The success of the stubborn child
“Strong willed, spirited, headstrong.”
Some parents wince at these descriptions as this often means more arguments and a power struggle between parent and child. But these same attributes that make it difficult for you to negotiate and make changes with your child, can actually set them up for success with whatever they set their mind on.
The trick is just getting them convinced to be stubborn with something you support. Most families find it easier to make sustainable changes outside the home, at a place like Summerland where there are positive outside adult influences and supportive peer pressure.
Don’t underestimate the power of the group.
The way to change a teenager is best through other teenagers. Just consider how your teenager talks, what music they listen to, the social media or games they play, and what activities they like to do. Chances are, other teens had a strong influence.
Some behavioral experts suggest that it takes a minimum of 21 days to make a sustainable change, and most stubborn children will need all 3 weeks to be convinced that the change is worth it and to see a positive outcome. Once they pass that hurdle they will typically be 100% on board and find new routines that help them stay on their path, like journaling or self-monitoring.
When Liabilities become Assets
Families that have teens who possess the strongest resistance to change may actually find their child returns home on a new mission to convert friends and family members to their new lifestyle. It’s the same “stubbornness” that held your child back that can actually help them become successful. The trick is to create a rest opportunity like at Summerland and have your child walk the path of success for a while to jump-start the process.
If you find yourself in a battle to institute change with your strong-willed child don’t despair and don’t give up!
At Summerland, we help young people redirect their stubbornness towards a positive healthy behavior.
Director of Social Media