Lately I have realized that it doesn’t matter how old your child is that they can still stand their stubborn ground. It can be exhausting and time consuming depending on the situation but as long as you stand your ground they will learn, eventually.
Just a few days ago my children had a day off of school. I knew all week long that I wanted to take them somewhere and try to enjoy the last few days we may have left in Ohio for the year. I found this cool little farm that we had never been to before and decided to take them there. My oldest daughter who is 14 going on 20, was not hip to the idea of a dorky family outing with mom to the farm. She likes to think she is just way too cool to hang out with me and her younger siblings. That morning I told them after we finished lunch and the little amount of chores that needed done around the house that we would be leaving. This would give her a couple hours to digest the idea of going with us because I was not giving her the choice to opt out of it this time. I like spending time with her even when she’s grouchy about it.
When it came time to leave everyone was ready except her, so typical, the younger kids and I were waiting patiently in the car for her to join us. Finally after about ten minutes she came out and got in the car, immediately put on her headphones and was not happy because I forced her to join us, it was a bit of an argument, but she finally gave up and listened. When we got there she changed her tune, she had a blast and was laughing, acting like the fun little girl I know she is. I am so happy I stood my ground and made her go. After wards we were laughing together about how she tries to be “too cool” to have fun with her family and she always ends up loving it.
Then about two days later during morning rush hour in our house (what I like to call before school time) my youngest son, 6 years old, was fighting me tooth and nail to not get ready for school. He wanted to stay in his pajamas and play video games instead of getting ready. I was frustrated but kept on like usual. I had to monitor him while he was getting dressed because he was just wasting time and the bus was going to be at our house in about 15 minutes. I made him breakfast and he refused to eat. So I made sure to pack him a little bit of an extra snack for the day because I knew he would get hungry. Then I repeatedly told him to brush his teeth, I tried to do it for him but he wouldn’t open his mouth, the bus was going to be at our house any minute. I was getting his twin sister ready and packing lunches and backpacks so I assumed he could manage this small task. No, he didn’t and he gave me a very hard time. Then the bus pulled up and off he went to school without breakfast or brushed teeth. He came home so happy to see me like always, brushed his teeth immediately and he felt bad for not behaving in the morning but I didn’t cater to his stubbornness and he learned that I don’t back down.
That’s how they learn I suppose.