How to handle your stubborn kid

May 28, 2018
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    Stubbornness is one of those characteristics in your child that can be both useful (when she is so determined to complete the jigsaw puzzle that she persists until she achieves his goals) or obstructive (when she refuses to change her opinion about something even though she is wrong).

    Your challenge is to help her manage her stubbornness effectively so it has a positive impact on her development.

    Related: Singapore mum confesses: Bribing my son is bad but it achieves its aim

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  • Encouraging the upside
    2 / 10 Encouraging the upside

    If your child has a stubborn streak, concentrate first on developing the potential benefits from this.

    Wait for moments when determination can work in her favour – for example, when she studies hard because she wants a good grade, or when she continues practising her musical instrument until she reaches a level that pleases her.

    Related: I don’t understand my child: one Singapore mom’s dilemma

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  • Encouraging the upside
    3 / 10 Encouraging the upside

    Let her see that you admire her stubbornness in these contexts, not just because of the positive results she attains, but also because it means she does not give up easily.

    Ask her about what she feels when she refuses to give up, and to explain the motivation behind her determination to succeed.

    Related: Why your child’s behaviour is good at home but bad in school

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  • Encouraging the upside
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    Is it the intrinsic satisfaction of getting it right or a fear of failure that lies behind his tenacity?

    The more you understand what drives your child’s stubbornness, the more you can help her learn to manage it effectively.

    Related: 7 steps to correct your child’s disrespectful behaviour

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  • Discouraging the downside
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    You also have to be ready to deal with the unpleasant face of childhood stubbornness – for instance, when she refuses to stop playing even though you have told her it is time for bed, or when she continues to demand an extra biscuit despite the fact that you have made it clear she isn’t getting any more.

    Related: 5 reasons why your toddler is bullying

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  • Discouraging the downside
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    The most useful way to manage this form of stubbornness is to strengthen your resolve not to give in to her demands.

    Despite the temptation to let her do what she wants and hence avoid all confrontations, be strong and hold your ground.

    Related: How to manage tantrums in a 5 year old

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  • Discouraging the downside
    7 / 10 Discouraging the downside

    If you give in to your child’s stubbornness, you’ll soon find that it becomes even stronger.

    Stand your ground, no matter how much she argues, complains or attempts to push past the boundaries you have set.

    Related: Video: 7 steps to correct your child’s disrespectful behaviour

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  • Discouraging the downside
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    Another technique is to talk to your stubborn kid when she confronts you in this manner. Point out to her that all these battles could be easily avoided.

    Emphasise the negative effects of her stubborn behaviour towards you – such as how tense and unhappy it makes you – while at the same time making it clear you will not give in to her.

    Related: 3 ways to tame your child’s temper

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  • Discouraging the downside
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    Offer alternative ways for her to express this aspect of her stubborn behaviour. For example, she can voice out his feelings and tell you what she wants to do and why.

    While you still might not agree with her, explain to her that you are more likely to listen to a reasoned argument.

    Related: 91.3 DJ Shan Wee: Don’t judge me because my kid’s throwing a tantrum

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  • Discouraging the downside
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    Your child can learn to manage the negative side of her stubbornness with your help and support.

    If you tackle it calmly, with a clear plan of action and determination to stick to your principles, she will steadily gain control over this particular personality trait so it only brings her advantages.


    Related: Are you rewarding or bribing your child for good behaviour?

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