Strong-willed children can be a real challenge to deal with. They often make day to day life pretty difficult.
But being strong-willed is an awesome trait for your child to have. It means that they’re independent thinkers who will likely become leaders someday.
They are natural-born Alphas.
Dealing with them in a positive way will nurture their independence, and teach them to respect and identify their own emotions.
It will also teach them to respect others, even those with different beliefs and opinions.
Below are 6 Positive parenting strategies on how to deal with your strong-willed child.
6 Positive Strategies for Raising a Strong-Willed Child
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Choices over Commands
Giving your child choices from the beginning takes away from the struggle and resistance that often comes up for strong-willed children.
When you choose to take the command approach you’re asking your child to not only conform, but teaching them to follow along with what others say even if it
doesn’t feel right; this could be dangerous later on.
Giving them choices teaches them independent thought that will serve them well into adulthood.
When you offer choices you are offering up a parameter that you are happy with, but also allowing the child to feel in control by making their own decisions.
It truly is a win, win for both of you.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Routine is important for all children no matter the temperament, but for the strong-willed child, it is absolutely necessary.
When you are consistent you are showing them what is expected and helping them adapt; limiting the questioning and confusion that leads to difficult behavior.
Implementing certain rules teaches the child that things won’t always go their way and that there are consequences.
It needs to be crystal clear to them what is acceptable, and what isn’t. Help them understand that rules and the people around them aren’t
going to change just because they want it to.
Life can be difficult to navigate, help them by being fair and consistent in your routine and your application of the rules and consequences.
Give a Heads Up and a Warning before Change
Change is difficult for young children and especially those that are headstrong and independent thinkers.
They have learned behavior and expect things to happen a certain way; when it doesn’t, it becomes frustrating and confusing and they may start to question your routine
and rules as a whole.
By giving them a warning or heads up, you are allowing them enough time to go through their emotions, the thought process and come to terms with what you need to have happened.
Don’t let them or the system break down, respect their need for communication and give them the time they need to adjust.
Listen for the Purpose of Understanding
When your child is trying to express their emotions, their frustrations, wants or needs, it’s important you give them your full attention and listen with the intent of
understanding things from their perspective.
Children have a tough time communicating; they’re still figuring it all out but active listening, watching their body language, and recognizing the tone of their voice can help them be understood.
A strong-willed child is such a blessing and you’re going to be so proud of the person they become, help them by being their advocate, mentor and most importantly, Mom.
Ask a lot of Questions
One of the coolest parts of raising a strong-willed child is that they usually don’t have a problem telling you what they want and need when they are able.
For toddlers and young children they may not be able to fully convey their thoughts and emotion, it’s up to you to ask questions that get to the heart of
what they are trying to tell to you.
It’s easy to have an immediate response, give demands when you’re trying to get something done but you’ll help your child communicate if you take the time to dig deeper; you do this by asking a lot of questions.
If your child is experiencing extreme emotions (positive or negative) you’ll be amazed at what asking questions can do to calm them down and bring them back to normal.
It’s the recognition that you are listening and giving them the outlet they need to communicate.
Be consistent in your own actions and behaviors. By following through, doing what you say every time, staying true to your word and keeping those promises you eliminate confusion and show your child they can rely on and trust you.
If you want to connect with your child on a deeper, personal level be this person for them. It will strengthen your relationship throughout your entire lives.
Learning to nurture a strong-willed child is a great way to help them develop into a robust adult.
Negative reinforcement in the case of a child like this can be really harmful and have a very negative impact on your relationship because they won’t feel heard or understood.
Using the 6 positive parenting strategies above are a great way for you to foster your relationship and help them grow.
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