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I have a 5-year-old, opinionated, stubborn daughter. Stubbornness reflects strong character in a way, but it also makes her difficult to teach. When learning how to count, at times she would just say she wants to do it her way and count with jumbled-up numbers. Today, when I tried to correct her spelling “cat” instead of “atc” she screamed and said she wanted to do herself. I can only get her to listen when I’m strict, and I mean scary strict for a 5-year old. I don’t like that. How long will this attitude last? Do I need to change something so that she would be open to listening?
You are right about stubbornness being both a curse and a blessing. You have a strong-willed child, which could become an advantage in her older years, as she will be less easy to intimidate, cheat, or trick. However, stubbornness is not a phase. Children will change as they age, but don’t hold your breath waiting for your daughter to become less stubborn. This not just a problem with stubbornness. The very fact that she screams at you and rejects your instructions suggests you are dealing with rebellion, and possibly a spoiled child.
In response, you must become more creative – and more strict and consistent in your discipline.
I don’t know what you mean by “scary strict,” and you certainly don’t want to cross the line into abusive behavior. But your job as a mother is to lead your daughter in the right way to live. Some children require more draconian discipline than others. One of my sons simply will not listen to advice from others. In an attempt to change his conduct, my wife and I have gotten very strict with him. It’s difficult sometimes, but I’ll do what it takes to keep him on the right path. My other son requires a lot less discipline, so he receives less.
Only you know how strict you need to become. But if your daughter vehemently argues in favor of something that is provably incorrect, you can’t just let the matter pass. Sometimes you need to allow a child to prove herself wrong so that she learns a lesson from it. Unfortunately, that strategy has enough downsides that you don’t want to use it very often. You also need to demand that your daughter not be disrespectful.
Your daughter is not pontificating about politics or economics here. The domestic feline is spelled “cat,” not “atc.” That’s not up for debate, and you need to let your daughter know that. She won’t like it. She’ll almost certainly complain. She might fight and she might cry. But you do her no favors by allowing her stubbornness to lead her to foolish errors of fact.
Realize that your daughter’s future teachers will not put up with such conduct. She’ll earn bad grades in both the subjects and conduct unless you address these issues now.
Is it rude of me to ask my exterminator to take his shoes off before spraying inside the house?
We burn wood and track in a lot of bugs, and last winter my infant son received two spider bites. The exterminator comes once a month, but every time he gets muddy footprints all over the floor. My husband says not to ask because he probably doesn’t want to go barefoot in a stranger’s house.
Your question would not be rude, but it would not be practical. Don’t expect an exterminator to do his job without shoes. He works with hazardous chemicals, and an issue with his equipment would expose his feet to far higher dosages than you’ll face living in the house after the fact.
However, you do have a right to expect any serviceman not to leave footprints on your floor. You can ask him to wear shoe protection, or to clean his shoes before he enters the house. Give him a rag and some water to do the job, or offer to let him use your hose. Suggest this idea to your husband and get his input.
The exterminator may feel put out, but a professional will do as you request, then come in and tackle the job. If he becomes indignant over such a request, consider whether this is the kind of man you want traipsing around in your home.
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