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Stubborn Children?

I’ve been asked what to do when you have stubborn children. I’ve thought about it and a couple of things have come to my mind. One thing that must happen is that you as the parent HAVE to win the battle. It is important that a child knows that you are the boss, that you are in control. Children have a need for safety, and they want you to have control. Of course, if you asked them, they’d say a big resounding NO WAY but research into child development has shown that children thrive when they have boundaries, and they want and need limits. It makes them feel safe. I remember when I was growing up. My dad would always make sure the doors were locked when we went to bed. Now, when I was a kid, I didn’t think too much about it, just that that was my dad’s job, I guess. But when I got married, I wanted my husband to lock up every night because it made me feel safe and it made me feel loved and taken care of. I didn’t realize that I wanted that or needed that until my husband didn’t do it. Then I missed it. I explained that to him and he began taking that responsibility to lock up the house.

It makes me feel good to know that he cares about me enough to do that. Well, I digressed a little, but it is relevant. Children want you to take control so DO IT. Don’t be unreasonable and if you make a mistake, apologize and move forward. But be firm about what it is you will and will not tolerate. Set house rules. Set limits. Give choices so that they have options but options that you choose. And give consequences. This is extremely important. There will always be consequences to every choice we make so teach them this when they are young, and they will begin to make the right choice based on the consequence. Children are children. They aren’t designed to be in control. That creates chaos. Take charge. That probably won’t cure their stubbornness, but it’ll sure make you feel better when you know you are doing the right thing to help your child to grow and flourish and become the wonderful person that they were meant to be. I encourage you to persevere. Hang in there. It’ll get better. Just be consistent.

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