Are you looking at the other children that seem to be so easygoing and easy to parent, and you wish you would know how to deal with your strong-willed child more effectively? Or you are a parent of more than one child, and your kids are so different. One is easy to parent, and the other is making you question yourself as it feels so hard to parent this difficult child.
Your child leaves you exhausted, challenged, and frustrated. Parenting can be an exhausting job on the best of days and can truly feel grueling on the hard days. When you have the additional responsibility of raising a strong-willed child, you will feel the limits of your patience being tested a lot.
“A strong-willed child, more than anyone else, needs to learn to use emotion and discussion to resolve issues. That’s the last child in the whole world you want to hit. ”
Strong-willed children are often misunderstood.
Your child may be perceived as explosive, disobedient, disrespectful, or ungrateful. As a parent of a strong-willed and spirited child, it’s helpful to understand that they are not doing these things on purpose. They rather have a different perspective than the people around them. They are often misunderstood by adults who don’t know how to handle them.
Characteristics of a strong-willed child
As a mom of a strong-willed child, I know it’s easy to get lost in the thoughts that they are often very loud, stubborn, explosive, and such a challenge to raise. However, these children also have many positive character traits that should not be overlooked.
As adults, we value them as great leaders, they are usually very creative and intelligent, and they know what they want and don’t want. They also have a strong sense of justice which makes them excellent at taking care of things before adults realize it.
Strong-willed kids are spirited, determined, and courageous. However, as a parent, some of your child’s traits are a hard pill to swallow on some days, and on other days they may plainly drive you crazy! Let’s look at their common characteristics when you deal with a strong-willed child.
Irrational and intense outburst
You may find that your strong-willed child is prone to irrational and intense outbursts of anger. Their frustration tolerance is very low, and they can blow over the tiniest things in a way that feels like a freight train running over you.
Strong-willed kids can have their own strong opinion, and when they have made up their minds, they stand their ground. However, due to their stubbornness, you may find yourself regularly in power struggles because you can’t find common ground.
You might find your strong-willed child has the desire that the world should revolve solely around their ideas and how things should be. If they have made up their mind on how something should work, they stand up for it and don’t shy away to voice it vigilantly.
A strong willed child with glasses is looking bossy
We all know how hard waiting can be, and we get easily impatient when our kids don’t leave the house as quickly we want them. We all know how frustrating waiting can be. As your strong-willed child is easily frustrated, impatience can become their middle name.
Independent Thinker that doesn’t want to comply
They test your boundaries and limits a lot because your child may need to experience things for themselves. Strong-willed children want to make their own mistakes rather than take the word of others. That’s why it’s hard for your to get them to comply with logic, rewards, or even harsh discipline.
The first that says no and the last one who says yes
These children are usually the first to say no and the last to say yes as they have a strong sense of independence. Their defiance is often seen as a challenge by other children, making it hard for them to make friends or play with others their age. However, you need to understand that this trait can indicate a healthy sense of self in your child. A person with a strong sense of self will not be easily swayed by others but instead, rely on their own strengths to get what they want.
Having a strong-willed child is a gift (even when it doesn’t feel this way)! When we shift our view of these frustrating traits, we begin to see that
Bossiness is actually developing leadership skills.
Stubbornness translates to perseverance and determination to achieve their goals.
Asking endless questions while sometimes frustrating, is maybe what they need to better understand the rules and the boundaries that exist to keep them safe and happy.
If these behaviors sound anything like your child, rest assured your child can be wonderfully parented and guided. Having the right tools in your belt to handle these things can see a big improvement in getting your child to cooperate while still helping them feel that they have some autonomy over what is happening in their environment.
Coping strategies for staying calm with your strong-willed child
“If your children fear you, they cannot trust you. If they do not trust you, they cannot learn from you.”
— LORI PETRO
Parenting a strong-willed child peacefully isn’t always easy. Which Parenting style is always easy anyway? However, over time, you will begin to see the positive effect this will have on your relationship with your child and your home. You have the incredible ability to be your child’s safe space. Although this may be frustrating at times, your child feels comfortable expressing their difficult emotions with you in a way that they cannot with others.
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