These are the 10 habits in you which make your child stubborn, how to handle according to child psychologists.


Ten Parental Practices That Encourage Children to Be Stubborn

Ten Ways To Deal With A Stubborn Child

With all of its benefits and difficulties, being a parent is a journey of ongoing learning and adjustment. It involves mentoring, instructing, and occasionally letting go. But in the daily grind, some parenting styles may unintentionally encourage children to be stubborn. Acknowledging these tendencies is not about pointing fingers; rather, it’s about realizing how our behaviors affect our kids’ behavior and emotional growth. Child psychologists stress that children’s stubbornness is frequently a response to certain actions taken by parents or to the dynamics of the family.

Through the use of professional insights, psychological research, and doable recommendations for creating a more loving and cooperative family dynamic, this investigation aims to examine ten such habits.

Children’s stubbornness is a complicated phenomena that’s sometimes mistaken for simple disobedience or stubbornness. However, it’s often an indication of unfulfilled emotional states or deeper desires. Fundamentally, children are learning how to navigate their feelings, wants, and environment. As a result, parents play a critical role in setting limits, modeling appropriate behavior, and giving kids the emotional support they require to grow up healthy. Parents can foster more cooperative, understanding, and open interactions with their children by evaluating and changing specific habits. This will help the children develop into resilient, compassionate, and self-aware adults.

Overly Controlling Parenting

Children who are raised with an authoritative parenting style, which is marked by rigid regulations and high standards, frequently have little opportunity to voice their thoughts or emotions. Although the goal of this approach is to establish order and discipline, it might unintentionally result in a power struggle between parents and children. Children may react stubbornly in order to assert their independence in their search for autonomy and self-expression.
According to Diana Baumrind’s research, there are four types of parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Each kind has a different effect on how children behave. Baumrind’s research and Wendy S. Grolnick’s book “The Psychology of Parental Control” both show how authoritarian parenting, which is characterized by high expectations and low responsiveness, has been associated with higher levels of disobedience and oppositional behaviors in kids. According to these results, a child’s sense of agency may be suppressed by extremely strict parenting, which may increase the child’s stubbornness as a form of resistance.
Psychologists recommend a more authoritative, well-balanced approach that blends warmth and open communication with well-defined expectations in order to lessen this. This entails establishing limits and providing an explanation for them, fostering communication, and taking the child’s viewpoint into account. Parents can promote cooperation over disobedience by creating a climate of mutual respect and understanding. Books like Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish’s “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” offer doable tactics for striking this balance and stress the need of cooperative problem-solving and compassionate communication.

Incoherent Delimitations

Children may test boundaries as a means of gaining an awareness of their surroundings if rules and boundaries are inconsistently enforced. Children who are disciplined for one behavior one day but not the next, or who receive inconsistent signals from their parents, may turn to stubbornness as a coping mechanism to get through these hazy expectations.
Research like this one, which was published in the “Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology,” shows how important consistency is in parenting. It discovered that using different disciplining techniques can make children’s behavioral problems worse. Children are not only confused by this inconsistency, but it also threatens their feeling of security, leading them to push limits in an attempt to find stability and clarity.

Reducing obstinate behavior requires regular rules and penalties that are established and upheld. Psychologists advise open communication regarding expectations and regular enforcement of penalties. Children are less likely to resist or push boundaries when there is consistency in their understanding of those boundaries. Books like Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson’s “The Whole-Brain Child” provide information about how consistent, brain-based methods of punishment can help kids’ emotional and behavioral development.

Absence of Self-Governance

When kids don’t feel like they have any control over their everyday life, they may become feeling helpless and act stubbornly to try and regain some of that control. Stubbornness can be a child’s only means of expressing their individuality and preferences when parents control every part of their lives, from what they dress to how they use their leisure time.
Studies have demonstrated that children who are allowed appropriate options tend to have higher self-esteem and better problem-solving abilities, which is evidence of the well-documented developmental benefits of autonomy.

A study published in the “Journal of Child and Family Studies” emphasizes the benefits of giving kids choices and reports a decline in oppositional behaviors in the process. Because autonomy gives one a sense of control and can lessen the need for persistent disobedience, this research lends credence to the view that autonomy is essential for healthy development.

One of the most important strategies for reducing obstinate behavior is to promote autonomy within secure limits. This can be accomplished by giving kids options in subjects that are suitable for their developmental stage and comprehension. These decisions, which include what to wear, what to eat, and what to do, help children develop a sense of independence while also honoring parental authority. Books like William Stixrud and Ned Johnson’s “The Self-Driven Child” highlight the value of autonomy in helping kids develop resilience and motivation while offering parents helpful techniques for addressing their kids’ demand for control.


Though it stems from a desire to keep kids safe, too cautious parenting might unintentionally hinder kids’ capacity to grow resilient and learn from their experiences. Overprotection can take the form of parents solving problems too quickly, shielding their kids from the inevitable repercussions of life, or limiting their exposure to novel experiences. When children feel undervalued or suffocated, they may react by acting stubbornly to demonstrate their independence and competency.
The idea of “helicopter parenting” has received a lot of attention in the psychology literature, and research suggests that this kind of excessive participation can make kids less adept at handling problems and more dependent and anxious. For example, a study that was published in the “Journal of Child and Family Studies” discovered that children who experienced overprotective parenting had lower levels of competence and autonomy, which in turn led to more irritation and oppositional behaviors.
Reducing stubbornness and fostering resilience in children requires letting them take small, controllable risks and encouraging independence. Psychologists advise introducing new obstacles to kids gradually and helping them through the process of adjusting to them. With this method, kids can grow in self-assurance and learn from their errors. Resources like Peter Gray’s “Free to Learn” promote less restrictive parenting styles that let kids explore, take chances, and grow into independent adults by highlighting the value of play and freedom in kids’ learning and development.

Ignoring the Opinions of Children

Children may experience dissatisfaction and a sense of insignificance if their opinions and feelings are not acknowledged or listened to. Children may act stubbornly to make their voices heard and to assert themselves when they believe that their opinions are routinely ignored or discounted. This pattern of not listening can damage the relationship between parents and children by fostering an environment of resistance as opposed to cooperation.
Research strongly suggests that attentive listening is crucial for developing healthy parent-child connections.

According to studies, children feel more appreciated and understood when their parents actively listen to them—giving them their whole attention, understanding their feelings, and accepting their points of view. Given this confirmation, youngsters are far less likely to feel the need to use stubbornness as a means of self-expression, which can greatly lessen oppositional tendencies.

The two most important tactics for minimizing obstinate conduct in kids are active listening techniques and acknowledging the thoughts and feelings of the kids. This is paying close attention to kids during discussions, responding to what they’ve said to demonstrate understanding, and respecting their opinions and feelings even when you disagree with them. Parents can encourage more cooperative and open communication by creating an atmosphere where kids feel heard and appreciated. To build the parent-child link and foster emotional intelligence, books such as “The Power of Validation” by Karyn D. Hall and Melissa H. Cook offer helpful guidance on how to validate children’s experiences and feelings.

Reinforcement in Negative

When parents use negative reinforcement, like punishment or criticism, to control their child’s conduct, it might cause a hostile relationship between them. Children who receive criticism for their behavior on a regular basis may grow more obstinate and turn to defiance as a bulwark against it or as a means of attracting attention. This method may cause kids to place more emphasis on avoiding punishment than on comprehending the principles underlying desirable behaviors, which can lower their self-esteem and deter cooperation.
Numerous studies have examined the effects of negative reinforcement on children’s conduct, and the data seem to indicate that positive reinforcement is a more successful in promoting desired behaviors. Punitive actions or harsh criticism are examples of negative reinforcement that can promote defiance, cause anxiety, and lower intrinsic drive. For instance, a study that was published in the “American Journal of Psychology” discovered that techniques for positive reinforcement—such as compliments and prizes for desirable behaviors—were superior to negative reinforcement tactics in terms of encouraging long-term behavioral change.
Children can behave in a more cooperative and motivated manner if the emphasis is shifted from negative to positive reinforcement. This entails rewarding good deeds, offering rewards for desired behaviors, and emphasizing guidance and instruction over punishment. Parents can help youngsters participate in positive behaviors for their own intrinsic value instead of out of fear of negative consequences by emphasizing positive reinforcement. Books like Glenn Latham’s “The Power of Positive Parenting” provide techniques for incorporating positive reinforcement into routine parenting routines and emphasize the advantages of this method for both parents and kids.

Neglecting to Show Flexibility

When parents act rigidly, either in their habits, beliefs, or reactions to situations, their kids may unintentionally learn from them to think and act in the same stiff ways. Youngsters take like their parents when it comes to behavior, and if they witness their parents being rigid in their attitude, they might adopt the same stance when interacting with others and solving problems. This inflexibility can hinder kids’ capacity to adjust to novel circumstances, take into account other viewpoints, and come up with original solutions to problems.
Albert Bandura’s social learning theory places a strong emphasis on the function that modeling plays in the formation of new behaviors. This hypothesis holds that kids pick up attitudes, behaviors, and emotional responses from the adults in their environment that they watch and emulate. According to research that bolsters this notion, parents who exhibit flexibility, openness to new experiences, and adaptability can have a big impact on their kids’ capacity to grow into these attributes. For example, a study that appeared in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” discovered that children were more likely to display these behaviors themselves, exhibiting less resistance and stubbornness in difficult situations, if their parents exhibited flexible problem-solving and open communication.
Children can learn the importance of being open to change and taking into account other viewpoints by seeing adults who exhibit flexibility and adaptability in daily situations. Parents can set an example for their children in this regard by being open to their thoughts and recommendations, handling problems in a way that takes into account several choices, and being willing to change plans in light of new facts. Parents can help their children take a more cooperative and flexible approach to life’s obstacles by modeling flexibility. Books like Carol S. Dweck’s “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” highlight the value of developing a growth mindset in children, which includes the capacity to adjust and learn from events. These books offer insightful advice for parents who wish to help their kids become resilient and flexible.

Overemphasis on Success

Overemphasizing success, be it in sports, academics, or other domains, can lead to an environment where kids feel under pressure. When parents place a lot of emphasis on results and performance, kids may believe that their value is dependent on their accomplishments, which can cause stress and resistance. Children who are under pressure to live up to their parents’ expectations may become stubborn and refuse to participate in activities out of worry that they won’t measure up.
Numerous research have examined the detrimental impacts of placing too much emphasis on achievement and have discovered that doing so can raise anxiety, lower intrinsic motivation, and increase the risk of participating in oppositional behaviors. For instance, a study that was published in the “Journal of Educational Psychology” discovered that kids who thought their parents were too achievement-focused were more likely to feel academic stress and motivation that came from avoiding failure rather than a sincere want to learn.
Insisting on a balanced approach that prioritizes work, education, and personal development above success alone can assist in lowering children’s levels of pressure and stubbornness. Parents can support this by recognizing perseverance and hard work, acknowledging advancements and educational opportunities, and demonstrating an interest in the learning and exploring process rather than focusing solely on the product.

This method aids in the development of a growth mindset in kids, where obstacles are viewed as chances to improve rather than as dangers to their sense of value. Books like Jessica Lahey’s “The Gift of Failure” provide insights into the value of letting kids fail and grow from it, emphasizing how this can promote resilience, independence, and a healthier attitude toward success.

Absence of Emotional Assistance

Feelings of loneliness and miscommunication can result from undervaluing children’s emotions or from failing to provide them with appropriate emotional support. Children may use stubbornness as a coping mechanism or as a means of expressing their unhappiness when they feel that their parents are not validating or acknowledging their emotional experiences. Children’s emotional intelligence and capacity for good emotion management may be compromised by this lack of emotional support.
Numerous studies have highlighted the importance of emotional support for children’s development, demonstrating that children who have emotional support from their parents are more likely to acquire strong emotional regulation abilities, empathy, and social competence. For example, a study that was published in the “Journal of Family Psychology” discovered that children who reported higher amounts of emotional support from their parents were more adept at overcoming emotional and social issues and were less likely to display behavioral problems, such as resistance and stubbornness.
Providing children with emotional support is paying attention to their feelings, acknowledging them, and giving them advice on healthy coping mechanisms for challenging emotions. This can involve naming emotions for kids, talking about coping mechanisms for emotions like grief or rage, and setting an example of appropriate emotional expression and control. Parents may assist children learn good emotion management skills and lessen the need for stubborn conduct as a coping mechanism or way to express emotional discomfort by creating a supportive and understanding environment. Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson’s “The Whole-Brain Child” is one resource that provides helpful guidance on how to promote children’s emotional development. It offers ways for establishing a connection with children and supporting them as they navigate their emotional experiences.

Making Comparisons Between Kids and Adults

It can be harmful to a child’s self-worth and self-esteem to compare them to their peers, siblings, or idealized norms. Children may react stubbornly to assert their individuality or shield themselves from emotions of inadequacy when they believe that they are being compared to others and found wanting. This need to compare can foster a competitive environment that damages kids’ self-esteem and breeds resistance and anger.
Numerous research have shown the detrimental impacts of comparison, showing that it can result in a drop in motivation, a decrease in self-esteem, and an increased risk of undesirable behaviors. For instance, a study that was published in the “Journal of Adolescence” discovered that teenagers who thought their parents constantly compared them to other people were more likely to have depressed symptoms and have poorer self-esteem.
Without using comparisons, recognizing each child’s individual accomplishments, interests, and abilities can help them feel better about themselves and less competitive or inadequate. Instead than comparing their child’s performance to that of others, parents can foster this by emphasizing their own growth and personal bests. This method fosters in kids an appreciation of their own worth and contributions, independent of their ability to outperform others. Books like Madeline Levine’s “The Price of Privilege” address how parental expectations and comparisons affect kids’ mental health and self-esteem and provide advice on how to help kids thrive in a society full of pressure.

In the complex dance of parenting, more peaceful and productive relationships can result from identifying and changing behaviors that encourage children’s stubbornness. Despite being widespread, each of these behaviors presents a chance for introspection and development. Parents may help their children develop into more cooperative, resilient, and emotionally savvy adults by encouraging open communication, consistency, emotional support, and flexibility. Parenting is a collaborative learning and adaption process where the aim is to help children develop into their most true and whole selves rather than trying to force them into preconceived notions. We may turn obstacles into chances for a closer bond and respect between us and our children if we have empathy, tolerance, and a readiness to develop with them.

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