Stubborn tween behavior can be upsetting for parents. The defiance and dejection it leads to have the potential to rock the foundation of the parent-child relationship. You should avoid being assertive and find out smart ways to navigate through this anxious and embittered phase of your life.
Stubborn tween behavior is not uncommon. Open to myriad influences but yet immature to imbibe the realities, their age is often marked by a snarky attitude. It is common for parents to find tweens obstinate and not amenable to the kind of behavior they expect. With selfishness and disrespect creeping into, the parent-child relationship experiences hard times leaving parents cynical and worried.
Here are a few tips to deal with a stubborn tween successfully.
Understand Your Stubborn Tween
Stubborn tween behavior is a byproduct of increased impulsivity and heightened emotions that accompany internal and external changes. The solution lies in a clear understanding of his or her physical and mental state.
This is also the time a child starts forming his or her separate identity. Changes in the brain and the thinking process make them baffling, challenging, and even scary. Their extreme and impulsive reactions often blow out of proportion. External influence also impacts their emotional quotient. Pre-occupied and distracted by a new social world, they tend to ignore parental emotions and expectations. Parents unmindful of child’s developmental and subconscious needs, treat this as a sign of rebelliousness.
A wise parent should not consider a tween’s stubborn behavior an act of personal attack. Recognize the state of your child and manage him or her accordingly. Reward him for good behavior while reprimanding every act of misbehaving.
Balance Freedom With Discipline
Allow your child freedom to carve out his identity, but also inculcate a sense of discipline in him. As a kid, your child knows the limit you have set. He will not violate it with impunity unless you are too lenient or too authoritarian. Lax parents allow their children to go unguided for long while strict ones force them to become rebels. Allow your child reasonable freedom to have his best self, but set rules and seek compliance within deserving limits.
Never forget to make your tween mindful of the benefits of a disciplined life and drawbacks of misusing the freedom allowed.
Stay Connected With Your Stubborn Tween
You cannot force your child to forget the demands of his age. Similarly, you cannot leave your child notwithstanding how disobedient he is. Staying away from a stubborn tween never absolves your parental responsibilities. It only worsens the already strained parent-child relationship. Both should stay connected and talk to each other. A friendly discussion helps to share your concern and let him feel your care.
When you are distrustful of any action of your child, it is better to reprimand him and convey your displeasure. You must not stop talking to your child even when he doesn’t want to talk. But don’t give lengthy lectures to your tween, just try to be reasonable with a few and friendly words.
Help Your Tween Navigate
Lend your helping hand whenever your tween needs. The age of a tween has its unique challenges and your child may not be prepared to deal with it alone. He is just learning to enter into social relations and trying hard to reflect the needs of his time. He may baffle, panic, or feel the pinch of stress at the prospect of failing to do things expected from him and exhibit impulsive behavior when prodded.
Behave like a friend and talk to your stubborn tween about various issues he is facing. Be his pillar of strength and help him cope with emerging situations. It will rekindle a sense of trust in him. He will never feel prudent to disregard his most generous source of support.
Maintain Your Parental Status
As a parent, you have the duty to ensure the safety and well-being of your tween no matter how unruly he is. Help your child to navigate through his confusion and stress, but not at the cost of your responsibilities. Set the rules and give hints to the stubborn tween that you want his compliance. Put your anger on the backbench, but never forget to convey your disapproval. This makes him aware of the limits and he will behave accordingly.
Here is a list of few things you can do to indicate the limits of your patience to your child.
- Clearly tell the child what you should approve and what should not.
- Be consistent with your words and approval
- Don’t be too generous to allow violation of rules
- Apprise the tween of dangers of his behavior
- Place moderate penalty as the consequence of his wrong actions
- Keep a tab on tween behavior and threaten to take away privileges for misbehavior
- Admire honesty, but calmp down when the tween turns dishonest
- Monitor his social circle and apprise him about realities
- Make him feel the consequences of breaking trust, but don’t embarrass him
Encourage Creative Pursuit
The pursuit of extracurricular activities helps a child beat back stress. It also plays a role in inculcating and improving the ability to think positively in a stubborn tween. Thus, the pursuit of creative activities contributes to less emotional commotion and reduced impulsive behavioral trends in your children.
Research studies indicate that such activities increase the self-confidence of a child and cut down the risk of agitation and disapproving conduct. With the child finding family support essential to pursue his hobbies, interests, and activities, it incentivizes his good behavior. He too will remain away from disturbing elements.
You must recognize that a tween does not turn stubborn overnight. It is not just hormonal changes that are to be blamed, but a plethora of factors, including parenting missteps. Again, your predicament will not end with forcing a stubborn tween to surrender. Try to be a mindful parent and monitor your child’s behavior. Address his complaints as well as apprise him about limits he has to honor.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com