A stubborn child with an idea in their head can be a forceful entity. Their new dinosaur backpack that was a birthday gift from their Grandmother may tick all the boxes for you as a parent (spacious, compartmentalized, good quality, etc) but your little one prefers the dirty, grubby broken one which isn’t fit for purpose.
Alternatively, as they grow up, they think they are too cool for dinosaurs now and want the latest super-hero or gaming icon bag to fit their young persona. No matter how adamant they are or how much easier it is to let them have their way, don’t give in. You can still win this battle, we look further into how and why below;
Child psychology can be a lot more complex than that of an adult because they are maturing and growing at different rates and experiencing things for the first time on a daily basis. This can be both enlightening and confusing for the child as they develop and take in new information.
With this in mind, as a parent, you must adopt a sensitive approach rather than go in all guns blazing. This is especially true if they are already in a state of unrest about the divisive subject on hand. The trick with this is to use your adult experience and know-how into manipulating the situation in your favor. This may sound mean but ultimately you know best and want to stand your ground so the best way of achieving this is by cutting a deal or making your child think they have won when you have the last laugh and achieve your original objective with them none the wiser that they have been played.
Old-school bribery never goes out of fashion and will more often than not see the child adopt the initially resisted item or circumstance without hesitation leaving you both wondering what the fuss was about in the first place. What is crucial here is that you maintain control and the outcome does not appear a reward for their confrontation.
The last thing you want to do as a parent is to give the child the idea that being controversial can lead to success and treats. So when bargaining you need to cut your deal carefully and keep the upper hand. Give them a small incentive or even better, a reason why they should do what you are asking that resonates with them in a cool, calm, and collective manner.
This is often achieved with a simple compromise whereby you partly agree to loosen your terms if they see reason and do as you ask under a different set of ground rules. For example, if we use the backpack analogy to clarify the procedure;
You know the dinosaur backpack is the most practical and efficient means of gathering everything together for them to utilize and for you to prepare. They protest and seek an alternative arrangement. So what do you do?
The powers of persuasion come in and you offer the child a simple compromise that if they use the backpack as asked for the majority of occasions then they will be allowed to use their less efficient but ‘cooler’ option when socializing and for their extra-curricular activities. Both bags get used, the child thinks they have won and you get your way with no more tears and tantrums.