“I can do it myseeeellfff!”
There is not a mother in the world who hasn’t heard exactly that screamed at the top of the lungs of a rough-and-tumble, stubborn-as-all-get-out, sassy 2, 3, or 4 year old. Trust me, I’ve had eight of my own at that age plus multiple others during my child-care days who screamed, whined, whimpered, etc. those very same words.
Eight times over, all I heard during the toddler years was:
“I can do it myself!”
“You put my shoe on and I wanted to do it!”
“No I don’t want to share!”
“It’s mine and I want it back!”
And so much more…always followed with a complete meltdown or all-out attack on the person in the path of the wrath….whoever it’s aimed at. Some children are definitely more adamant than others and do NOT give up until whatever was done to start the meltdown is corrected and he/she says his/her piece about the situation at hand.
Oh, but that’s not all…
No, no, no, no sir-eeee…..
Stubbornness comes in all shapes and sizes, can pick and choose which situations to apply itself to (maybe none, maybe some, maybe all–who knows), and can come out of nowhere. A child who seems so calm and happy one minute can exert his/her will in the very next instance and not bat an eyelash.
Do they outgrow it?
Yeah….not so much.
It just gets worse!
As with most personality and physical traits, children get that stubborn trait honestly. You can bet that one or both parents has a stubborn streak that gets applied to their life situations at least once daily…maybe a bit of an over-reach, but who knows.
And my husband!
It’s a draw who the more stubborn is…..ehh, maybe not. He’s probably more stubborn 🙂
During situations in which my stubbornness begins to shine, I often wonder what the heck I am being so stubborn about. And sometimes, it’s that devil-may-care attitude that implies “because I can.”
Most of the time, though, when my stubbornness comes to the surface it’s because I am defending my opinion or belief. Through my own bouts of stubbornness and through dealing with my husbands’ stubborn tendencies, I have learned that you can’t change someone’s opinion. Each individual has his/her opinions that are based on their upbringing, their experiences, and their educational studies. It’s not very likely that you will be able to sway someone’s opinion on a subject.
However, there are ways to soften the blow. For instance, rather than try to change someone’s way of thinking, simply try to understand the reasoning behind it. Refrain from trying to insist that your own opinion is correct and the other person’s is not. Everyone has a point, no matter how small so turn on your listening ears and turn off your motor mouth.
And no, it’s not easy to do! People are insistent on their way of thinking.
Stubbornness can actually be a very admirable trait. It gives people drive: drive to try, drive to either succeed or fail, drive to not give up.
So the next time your unreasonable toddler is being stubborn, let her/him rip. Give the child space to grow, to challenge, to learn.
As they say, Edison didn’t fail 10,000 times when creating the light bulb, he brilliantly found 10,000 ways it wouldn’t work. He only needed one way that would.
And look, that stubbornness eventually paid off. Every home in the US has the very creation he didn’t fail at 10,000 times, a light bulb in every room!