A strong willed child is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they are decisive, confident, and able to articulate their opinions in an intelligent manner with ease. However, these traits can also be negative qualities when it comes to peaceful parenting. A strong willed child may have little regard for authority or rules before being given justification for them in order to follow them. He might not want to do what you tell him without the necessity of that particular task.
Strong willed children are persistent individuals, and once their thoughts are set on an action, it is a huge struggle to divert their attention. As any parent or caregiver knows, dealing with a strong willed child is never easy.
The Struggles Of Parenting A Strong Willed Child
Parenting a spirited child is a challenge in every respect. However, the biggest issue that a parent of a strong-willed child may face is in the area of discipline. A spirited child has to be instructed time and again about certain things.
They also tend to be very independent and don’t think about any consequences of their actions. They can get into dangerous situations that could harm them or others unless the parent or caregiver is constantly alert to their actions. For instance, they might decide to jump into the swimming pool if no one tells them not to do so, which can lead to accidents like drowning if an adult present does not take proper safety measures at the time of occurrence.
Reasons Why Your Child Is so Strong Willed
A spirited child has its roots in a child’s temperament. Temperament is a general term for makeup a person’s energy and desire to behave in certain ways. Spirited children tend to have what is known as “inhibited temperament.” It means that temperament goes unexpressed, and events such as crying, tantrums, arguing, and even screaming to be heard are very common among them.
On the other hand, there are also “uninhibited” temperament types. These individuals tend to express their emotions more freely and may even become the loudmouth type that ignores others talking in order to get their point across.
Temperamental difficulties such as these often lead to behavior problems in later years. That is why many strong-willed children exhibit extreme temper tantrums or other similar behaviors at a very young age. High reactivity means that a strong-willed kid’s emotions are stronger than other kids’. In addition, they also have a difficult time controlling their feelings because of underdeveloped emotional regulation skills. As a result, kids are likely to act out when facing difficult times.
Strong-willed child needs to know the tools and ways to deal with temper tantrums.
A strong-willed temperament is likely associated with negative behavior later in life. These strong willed children have a more challenging time adapting to some transitions. They have stronger persistence and moods fluctuations when they want to try everything for themselves.
Having a strong willed child indeed brought a lot of challenges when it comes to parenting due to their unbelievable persistence. Still, the same temperament traits that lead to struggles also have a host of benefits.
The Advantages of Being a Strong Willed Child
- Strong Willed Child Is Less Likely To Give in To Peer Pressure – A child’s will to act on his own is one of the most powerful forces that he may possess. So it is safe to say that strong, willful children are less likely to give in their desires or opinions to what others might be saying or doing. Strong-willed children are more likely to decide to do something on their own, without any influence from others.
- Strong Willed Child’s Persistence and Spirited Nature Are Key – Strong Willed child’s persistence can also be attributed to their spirited nature. They have a strong will to stand up for what they believe, even if it means being contrary to the group. Being stubborn can sometimes become a great strength, especially in leadership roles where one has to control others through the use of force rather than through persuasion.
- Strong Willed Child Is More Successful – Strong willed children are willing to take risks. They are more likely to take up the challenge of learning new skills or trying out new activities that other children wouldn’t take up because they would be afraid of failing. The same qualities that cause them to have difficulty following rules can also lead them to persist in pursuing their goals until success.
- Strong Willed Child Responds Better To Environmental Influence – Strong willed children are very perceptive to their surroundings. They are more likely to follow the rules if they are convinced that the rules have a purpose in serving their welfare. For example, if you tell them not to play with matches because it is dangerous, they would more likely understand why you made that rule. They need reasons for things so they can follow instructions better.
Parenting A Strong Willed Child
Parenting a strong willed child can be challenging at times. However, they need direction and guidance to keep them on the right track. It is not necessary that having a strong willed child means that you are doing something wrong. However, it is good to know about their traits to direct them in life better. A strong willed child needs your love and cares more than any other person in this world.
Unlike any other kid, strong willed children can be unique. They don’t like to be told what they need to do as their own will guides them. So, demanding obedience from them can be quite futile. So, instead, focus on building a trusting relationship, nurturing emotional regulation, and encouraging your kid to develop social skills and self-discipline.
Baby Steps Daycare knows how challenging it is to raise a strong willed child. However, when the right techniques are infused into your child’s development, they can lead to big rewards.
5 Effective Ways for Parenting a Strong Willed Child
1. Provide Your Kid Space To Learn
Strong willed children are more likely to do things independently and prefer to solve problems by coming up with solutions. Setting clear and short expectations and rules can help them to follow those rules. If you want them to follow the rule, make it as simple as possible so they can easily understand it. Also, encourage your kids to participate in group activities as it will be best if they listen to what other people say.
2. Attending To Your Kid’s Behavior
Strong willed children are sensitive to their environment and might pick up a certain behavior from another person. It leads to them acting out the same way as the other person, making it difficult for parents to identify what they need. Suppose you want your child to be more cooperative and less stubborn. Try speaking patiently to him whenever you notice that he is acting out or rebelling. Also, avoid reprimanding him directly as it might make him feel that he does not control his actions. You can praise him for whatever good things he has done.
3. Reward Your Kid
Strong willed children are persistent. It is because they can sense if you are lenient with them. If you want your child to do something, reward him only when performing the task you wanted him to do. Give your kid positive attention and praise, reward, or recognition for his good behavior, and this will motivate him to do more of the same.
4. Choose Your Battles
When disciplining your kids to focus on the worst behaviors first and work your way as behaviors change. Knowing to discipline your kid selectively will boost his cooperation. Whereas punishing your kid may undermine his will to protect his warm connection with you. Choose your battles to parent effectively and avoid a constant power struggle.
5. Effective Positive Parenting
Positive parenting includes offering your kid empathy and respect that will help your kid feel understood. Communicating that you understand why something is essential and providing compromise can allow him to feel in control. In addition, you can use inductive reasoning to help him adopt appropriate behavior.
Strong willed children may be the hardest to control as they will not follow your directions. They might be stubborn and difficult to tame. However, you can still use discipline and encourage them to pay more attention to your requests and give them more freedom during some times. You can also consider using the tips mentioned in this article to help you become a better parent. It is also important to nurture their natural strengths, such as their love for learning, as it can help them grow into respectable people.