Obstinacy in children begins at the age of 2 years. However, in some age periods, stubbornness can reach the extreme. We talked about the causes and solutions of stubbornness in children from 2 to 6 years old. Let’s start!
When does stubbornness begin in children?
The stubborn period, also called child adolescence, begins between the ages of 2-4. During this period, the child often behaves persistently, asks the question “why” a lot, and answers the questions asked mostly as “no”, “I can’t” or “I won’t do it”. Because he realizes that he is an individual, he goes into proving himself. Let’s go into a little more detail periodically!
2 years old syndrome leads to stubbornness!
2 years is known as the stubborn period. With the age of 2, which is a new and challenging period, the child’s independent desire behavior develops. He wants everything to be his own way and acts egocentrically. As his individual skills improve, his persistence may increase.
2.5 years old is not as innocent as it seems!
2.5 years of age is considered one of the greatest crisis periods of development. During this period, which is also known as the restlessness phase, you may observe unbalanced, rebellious, indecisive and negative behaviors in your child. The stubbornness of the 2-and-a-half-year-old child is due to the “wobble between different poles”, which is the leading feature of this period. We can multiply examples of behavior from overactivity to sudden laziness, from not wanting to eat while screaming with hunger, from a strong sense of ownership to indifference.
3-year-old child continues to be stubborn with the sense of “self”!
The 3-year-old child now accepts the existence of a world independent of him and that he is an individual in that world. During this period, the child’s effort to prove himself increases and he can be quite stubborn. He may try to do the opposite of what you said. The basis of 3-year-old stubbornness lies in the desire of your child to prove himself to you and his environment. The child may behave in behaviors such as wearing only the clothes he wants and eating the food he wants.
4 year old stubbornness is due to the variability of the child!
The age of 4 is a period when the child grasps the social limits. Inquiry reaches its highest level. You may encounter changes in your eating habits and resisting sleeping hours. He also acts extremely self-centered and independent. Being aware of other people’s perspectives, he/she can evaluate this. He can exhibit aggressive attitudes as well as stubborn.
How to deal with stubborn child?
If you are one of the mothers who think about how to break the child’s stubbornness, let’s first say that his approach to you should not be in this direction. Your point of view should not be trying to dissuade your child from ideas or wishes. It is never possible to prevent conflict with your child. Because children have a lack of knowledge and experience about life. This can lead to crises in unexpected situations. So, let’s move on to our recommendations on how to communicate with the stubborn child in these moments of crisis.
1. Try to understand it
Instead of forcing your child to give up on something, you should question why he is stubborn and try to understand things from his perspective. It is easier to come to terms with children who have a healthy communication with their parents. Because the child, who is aware of being listened to, is also willing to listen to the people around him. Remember that constantly pushing your child will cause him to become more stubborn and the communication problem between you will grow.
2. Make consistent rules
In order for your child to realize that life progresses in an orderly manner, he must be aware of consistent rules. Until the age of 6, children do not understand why rules exist and why they must be followed. From the age of 4, this perception begins to develop gradually, but in the process, they exhibit inconsistencies while adapting to the rules. What you need to pay attention to here is to apply the rules you set consistently.
For example; You shouldn’t let your child stretch the bedtime just because he or she doesn’t want to sleep at that hour. You shouldn’t buy anything you want her to buy just because she insists on it. Because this type of behavior can lead to the thought of “I can do what I want if I am stubborn enough” in the child. This makes him even more stubborn with you.
3. Remember that each age can bring a different developmental characteristic.
In the 6 and 7 year old child who socializes with school and develops friendships, stubbornness may begin to emerge. However, this is also a process for the child who is worried about making his own existence and wishes accepted. Psychologist Piaget he says it is a concept that consists of balance, imbalance and finding that balance again. Remind yourself of this when you’re struggling.
4. Speaking with orders
You are not at war with your child. You shouldn’t be giving him orders like “go do this”, “come here”, “stop that”. Instead of commanding your child, you should approach him with questions. “Come here.” instead of “What were we doing when mom called?” You should try to communicate with more moderate sentences.
5. Using the word “no”
The stubborn period in children often serves the word “no”. By declaring their own independence, they push the limits to show how strong they are. However, responding to this attitude with “no” is nothing but stubbornness with the child. Instead of doing this, you should explain to your child why what he insists on cannot happen.
Of course, being able to say no when necessary helps develop and shape your child’s personality. However, if it’s a crisis of stubbornness, you should repeat the word “no” as little as possible. “No, don’t throw away your toy.” instead of saying, “I know you won’t throw your toy down.” It would be better to make more functional sentences such as:
6. Offer options
When your child has stubborn tantrums, you should try to divert his attention in a different direction. It can also be helpful to offer alternatives to the things he likes to do. For example, say to him, “Come on, it’s time for bed.” instead of saying, “Should I read you this book before you go to sleep, or this one?” If you ask questions like these, you may be able to get their attention. When you get your child’s opinion by offering options, he feels valued and may stop challenging you.
7. Get expert support
If you can’t deal with your child’s stubbornness despite trying all these options and this situation is increasing its severity, it is useful to get support from a specialist. Otherwise, this situation can turn into an exhausting process for you.