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How to deal with a defiant child or a stubborn child?

What should be done when an open clash between you and your child arises? What should be done when your child cries? Let’s learn the art of dealing with such behaviors coming from your child!

Give a thought on the following:

When you have a complaint about a particular behavior of your child, did you ever check whether you behave in the same way with the child?

For example:

  • Say, she does not listen to you. Are you behaving the same when she wants you to do a favor? Do you listen to her only when she calls you couple of times?
  • Say, she uses mobile phone. Do you keep checking your phone whenever you find some time?
  • Say, she speaks harsh words. Do you speak such words when you lose your temper?

Start listening to her and returning favors and see the change. Spend time with them, respect them and start doing whatever we expect them to do.

Param Pujya Dadashri explains how to handle stubborn behavior in the below discourse:

As a Parent, you need not become obstinate along with the child; rather, pacify your child

Dadashri: Once you smooth things out then it will continue running. However, people make their child even more obstinate. They become obstinate along with their child. If the child does not speak, then the mother does not talk either.

Questioner: Yes, her face becomes sullen.

Dadashri: Her face becomes sullen. Hence, this is not a quality of becoming a mother, is it?! It is done by observing others; if someone beats their child, then she too will beat her child.

Questioner: I do not want to do that. I wish to know how a mother should be.

Dadashri: What happens when your child becomes stubborn and you too become stubborn?

Questioner: When the mother becomes stubborn and the child becomes stubborn, then the child gets a beating.

Dadashri: No, but there is no point in that, is there? The child's stubbornness should be broken.

Questioner: How can it be broken?

Dadashri: Whatever makes him happy, make him happy for a little while by soothing him, and then things will be fine. After that, her obstinacy will go away. You have to pacify her for the time she is being obstinate.

Other important tips for parents to help deal with children’s defiant behavior:

  • The child’s defiance is a reflection of the parent’s past conduct. If we are a worthy parent, the children would not retaliate. So the parents should work to improve themselves.
  • If you keep nagging your children, they will become spoilt.
  • Keep them in touch with the Gnani or good company. By being in good company, they will inevitably acquire the best qualities.
  • Children should be given the help to improve, not beaten. It is very wrong to hit children.
  • Real parents are those who manage to change their children's behavior through love and understanding, even when the child does dreadful things. But such love is not to be found, because the parents themselves are unhappy. This world can only be won over through love.
  • Parents tend to keep talking about the negative behavior of the children repeatedly in front of friends and family. This has grave consequences as the kids actually become whatever we believe them to be. For instance, if we believe that our child is stubborn and defiant, the child would surely become so, one day, even if it is not the case today. On the other hand, if your child actually happens to be stubborn, but you still choose to instill the belief within you that your child is quite good and obedient, then you will soon start seeing positive changes in your child...
  • The human mind-body complex is capable of recording even if you call a person worthless while he is sleeping, your remark will be recorded within the soul as karmic account and you will have to face the consequences. If you want to say something, make sure it is positive. Your good intentions will result in happiness for you. So talk about the behavior you want to encourage in your kid rather than repeating the stubbornness, or things you want to discourage.
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