What exactly is a strong-willed child? Some parents call them “difficult” or “stubborn,” or more positively, “spirited.” But we could also see strong-willed kids as people of integrity who aren’t easily swayed from their own viewpoints. Strong-willed kids are spirited and courageous. They want to learn things for themselves rather than accepting what others say, so they test the limits over and over. They want desperately to be “in charge” of themselves, and will sometimes put their desire to “be right” above everything else. When their heart is set on something, their brains seem to have a hard time switching gears. Strong-willed kids have big, passionate feelings and live at full throttle.
Here are few tips to deal with the strong willed child :
- Diffuse the bomb. The second you engage with confrontational or judgemental words, it’s order. Choose your words. Diffuse. Validate. Let them know you understand their frustrations.
- Prepare for a QnA with your child. A strong willed child will question you, often. If they want something, and they can’t have it, they will demand to know why.
- Invest in a kitchen timer. Let them know that the timer is your argument referee. That they can’t stay angry for longer than the timer is set for, or there will be consequences.
- Referee their bossy behaviour. Even the strong willed child needs to mind his manners, and that’s where you come in.
- Offer your child choices. Just be mindful of the choice you give them, making sure it’s one you are comfortable with.