
  4. There are situations where stubbornness can compromise a child’s safety. For example, he/she refuses to hold your hand when crossing a street.

Steps to Deal With a Stubborn Child

If you bring up such a child, you know that simple methods of influence often do not work. In many cases, the education of a stubborn child is balancing, where you try to teach them how to maintain their independence. However, you also strive to ensure that he/she does not think that they rule the world.

In other words, as a parent, you must help your child maintain their strong personality trait. All the while you also have to not allow these traits to interfere with their well-being. To ensure that this transition happens smoothly here are some steps to deal with a stubborn child.

  1. Recognize the Child’s Personality
  2. First and foremost, you must recognize that your child’s obstinacy is part of his nature. You should not try to change this.

    Recognize Personality

    On the contrary, one must accept the child’s personality and find ways to use this quality in your interests and in the interests of the child.

    It is important to accept the child as he/she is, and not to try to win, to suppress stubbornness because it simply will not work.

    Of course, such children want to be in power, monitor and be leaders. However, you have to be the leader as you are the parent. This does not mean that you should engage in a struggle for power.

    When you try to show your child that you are stronger, in fact, you just get down to his level. This in no ways teaches them anything. In addition, the one who has the most fist wins and is right.

    So, instead of resorting to the usual verbal struggle you need to start being cunning. It does not matter whether by shouting or asking, pleading, and even more so by physical punishment, it will not work.

    You need to start acting like a cunning parent. It means you need to start interacting with your child using indirect methods. We will talk more about this in the following steps.

  3. Illusion of Choice
  4. Create an illusion of choice for your stubborn child. In this step to deal with a stubborn child, you don’t command a child to do anything.

    You simply ask what he/she would like to do more. This way their answer wouldn’t be a no, their answer would this or that. So, the work gets done without the child getting a chance to be stubborn.

    Illusion of Choice

    Let’s see it with an example.

    “You do not have to change for a walk, but you have to stay here in the corridor with your things for the street.”

    “I cannot force you to do it, but you must stay here at the table with textbooks.”

    A child should be given more than just a direct order, he/she must be provided with options. Such an intelligent way, when interacting with a stubborn child, will give them, for example, two options that lead to one goal.

    Instead of telling the child that they should wear a jacket because it’s cold outside, you can ask if they want to wear a hooded jacket or simple jacket.

    This way, no matter what the child’s answer is, he/she will be wearing the jacket, which is our one single goal.

  5. Change the Usual Location
  6. If disobedience manifests itself at home, try changing the location. Reproduce the situation in the park, on the street and see if the behavior changes.


    It is important that the child is seen by other people. You must always change the strategy, if and when you understand that it is not possible to convince the child or to agree with him.

    If the child persists and does not want to negotiate, provoke him/her to talk and listen to them. When an obstinate man shares their experiences, they gradually begin to show their feelings of helplessness. They show that it is really difficult for them. After all, your stubborn child is still quite a child.

    So, when a child experiences strong negative feelings of anger, helplessness, fear, and disappointment, they do not know how to cope with these feelings. They need help and stubbornness is their way of asking for it.

    Therefore, this step of dealing with a stubborn child is to train them to adequately express their diverse emotions. To let you know if they are scared by saying the words and not acting out.

  7. Proper Way to Say “No”
  8. Parents tend to abuse the word “no” in talking with their children. When the parent gets angry and screams “no!” for every little thing, the child ceases to listen to it. Soon the parent’s cries go to the background.

    In order to not bring yourself to such eccentric states, you need to join the child during the day. For example, you need to communicate with child through strokes and through words, using positive instead of negative.

    Use statement like “you are so cool”, “you very cleverly and quickly collect a puzzle”, and “you drew better than me”.

    Saying No

    This “connection” to the child helps them to constantly feel the affection for you. This, in turn, will make them want to cooperate with you more.

    In this step to deal with a stubborn child, you develop the desire for cooperation and play with a “yes.”

    If the child is stubborn, ask him/her questions that they will answer several times in the affirmative. For example:

    “It was always fun to play with these balls, was not it?” (“Yes!”).

    “Will we take these swimming goggles to the pool next time?” (“Yes!”).

    “Can this dinosaur swim with us?” (“Yes!”).

    “Show me how he will do it.”

    Three “yes” can help break the resistance of your child, and he/she will feel that they have been heard and understood. So, now it will be more interesting for them to show you the dinosaur, rather than continue to be obstinate. Therefore, the child will stop being stubborn and will start playing again.

  9. Be a Role Model
  10. Keep calm and don’t raise your voice.

    Your duty as a parent is to act responsibly when your child is stubborn. Do not be angry and never raise your voice. Cries of anger only exacerbate this behavior of your child.

    Role Model

    The harder you behave, the more your child will resist. Instead, try to act as a role model.

    Parents should guide their children. You cannot expect good behavior from the child if you do not do the same.

    Do not be surprised if your child sulks and screams to get what he wants if you always loudly demanded what you want.

    Remember the child learns what they see. So, being a role model is front and center in philosophy of ways to deal with a stubborn child.

  11. Make The Rules
  12. You as a parent should not be either too soft or too overwhelming. Any extremeness will bring unpleasant results.

    If a child meets with a constant “no” even without the opportunity to choose, he/she will not develop the ability to make decisions. Their opinion will not be formed.

    Make Up Rules

    On the other hand, if the child is rarely guided by the requirements of the parents or always realizes only his/her choice.

    Then the child is likely to grow up to an uncontrolled child and attempts to manage it will have no effect. Therefore, there must be rules that will help the child to abandon his inadequate desires.

    If the child persists and harms oneself, tell them exactly what it is. For example, the car does not start or the stroller. They cannot move until he/she carries their own toys or until he/she wears a hat.

    Something may not work or may suddenly break down. The main thing that all this should do is prevent the child from doing what they really want.

  13. Never Give Up
  14. You as a parent strive to make your child feel confident, adapt well to the team and cope with their duties.

    However, if you constantly tell the child that he is stubborn, disobedient and you are unhappy with him. Then eventually he will think that something is wrong with him, something is wrong.

    Never Give Up

    The German philosopher Kant said that stubbornness is only a form of character, but not its content. Although some children are more stubborn than others, at one time or another all children manifest stubbornness and disobedience in their behavior.

    Most parents at the same time believe that in such situations they lose control over the upbringing of the child, instinctively reacting with anger. The child’s behavior is seen as ignoring the parent’s will. However, what is soon found? Anger and struggle only worsen the situation.

    Instead of giving oneself up to the struggle for power or trying to suppress the child’s obstinacy by force. You as a parent can direct the child’s energy so that the will and strength of his/her spirit will benefit him.

    For example, Michael Sol Dell, the founder, and CEO of Dell was extremely stubborn and persistent in his childhood. At the age of 12 he developed the basic rule of life: “If you think that some idea is good, try it in practice”. It was thanks to the fact that Dell chose his independent path, he was able to earn a fortune and become what he became.

Remember, you as a parent can only guide your child on what to do and how to do it. Never force them and they will not become a stubborn adult. Hope these steps to deal with a stubborn child has been of some help to you.

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How to Deal With a Stubborn Child