Do you have a strong willed child like I do? While I’m not a parenting expert, there are some things I do in my daily life that helps me parent my strong-willed child, and maybe it can help you too.
What do I mean when I say “strong willed child?”
A strong-willed child, for better or worse, has a strong feeling of independence. While this might show as confidence, self-assurance, and determination, it also implies stubbornness, difficult behavior, and poor listening skills.
Strong-willed children are stubborn individuals, and once their mind is set on an activity or habit, it can be difficult to distract their attention. Dealing with these strong-willed toddler qualities is not easy, as any parent or teacher knows.
Why Are Kids Strong Willed In The First Place?
The temperament of a kid is the source of strong-willed behavior. Temperament is the set of natural preferences, characteristics, and behavioral styles that you are born with.
Early temperament issues are connected with subsequent behavioral challenges, and spirited children have stronger reactivity, more trouble adapting to changes, inconsistency with moods, and are more persistent when they want things their way.
While temperament is a factor, it is the combination between a children’s temperament and their surroundings that causes behavioral issues.
Because parents are weary or angry, a strong-willed children’s incredible perseverance frequently leads to their caving in.
As a result, children’s learn to push limits and whine in novel ways since it feels wonderful to have their own way. It’s all too tempting to focus on the drawbacks of having a spirited child, yet the same temperament qualities that cause problems also offer a slew of advantages.
Parenting Strategies I Use To Raise My Strong Willed Child
Pick Your Battles
Pick your battles wisely. When working through difficult behaviors,, start with the most serious/dangerous behaviors and work your way down as the behaviors improve. Using gentle phrases to calm down sad children and creating strong connections are my go to solutions for difficult behaviors.
Learning to discipline your kid carefully will increase their cooperation, but arguing and punishing your child may weaken their desire to maintain their close relationship with you.
Strong-willed children learn via experience. They don’t want to be told what to do; they want to experience it and make their own decisions.
Take this approach: unless your child is in immediate danger, let them learn some of these lessons rather than attempting to regulate their behavior.
Utilize Praise And Encouragement
A competent teacher recognizes and rewards positive behavior while correcting undesirable behavior. Simply observe your children’s behavior and praise or comment on appropriate actions.
Attending teaches you a lot about how your child interacts with the outside world. It’s a good idea to let your child know you’re paying attention to their actions. Comments like “you hung up your coat!” show your child that you are watching acceptable behavior and enhance the number of interactions you have that are not connected to discipline or instructions. I also like to use positive affirmations with my children to help them “praise” themselves…helps with self esteem.
See also: Characteristics Of A Strong Willed Child
Use Reward And Motivation
Strong-willed children respond well to being rewarded with activities they like or physical rewards such as hugs and kisses, in addition to intrinsic motivation such as praise for excellent behavior.
Choosing things that you can do together, such as playing a game, can enhance the number of pleasant interactions you have and serve as a powerful source of encouragement for future good behavior.
Use Positive Parenting
Children with strong personalities frequently struggle for respect and autonomy. You may make your child feel understood by showing them respect and sensitivity.
Communicating that you understand why something is important to them and proposing a compromise to their viewpoint could be an excellent technique for giving the child a sense of control. Inductive reasoning can also assist them in adopting more suitable behavior.
Implementing proper time-ins and time-outs will also teach your child that acceptable behavior is rewarded.
Overall, establishing a connection that clearly defines boundaries while still allowing for flexibility and consideration of your children’s needs creates healthy parental relationships.
Benefits to Being A Strong-Willed Person
- The sky is the limit for a child who learns to harness their perseverance and tenacity. Strong-willed children spend more time problem solving than their peers, and it is that unwavering will and lofty spirit that brings the world great leaders, thinkers, and inventors.
- They are more inclined to adhere to their own set of beliefs and are less likely to succumb to peer pressure.
- According to research, a willful child is more likely to succeed in adulthood than their classmates.
- Children with challenging temperaments are more differentially responsive to positive changes in parenting than other children, which means they respond favourably to treatments and good parenting techniques.
- They educate us: Their resolve and methods of connecting with their environments provide a wealth of lessons for everyone concerned. They are continuously challenging us to halt, think, and redirect our perceptions of the world.
Is Your Child Strong Willed or Spoiled?
I really don’t like labelling children, but sometimes kids can act spoiled and this does not mean they are strong willed. All kids will test their waters, not just strong willed children. So how do you tell if your child is just having an attitude or are the strong willed?
Truly strong willed children are a “handful”, all the time. They require you to be consistent and firm (and loving!) all the time.
A child who can be easy going sometimes and acting defiant at other times is most likely not naturally strong willed. Strong willed kids need much more connection and correction than the average child. Here are some other characteristics of a strong willed child:
- Persistence: They’ll stick to anything they desire, whether it’s favourable or negative. They will work hard, work quickly, and endeavour to enact their goals firmly and enthusiastically, if not aggressively. If they aren’t extremely persistent but will throw a large tantrum in reaction to one of your limits, that doesn’t mean they are strong willed; it just means they are vehemently opposed to your present request.
- They Will Demand A Reason: Even though it doesn’t seem essential or reasonable to you, your strong-willed youngster has a reason for refusing your instruction if you dig deeper and ask the proper questions.
- They Are Fast: Strong-willed children excel in a variety of tasks, and do them quickly. They frequently arrive early, speak rapidly, and strive to get things forward swiftly. They can drag their feet for a million years if you ask them to do something they don’t want to do. They are swift and rapid when it suits them.
- They Demand Limits: Some kids are more adaptable, laidback, and willing to go with the flow. You won’t have to stick to a fixed schedule with them, and you’ll be able to be much more spontaneous. This is not typical of strong-willed youngsters. They will be so insistent in expressing their own will and wishes that you will be obliged to set and enforce boundaries.
If You Have A Strong willed Child – You’re Not Alone
One of the most difficult aspects of raising a strong-willed child is that they are incredibly tenacious in their objectives and are resistant to being diverted. They are passionate individuals that frequently live at full speed, which can make bedtime a huge struggle.
The everyday power struggles and fights that come with parenting strong-willed children sometimes leave parents angry and exhausted.
Fortunately, there are several successful behavioral modification techniques available for these children, and by taking the time to better understand the variables that contribute to strong-willed behavior, parents could better adopt beneficial ways of dealing with it.
Questions Parents Have About Strong Willed Children
Is A Strong Willed Child “Bad”
No, a strong willed child is not “bad”. A strong willed child is simply one that is determined to know everything they can about something and do everything they can in any situation. It’s really a blessing to have a strong willed child.
Is Having A Strong Willed Child A Good Thing?
Yes, according to therapists, having a strong willed child is a good thing (source).
Are strong willed kids smart?
Being strong willed does not make one “smart” however strong willed children to tend to absorb more information on any given subject which interests them more so than the average child. Strong willed kids are natural born leaders and are highly empathetic.
Are strong willed people successful?
Strong willed people are usually more successful according to the National Library of Medicine.
Are You Ready To Be The Best Parent You can Be To Your Strong Willed child?
When you have a stubborn child, it might be difficult to choose successful parenting approaches. While it may appear that imposing an authoritative manner on the child and demanding respect is useful, this is not the case.
Although yelling at your child could be an effective way to temporarily stop behavior, it is also negatively reinforcing your behavior, which means that the more you yell at your child, the more likely you will feel like doing it in the future, which is ultimately harmful to your relationship and their development.
When a child has behavioral issues, it is all too tempting to over-discipline him or her. This might appear like a never-ending stream of punishment, eventually leading to worse emotional control and greater behavioral issues in the future.
Early experiences affect subsequent behavior in children with temperamental issues, therefore it is critical to discover effective strategies to work with your children’s temperament.
Strong-willed children’s dislike being told what to do; instead, they are largely governed by their own free will. As a result, attempting to elicit compliance from a strong-willed child might be a fruitless endeavour. Instead, focus on supporting your children’s emotional control, developing a trusting connection, establishing confidence, and fostering self-discipline and social responsibility.
If your child feels that you desire what is best for them, they will be more likely to follow your advice. There will be many tests along the road that will stretch your boundaries, but you can both learn to work together in a way that brings out your children’s great characteristics while reducing undesirable behaviors.