“Stop trying to perfect your child, but keep trying to perfect your relationship with him.” ~ Dr. Henker
I recently read an article about dealing with stubborn children that hit close to home for me. My four-year-old is definitely a stubborn child. Some say she is just like her mother, but I think the jury is still out on that one!
I feel people are quick to say someone is stubborn when in actuality, that person knows his or her own mind well and doesn’t take everyone’s advice at face value. I think it is very important to note the difference, especially when raising children. I want to teach my daughter to of course obey her parents, teachers, etc., but to also think for herself.
The article had very practical tips for dealing with a stubborn child that I thought I would share with other parents who have strong-willed children. The article can be found here.
One of my biggest challenges with my daughter is getting her to clean up after herself. She has no problem with making a mess, but acts like she is being tortured if you ask her to clean it up. The article suggested turning picking up toys into a beat-the-timer game, since a lot of stubborn children are often intrigued by games and challenges. You can push the idea further by keeping a chart and encouraging your child to "beat his best effort," perhaps rewarding him with a sticker or privilege when he does.
Another great tip that I will certainly try, is to play the “Yes” game. The "three yeses" help break down your child's resistance, and she also feels like she's been heard and understood. How it works is to ask your child questions that will prompt him or her to answer "yes" at least three times in a row, such as "Wow, you're having a great time playing with those bath toys, aren't you?" (Yep!) "What about bringing your swimming goggles into the bath with you next time? Would that be fun?" (Hey, yeah, that's a good idea!)"Does that dinosaur float? Can you show me?" (Sure I can! Just watch this!)
There are several great tips in the article that I will try on my daughter to see if they work. Some of them I have been doing without even knowing they were beneficial for stubborn children, and must admit that they do help quite a bit. If you have any results for these two games, share them with me in a comment below.