Cultivating Cooperation in Stubborn Children.

Cultivating Cooperation in Stubborn Children.

Parents lamenting their child’s stubbornness is common. They are simply unreceptive. They act impolitely and are obstinate about getting their way.” But it’s important to realize that stubbornness is a trait that may be changed. It’s not innate in young children. There are several causes behind children’s stubbornness. Parenting is an art, and parents must closely monitor the elements that lead to their children’s obstinacy.

Recognizing Signs of a Stubborn Child.

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize the warning signals of stubbornness in your youngster. When a youngster exhibits stubborn behavior, you might observe that they:
Cry loudly to get attention.
Stomp their feet on the ground.
Hit walls or objects with their head or hands.
Kick things around them.
Display disrespect towards adults.
Bite or use their teeth aggressively.
Break toys and belongings.
Understanding the Reasons and How to Address Them:

Avoid Unnecessary Prohibitions.

Children tend to become stubborn when they are repeatedly told not to do something. Instead of constantly prohibiting them, try explaining the potential harm or consequences of their actions. For example, if a child keeps trying to touch a hot object, avoid stopping them each time but rather explain the dangers of touching hot things. By making them aware of these risks, you’ll help them develop a sense of caution, which will stay with them, inshallah.

Avoid Unjust Scolding.

Sometimes, excessive scolding when children are stopped from doing something can contribute to stubbornness. Encourage a child-friendly environment where they aren’t unjustly scolded or restricted. For instance, if a child is attempting to break a pot, instead of stopping them abruptly, try explaining why it’s a harmful action. This approach helps them understand the consequences and become more responsible, inshallah.

Fulfilling Unnecessary Desires.

While it’s natural for parents to love their children deeply, excessive indulgence can lead to a child’s indifference or stubbornness when they perceive that someone else has become the center of their parent’s attention. Also, if every desire of a child is met, they may become stubborn. For instance, there’s a tale about a king who had no sons. He asked his minister to bring his son to the palace. The king grew fond of the boy but told him not to cry anymore. However, when the boy continued to cry, he asked why, and the boy said, ‘Make me an elephant to ride on.


Although parents care deeply for their children, it’s important to maintain a friendly and not overly indulgent attitude. It’s okay to fulfill most of your child’s requests, but when they ask for something that can’t be granted immediately or isn’t suitable, try offering an alternative. This can be a great way to curb stubbornness.

Avoid Comparisons and Unequal Treatment.

Comparing a child to their siblings or not treating them equally can also contribute to stubborn behavior. Children who feel they are not being treated fairly may experience a lack of self-esteem and become stubborn.


When a child think they are being treated unfairly, it’s essential not to overemphasize the issue and to avoid giving them undue importance. Instead, have a calm discussion with the child to understand the reasons behind their stubbornness. Don’t impose strictness on them; instead, try to address their concerns and build healthy self-esteem. InshaAllah, this approach will help them overcome stubbornness.

Encouraging Independence and Decision-Making.

Sometimes, a child’s stubbornness arises from a desire for independence. They may want to make their own decisions and assert themselves. Encouraging their independence in a controlled and constructive manner can help mitigate stubbornness.


You can provide choices within limits to make them feel like they have control. For example, instead of telling them what to wear, you can offer two outfits to choose from. This empowers them while keeping them within acceptable boundaries.

Consistency and Setting Expectations.

Children flourish on schedule and know what to anticipate.

Inconsistent parenting or a lack of clearly defined boundaries can lead to stubbornness as children become uncertain about the rules.

Cultivating Cooperation in Stubborn Children.


Establish consistent rules and expectations in your household. Make sure both parents or caregivers are on the same page regarding discipline and boundaries. This consistency helps children understand what is expected of them and reduces the chances of them becoming stubborn.

In conclusion, raising children is a delicate art. By recognizing the signs and understanding the underlying causes of stubbornness, parents can effectively navigate this phase and guide their children toward becoming more responsible and cooperative individuals. Remember, children aren’t born stubborn; it’s a behavior that can be shaped with the right guidance and support.

Cultivating cooperation and understanding the unique needs and personality of your child will help build a stronger parent-child bond and nurture positive change that will benefit them throughout their lives.

1. What are the signs of a stubborn child?

Signs of a stubborn child may include crying loudly for attention, stomping feet, hitting walls or objects, displaying disrespect towards adults, biting or using teeth aggressively, and breaking toys or belongings.

2. Is stubbornness innate in young children?

No, stubbornness is not innate in young children. It is a behavior that can be changed and is often influenced by various factors in their environment and upbringing.

3. How can parents address and change stubborn behavior in children?
  • Avoid unnecessary prohibitions and explain potential harm or consequences.
  • Avoid unjust scolding and encourage a child-friendly environment.
  • Be cautious about fulfilling unnecessary desires and provide alternatives.
  • Avoid comparisons and unequal treatment among siblings.
  • Encourage independence and decision-making in a controlled manner.
  • Establish consistency and set clear expectations in parenting.
4. Why do children become stubborn when told not to do something repeatedly?

Children may become stubborn when repeatedly told not to do something because constant prohibition without explanation can lead to frustration. Instead, explaining the potential harm or consequences helps them develop a sense of caution.

5. How does excessive scolding contribute to stubbornness in children?

Excessive scolding can contribute to stubbornness by creating a negative environment. Encouraging a child-friendly atmosphere and explaining the consequences of their actions can be more effective.

6. Can fulfilling unnecessary desires contribute to a child’s stubbornness?

Yes, excessive indulgence and fulfilling every desire of a child can contribute to stubbornness, as they may become indifferent or stubborn when they feel someone else is getting more attention.

7. How can parents constructively encourage independence?

Parents can encourage independence by providing choices within limits. For example, offering two outfit options for the child to choose from empowers them while maintaining acceptable boundaries.

8. How does inconsistency in parenting contribute to stubbornness in children?

Inconsistent parenting or a lack of clearly defined boundaries can lead to stubbornness, as children become uncertain about the rules. Establishing consistent rules and expectations helps reduce stubborn behavior.

9. Can comparing a child to their siblings contribute to stubbornness?

Yes, comparing a child to their siblings or not treating them equally can contribute to stubborn behavior. It may lead to a lack of self-esteem, and addressing the child’s concerns calmly is essential.

10. How important is building a consistent parent-child bond in addressing stubbornness?

Building a consistent parent-child bond is crucial in addressing stubbornness. Understanding the unique needs and personality of the child, along with consistent parenting, helps guide them toward positive change and cooperation.

In conclusion, addressing and changing stubborn behavior in children involves understanding the underlying causes and adopting positive parenting strategies. By cultivating cooperation, encouraging independence, and maintaining a consistent and supportive environment, parents can effectively guide their children toward positive growth.

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