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Stubborn & Aggressive Child
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My daughter goes to a nursery, but cannot speak well. She can speak a few sentences, but he cannot pronounce some words. When I try to correct her, she doesn't pay attention. Every morning, she cries when I try to send him to school. She is also very figitive in school and also does not pay attention to whatever is taught.

Sanjana (Banglore, India)

A: Your child is too young. She has to learn the ways of the world. Playing is her right. If she doesn't play at this age, when will she? Leave her alone. Don't force her to devote a lot of time to studies.

Q: My daughter is very stubborn and aggressive. At such a young age, she has a bad temper. She keeps arguing with everyone at home including her elders and also fight with her elder sister. I don't get to devote enough time to her as I am working. Hence, I have kept a maid specially for her. Otherwise, she is very good in studies, but hates to do her homework.

Swati (London, U.K)

A: I can understand how you feel about your daughter. I am sure you are doing everything to help her. It is good to know that she is doing well in her schools and she is not having any physical problems. That clearly means she can concentrate at school and likes her school more than home. So, the main problem is at home. Perhaps she doesn't like to be left with maid. I know you are a working woman and don't have a choice, but she deserves some time to herself. You should listen to her more. Why don't you enrol her in an activity like dancing, singing or painting, so she can be on her own till you come and pick her up? Ask her what she wants to do. Don't force her to do anything. Spend time with her on the weekends. Never spank her. It will only make things worse. If she loses confidence in you, you won't be able to approach her. Be kind and understanding. All this frustration shows that she gets bored sitting with maid. Try to divert her attention by involving her in creative activities. Be more appreciative of her. Positive reinforcement like offering to take her if she agrees to behave in a certain manner, will also make things better. When she is angry, don't yell back. Don't impose your orders on her. Always take her opinion. Show her a lot of support and love.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: My son goes to a playschool. The problem is that he cries a lot and is extremely stubborn. He does not get purturbed by my scoldings. How should I handle him so that he becomes less stubborn?

Aprita (Detroit, USA)

A: Your child is too young to be disciplined. Let him grow up naturally.

Q: My daughter is very aggressive and stubborn. I cannot teach her anything, because she is simply not ready to learn. I don't know how to deal with her. I have not yet been able to toilet train her, nor can I stop her thumb sucking. What should I do?

Menka (Noida, India)

A: The information you have provided is too inadequate to find a solution. Does your child throw tantrums? Is she hyperactive? Does she have concentration problems? She may have what is called an Attention Deficit Disorder, or she could be simply having some behavioural issues. She is too young. Do not force her to do anything. Each person is different. Try to talk to her calmly. Offering rewards and presents if she agrees to listen to you might help. Do not punish her - it will only make things worse. You could consult a Paediatric Psychiatrist for a detailed evaluation depending on how bad you feel the situation is.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: My son is very active and friendly, but has started becoming stubborn. When he gets angry he starts throwing things. He is also becoming very aggressive. I don't know how to handle the situation.

Sushma (New York, U.S.A.)

A: Your child is just learning the ways of the world. Be little patient and gently discipline him. He will be okay in a few months time. Sometimes it's best to ignore your child when he is playing up. He is probably just seeking your attention.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My duaghter is very stubborn, aggressive and loud in her behaviour. Whenever I try to discipline her, she never listens. What could be the reason?

Madhuri (Patna, India)

A: As children get older their level of energy increases dramatically. They are interested in doing a lot of things that their adults do but are unable to do so because they cannot express themselves. What you should try and do is channelize her energies into games and other stimulating activities that will keep her gainfully occupied. In addition, children are always seeking attention from their parents. They will try to do so either with positive behaviour or with negative behaviour. If she thinks she is getting your attention with her negative behaviour, she will continue it. What you should do in this case is to spend more time with her so that she feels she is getting enough attention, and simultaneously start giving greater attention and praise to her positive behaviour.

Q: My four year son is very stubborn and does not listen to me. He troubles me in eating food, and almost everything. How can I stop or correct this behavious of his.

Archana (Nasik, India)

A: Children have a habit of seeking attention either through positive or through negative behaviour. If parents pay attention to the negative behaviour, then the child will continue to use this tactic to gain attention and the probability of this occurrence increases. The best thing for you to do is to ignore such negative behaviour, and sometimes even withdraw the food if your daughter is acting stubborn. Simultaneously, you should reinforce behaviour which is more positive. Highlight good activities and praise them so that it remains in the memory system, and very soon you will find that this good behaviour is repeated.

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