Specific purpose: to inform my audience about the positive side of stubbornness in children, the causes of stubbornness, and how to deal with stubborn children. Central idea: stubbornness in children is a repeatedly every day issue and people should take an action and try to understand it very well in order to resolve the problem.
As we are all university students, few more years from today, some of us will probably be married and have a kid or two. Did it ever occur to you: how are you going to raise your children? Or how are you going to be able to handle and deal with your stubborn child?
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Imagine with me few more years from now; you are at your friend’s house having a good time, while both your children are playing together. You realized it’s time for you to go back home. You tell your child it’s time to go, but he/she refuses to leave and begs you to stay a little longer. So you give your child five extra minutes, and when it’s time, you face the same problem of refusing again.
At some point or another, each parent reaches to a battle with their own children, yet not many parents knows how to deal with their children’s stubbornness and how to handle such situations right. All parents want their children to be well behaved and know what’s right from wrong, but this goal is not always easy to accomplish, especially when the child is stubborn.
I myself have been in so many similar situations with my nephews and nieces, where I didn’t really know how to react.
I read some books and did further research to know more about the topic of stubbornness in children. The word “Stubborn” as defined in Cambridge Dictionary: describes someone who is determined to do what they want and refuses to do anything else.
Today I would like to inform you about the positive side of stubbornness in children, the causes of this matter, and the ways to deal with the problem.
(Transition: Let’s start with looking at the issue from a positive perspective.)
Stubbornness in children might not always be a bad sign of behavior; instead it could be helpful somehow. Let’s take a look at the bright side of stubbornness in children.
A child’s stubbornness could possibly be his/her way of representing that they can think for themselves and that they can emphasize on their own opinions and believes. Stubbornness makes children feel that they have a certain level of control over some situations, which psychologically will boost up their self esteem. It is a way for them to learn how to express their own thoughts, have choices, and have power over certain things. When a child recognizes that he/she might have an option and they act on it; that shows a great deal of development and intelligence.
For instance: instead of giving commands to your child which can be replied with a ‘no’ answer, you can give him/her the freedom of two choices that you choose. So instead of “Don’t jump on the bed”, a parent can try saying “You can either sit on the bed or jump on the floor, which one would you like?” Giving your children a little bit of control over their environment and the choices that they can make, is very empowering for them and very helpful to the parents as well.
(Transition: Now that you know that stubbornness isn’t necessarily negative, let’s look at the causes of stubbornness in children.)
There are number of reasons that cause stubbornness in children, some are:
Marital Disputes: Families that are dominated by tensions, have a highly strong emotion, and have a poor marital relationship lead children to tension and disturbance; which will cause the children anger and stubbornness. In some cases marital disputes might generate cases of mental disorders.
Rocking in the attitudes of parents: parental authority in evaluating their children’s behavior should be fixed and non contradictory between one time and another. Parents shouldn’t be tough at a certain case some time and then be lenient with the same exact case some other time or vice versa. Moreover, parents should have an agreement and put up clear laws and regulations for their children to follow; those rules should be clear and concise. For example, when a child asks his father something and the father refuses, the child probably will go and ask or beg his mother so that she can say yes to that particular thing the child asked for, which will generate some level of stubbornness in the child by time when each parent has a different word.
Jealousy between siblings: another cause of stubbornness in children might be because they are jealous of their siblings. A lot of children feel jealous of their brothers and sisters, especially when the parents get a new born baby. The child may start to feel that he/she has lost the love of their parents and they might also feel that the newborn baby took away all the attention and care.
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Last but not least, an obedient child might suddenly become stubborn. And that can be only a grabbing attention behavior, and the minute parents make time for their child, the stubbornness behavior is not repeated.
(Transition: Given the causes of stubbornness in children, I’m sure you would probably be wondering what the ways to deal with this issue are.)
There are many ways to handle stubbornness in children:
Rule number one is to always stay calm but firm whenever your child is being stubborn. Don’t try to solve the problem by shouting. The key is to remain calm, and never allow your child to cause your temper to boil over. You should be the authoritative voice in the situation.
As Mrs. Joanna Al Khayat, who holds a bachelor of arts in social science majoring in child psychology from Boston University, suggests; setting up a daily routine life into your children’s lives might be helpful for they get to be able to distinguish what is expected from them. For instance: setting up meal times, bath time, and bed time.
Mrs. Al Khayat also adds that allowing some space to your children will enhance their ability of making their own decisions or forming an opinion and deciding for themselves, it’s also an important aspect of the child’s character development. For instance: giving your child the freedom of choosing which cartoon he/she prefers to watch won’t cause any harm and will satisfy their needs. However, when your child persist on doing something harmful, like playing with a knife for example, your child must understand that you, as a parent, should have the final word in decision making.
Another way of overcoming stubbornness in children is that parents must probably set some boundaries and guidelines and establish consequences for crossing them. Make sure that the punishments are age appropriate. And after that, parents should speak to their children and explain to them what will and will not be tolerated.
Praise your child and give him/her some kinds of rewards when they cooperate and behave well.
Reduce unnecessary rules: the more regulations you have, the less your child will obey and follow your guides. As a parent you should help your child feel less controlled by having more optimistic communication with him/her than pessimistic ones each day.
In conclusion: As we have seen stubbornness is a very normal common behavior in children.
Parents shouldn’t just look at this behavior in a bad perspective; instead it could have a positive effect on their children.
Understanding the reasons behind stubbornness in children will prepare the parents to be patient to overcome this issue. With proper knowledge and understanding, parents learn how to react to their children’s behavior.
There are some certain methods that help a lot in dealing with stubborn children.