How to Win Over Stubborn Children
Read our tips for dealing with stubborn behavior (Hint: All it takes is a little reverse psychology to get an obstinate kid to see things your way.) Plus, get more discipline tips.
The power struggle: Your little fashionista pushes to wear clothes that you think look silly or are inappropriate for the weather, not to mention continually changing outfits in the time-pressed morning.
Clean out the closet. First off, having too many clothes adds fuel to the fire here. If your child's closet is bulging, parenting educator Sharon Silver suggests rotating an assortment of clothes every few weeks (move the extras into bins out of sight) or simply putting away out-of-season items. If there's anything in your child's closet that you consider inappropriate (too-tight pants, ripped or stained shirts, fuzzy boots in summer), you're the parent: Remove them. Argument over.
Pick your battles. Every evening before bed, narrow down your child's clothing options to two or three ensembles from which she can choose for the next day. But remember: Allowing your kid to make the final decision is still important. “Like adults, kids feel more comfortable all day long if they are wearing clothes that feel and fit them right for that particular day,” says Silver. Another sneaky secret: laying out the complete outfit the night before, to head off manic morning battles.
Ignore the weather. As for the coat conundrum, “Just let it go,” says Silver. If your child doesn't want to wear a jacket, “Stay quiet, then listen for the chattering teeth in the backseat or while you're walking,” she says. You could also let your kid either carry it or put it in her backpack just in case (again, two choices you're fine with). Sneaky parents let strong-willed kids learn the value of outerwear on their own, because that's usually how they learn best.