The Best Ways To Discipline A Strong-Willed Child

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As a mom of 3, I have dealt with strong willed personalities before and it’s not an easy task. Here are 3 ways how to discipline a strong willed child.

You don’t have to be a parenting expert or a psychologist to know that raising children is not easy. Kids test our patience and endurance on a daily basis, forcing us to think on our feet and come up with new strategies and solutions as fast as we can.

Spirited children are experiential learners and this personality type is extra difficult to parent, however they often turn out to be strong leaders, and can make good personal decisions.

You probably also know that strong-willed kids are more challenging than average; they tend to be persistent in their views, values and beliefs, which makes it difficult for parents to impose their own views on their children which leads to more power struggles and temper tantrums and other negative behaviors.

However, being strong-willed is not necessarily a bad thing; it has its advantages too such as high self-esteem and the ability to make good decisions later in life.

Strong-willed kids are independent thinkers who don’t cave into peer pressure easily.

They stand for what they believes in and are not afraid of voicing their opinions even if others may disagree or criticize them for it.

So take a deep breath and let’s go over the way you can tend to your child’s behavior and needs and help them through their big feelings.

how to discipline a strong willed child

The Challenges Of Disciplining Strong-Willed Kids

To start with, strong-willed kids are naturally inclined to resist change, which, when it comes to disciplining, can result in all kinds of issues. Don’t forget that there are things more important than discipline too.

Most parents, if not all, rely on punishment when they want to discipline their young children; they impose time-outs, take away privileges, confiscate items like toys, or take their kids’ phones away when they’ve misbehaved or broken a rule.

But these disciplinary strategies are not effective when disciplining strong-willed kids, because they don’t want to be punished for something they feel they didn’t do. They want to be acknowledged for their efforts, even if they’ve failed.

They want to know the reason why they’ve been punished so they can avoid it next time, not just receive a swift kick in the butt for no reason at all.

When you punish a strong-willed child, they don’t really see the connection between their wrongdoing and the punishment they’ve received.

They just see you as the aggressor imposing your own will on them, which is why they are likely to resent you and your disciplinary action.

The 3 Main Reasons Why Disciplining Strong-Willed Kids Is Hard

A spirited child has behavior that often looks like this:

  • They have their own strong opinions and beliefs (which can be a good thing) and probably have an idea of what they want to do in the future.
  • They have dreams and aspirations, and they don’t want to be guided away from those things. So if you try to impose your values on your strong-willed child and want them to follow your way of thinking, you are bound to find it difficult.
  • Strong-willed kids don’t want to be told what to do. They want to make their own choices, and they want to decide what’s right for them and what isn’t.

3 positive parenting techniques To Discipline Strong-Willed Children

As we’ve already discussed, to discipline a strong-willed child effectively, you have to employ different strategies than if you were disciplining a less strong-willed kid.

I like to use the positive parenting form of discipline to tend to a child’s needs and it has always worked to get good behavior from my on children even though its hard work compared to physical punishment.

Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

Listen to your child

Strong-willed kids are often very opinionated, so chances are they will want to talk a lot, especially if they’re upset about having been punished. Pay close attention to what they are saying, and try to see their point of view so you can understand where children’s behavior is coming from.

You may not agree with everything your headstrong children say or find their point of view flawed, but by listening to them, you are showing them that you care about what they have to say. This can help to strengthen your relationship with your child and lead their negative behavior into a positive direction which can be an easy positive change at home.

Set clear rules

Strong-willed kids need to know what is expected of them with clear expectations. They need to know what the rules of the house are, and they need to be held accountable for breaking those rules, and natural consequences are a great tool for this.

You can’t just let them get away with everything just because they are strong-willed. You need to set clear rules and boundaries, and you need to stick to them which is the biggest challenge.

Don’t argue

When disciplining a strong-willed child who is having a difficult time, you must avoid arguing at all costs. Strong-willed kids are persistent and have big egos, so they will argue and push back even if they know they’re wrong, which is a common trait in great leaders.

Logical consequences are effective discipline techniques and can play an important role here. Time outs can trigger a worse response from younger children which can hinder the positive relationship you want to have with your child.

You must remain calm and composed, no matter how much your child argues back or how much they try to provoke you.

Why Are Children Strong Willed

Strong willed children are also called ‘controlled’ or ‘challenging’ tantrums. It is a normal phase of childhood but can often be frustrating for parents who are trying to shape their child’s behaviour.

You should be concerned if your child is being defiant or argumentative all the time. If your child is also aggressive or disruptive in their behaviour, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

There are many reasons why children are strong willed. It could come from the way they are brought up or their temperament. A strong-willed child often has a lot of energy and needs a lot of stimulation.

These kids tend to have higher activity levels and crave more exploration and novelty. It is important to know that a strong willed child might be an introverted or extroverted individual.

Should Parents Be Concerned About Strong Willed children

A strong willed child might have an easy time expressing their needs, but that doesn’t mean that they are always in the right.

A strong willed child might have an easy time expressing their needs, but that doesn’t mean that they are always in the right. On the other hand, a parent with a strong willed child might feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells and walking a tightrope.

If both parties are unable to communicate and cooperate with each other, things might get really difficult for the whole family. If your child’s strong willed nature is causing problems for you as a parent, you should probably try to find ways to calm them down and make them more cooperative.

Benefits Of A Strong Willed Child

Strong-willed kids are persistent and determined. They are persistent in their efforts and very persistent in their goals and dreams. They don’t give up easily and have a lot of determination to succeed and achieve their goals, no matter what people say.

They have high self-esteem and self-confidence. You will see them standing up for themselves and their rights even when people try to take advantage of them or bully them. They have a strong sense of self-worth and believe in their own capabilities.

They are independent thinkers. Strong-willed kids aren’t afraid to go against the grain and express their own views and ideas. They don’t allow others to impose their own views on them.

They are action-oriented. Strong-willed kids don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what to do and what to accomplish. They know exactly what they want and how to achieve it.

The Power Of Positive Reinforcement for the parent-child relationship

If you want to make your relationship with your child better, more loving and more cooperative, you need to become more positive and make the most of positive reinforcement.

Parents usually tend to use negative reinforcement when disciplining their children. They try to scare their children into compliance by scolding them, yelling at them and punishing them. This is a very negative way of disciplining your child, and it will make them feel resentful and annoyed with you.

Instead of being negative and saying things like ‘you did a bad thing’, you should use positive reinforcement. You should praise your child for doing positive things and making positive choices. You should praise your child when they do something good, but don’t praise them when they do something bad.

You should let your child know that they have done something wrong. Reward and praise your child when they do something good and helpful. Doing this can make your child feel great about themselves and love being around you.


Disciplining a strong-willed child can be challenging, but it’s essential to help them develop important life skills and become a well-rounded individual.

The best way to approach this is to understand that these children have a strong personality and may not be easily swayed. It’s important to remember that they are not trying to be difficult, they just have a strong sense of individuality and are trying to assert their independence.

The most important thing is to focus on the best interests of the child and to find the right balance between discipline and support. This can be done through effective communication and setting clear expectations for behavior.

It’s crucial to be a strong leader and not give in to the child’s will. It’s also essential to understand that disciplining a strong-willed child takes much time and patience, and it’s important to be consistent in your approach. In addition to setting clear boundaries, wise parents can also provide positive reinforcement for good behavior and provide constructive feedback for inappropriate behavior.

A team effort from family members can also help create a supportive environment for the child. Overall, the best thing is to find a balance between discipline and support, and to nurture the child’s natural leadership skills.

Discover the best approach to discipline a strong-willed child with this guide! As a parent, it's important to find the right balance between enforcing rules and allowing independence. By understanding your child's strong personality traits, you can effectively discipline while teaching important life skills. Learn creative ways to navigate the battle of wills, set clear boundaries, and provide a positive example. Empower your child to take charge of their activities and build their leadership skills. Get your strong-willed child on the right path with this must-read guide for parents!

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