I love getting requests from our viewers and this came from you. How to deal with a stubborn child? I have 5 positive parenting tips for you today. Stick around for all 5. Let’s jump right in tip number 1 is stay calm. Don’t allow the child’s mood to control yours. Keep breathing. It’s really important for us as parents to be in charge of our own emotional stuff. Kids are really not very good at regulating emotion. Especially young kids. And you’ll notice this, they get tipped over by the smallest things.
We don’t have to as parents because we’re grown-ups. Having ways to control our own emotions puts us in a powerful position as a parent. And probably the
quickest way to get there is to make sure that you keep breathing. I know you breathe all the time. But there’s a little trick to breathing that helps us to regulate our own emotion. And here’s what it is. Breathe in through your nose. This always works unless you have a cold. Take a nice deep breath in through your
nose and hold briefly. Maybe 5 seconds, maybe 10 seconds. Just hold it let it stretch a little bit and then breathe out through your mouth nice and slow. Restrict the flow here. Kind of like you’re blowing out birthday candles. Nice and slow. You want to take about twice as long to exhale as you did to inhale. I tell you what, if you’ll practice this a little bit, you’ll get better at consciously calming your brains fight-or-flight response. It calms you down, it helps you to regulate your emotions. And that’s really important when you’re working with a stubborn child. That’s why it’s tip number 1.
Tip number 2. Remember what you control. You’ve noticed this right some things you control other things you don’t. Let’s get really clear about which is which. Remember what you control. Why is this important? Because when you’re dealing with a child… Now, we said stubborn children in the title but you know what? All kids are like this to a certain extent. I think all human beings are. We want to control what we control. Your kids don’t get to control very much. And so they’ll usually pick something that they control and you get frustrated because you can’t control the thing that they’re controlling. Get back onto what you control. This is beautiful because it puts you in a position where no power struggle is even necessary. You don’t have to argue, you don’t have to convince them. You’ve got control over this thing. Well, what do I mean by that? Well, things you provide, services that you give them. Access to certain things in your home. You control all of these things. Whether or not your kids want you to. So get focused on those things that you control, implement those into the discipline. And
it puts you in a position where you no longer have to be in a power struggle with your kids. Do you remember my three rules for power struggles? Rule number
1, avoid them. Don’t get into them if you don’t have to. Rule number 2, if you can’t avoid them, win them. I tell kids this too. But they’re really good at
it already because they already know rule number 3 which is you pick the issues. And you always pick something that you control. Don’t get into a power
struggle over something you don’t control or you’ll violate rule number 2, you won’t win that power struggle. Focus on those things that you control.
Rule number 3, empower what they control. Your kids are in charge of their own choices. If you haven’t figured that out yet, pay closer attention. Your kids’ll teach you this. You don’t control everything they control some things. Empower what they control. Now, by this I mean focus on their choice. And it’s okay
for you to say, “You know what sweetie? That’s your choice. Okay?” And you smile a little bit because if mom’s smiling, kids are thinking. You smile a little bit as
you say, “You know what? That’s your choice.” I’ve done this with teenagers too. One of my teenage sons asked me once. “Dad, can I go to this party?” And I’m like, “Tell me more.” Because he left out some of the vital information, right? So, he told me more about party. I didn’t feel comfortable with it as a dad. Just didn’t
feel comfortable with the party. So, as he pressed me, “Well, can I go?” I said this: “That’s up to you. You’ll choose whether you go or not. That’s up to you. But I’m not giving you my permission. So, if you go you’re going without my permission. Do you understand that?” And he’s like, “What? What? So, can I go
or not?” “Oh, that’s up to you.” See, I want to empower and honor his choice. Empowering and honoring his choice doesn’t mean that I’m giving him exactly what he wants. I’m not. He wanted my permission. I control my permission. So I’m following that other tip I already gave you. Empowering his choice means that I
acknowledged that he’s going to do it. You know what? I used to say to him, “No, you can’t go.” And it was a bald-faced lie. He could go. And he proved it to me by sneaking out and going. You see what I’m talking about. I don’t want to lie to my kids. I would encourage you not to lie to your kids. Empower their choice. Honor their choice. And make sure you follow through with the consequences too. My son knew that if he went to the party without my permission, there would be a consequence that he doesn’t control. He chose not to go. And I empowered that choice as well. Son, nice choice. I love the way you thought through that. He was a little frustrated at the time but I think he really appreciated that I empowered and honored his choice. Powerful.
Okay, we’re up to number 4. Positive parenting tip number 4 about how to deal with a stubborn child. Listen rather than argue. Don’t get drawn into the argument, okay? Stubborn kids sometimes want to start an argument because it gives them a false sense of power. Think about it. Little people, big people. If little people can get big people to argue with them, it gives them a sense of power and control. That’s not appropriate really for the setting. So do some listening. And when your child asserts their little will about whatever it is. Take a listening approach where you might say something like, “Oh, well that’s interesting. Tell me more about that.” Okay. Now, that’s going to freak him out a little bit because they’re not expecting to hear that from you. But there’s 2 things that this does for you. It puts you in a position where it’s easier to assign empathy and I’m coming back to that in just a moment. It also changes the dynamic of this conversation from an argument to a dialogue. Something where they get to express what they’re thinking and feeling. And oftentimes, if you can draw this out, they will make better decisions anyway. You got 2 ears and 1 mouth, let’s use them in that proportion. Do a lot of listening if you feel that your child is being stubborn. See if you can understand where they’re coming from. And that will help to empower you to make a good choice about how to follow through. And then finally, I alluded to this just a moment ago. Use empathy rather than anger. We get angry really fast as parents. And you know what? I want to throw you a bone here because you’re not a bad Aaron just because you get angry. Anger is a really great indicator feeling. But it’s confusing because when we feel anger, we think that it means somebody
else needs to change something. And you know who it is too, don’t you? Well, that’s the confusing part. Anger is a great indicator feeling that this person needs to change something.
In fact, there’s 3 feelings I’d tell you to watch out for. Frustration, anger and resentment. Instead of the anger, let’s go to a place of empathy. Now, empathy has 2 important parts to it. You understand and care how someone else feels. Honestly, this is one of the things that we really want to teach our children. So modeling that to them is a powerful way to help them learn to understanding care how someone else feels. The other thing that you will notice as you go to empathy is that you feel like you want to save them from their consequences. Just notice that. And it comes from the best part of your heart as a parent because you love them. You don’t want them to experience anything difficult, painful, frustrating, hard. And that’s why we want to save our kids from the consequences of their own choices. Empathy allows you to back off from that a little bit. Let them feel the consequence which is going to hurt your heart as a parent, isn’t it? Let them feel
the consequence and then join with them emphatically where you show them that you understand and care how they feel. Put your arm around them. Let them know that you can see that this is hard for them. But don’t bail them out. See that’s where we usually go to the anger where we bail them out and then we ball them out. It steeled 3-yards of parenting. Rant, rave and rescue that we’ve talked about in some other videos here on the channel. There’s 5 powerful tips for you
in working with stubborn children. Hope that helps.