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Why has my daughter become stubborn?

Q: My two years eight months old daughter is a happy child as long as she is allowed to do things of her choice. However, if asked to stop doing something she starts shouting continuously. Many a times she gets stubborn. When we deal with her patiently she ignores us and does not pay attention to what we say and does whatever she wishes to. She does not concentrate on anything - from playing with toys to reading a book. She tries to do it all her way. Toys, puzzles and games do make her happy but she rarely has the patience to play with them. All she likes is to store them. She is otherwise a healthy child and she has turned this way only after the birth of our second child two months back. She is quite moody and listens to us only when she is in the mood, or else shouts. How should we handle her?

A:The birth of a sibling is usually a difficult experience for the first child. As you mention that there are no associated symptoms and the child is following a normal course of development and that this situation has worsened since the birth of the second child, we can safely assume that your child requires attention and structure.

You and your partner can give her a lot of time, play with her in a spontaneous manner, and attend to her needs with happiness and positive expression. Along with this you can lay down some very basic behavioral do and dont's. When she accomplishes something you want her to do reward her with small treats, gifts and lots of love and praise. Eventually wean off the gifts and continue to be encouraging. The time that you give her should not be shared with the other child, at that time your focus has to be on her alone.


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