Often when children are being stubborn and/or negative, parents can feel helpless, and feel as if their child has ‘won’, and they have ‘lost’. In this article Children with Autism: How to Handle Stubbornness and Negativity, I found great tips that give parents useful options.
I might add Tip #5 Keep the relationship positive and the communication channel open by verbally repeating everything the child says and showing him validation and acceptance. It worked wonders with one particular speech therapy client recently.
I repeated everything he said he did not want to do, using his exact words, in a soothing and empathetic tone of voice.”It’s alright you don’t want to sit at the table.” “It’s fine you don’t want to get your bag.” I gave him the time and emotional space to experience ‘owning’ the ability to have a say in what he wanted to do.
He was probably used to people either immediately attempting to get him to ‘do it my way’ and setting up a power struggle situation. By not presenting anything for him to resist against, he was able to really listen when I later talked about other issues, and he actually took up the conversation and we could engage. As mentioned in the article, empathy is important.
Refer to the full article here.