You have to be a creative parent when your child is strong-willed. A headstrong child rarely backs down from even the smallest challenge when it’s a question of who’s in control.
One of our boys is strong-willed, and Jean and I have joked about how we’re raising a lawyer-in-training. He can find a loophole in anything.
Jean once held a women’s tea and set out chocolates in the living room. She later discovered half the bowl was gone. When she asked if he’d eaten all the chocolates, our son responded, “No,” without hesitation.
“You didn’t eat the chocolates?”
“Oh, I ate some of them. But you asked if I had eaten all of them.”
If you’ve got a strong-willed child, you’ve probably encountered situations like that. You may have even locked horns with him or her in a way that was no laughing matter. From arguing to power struggles, you’ve tried it all and found most of it unproductive.
Headstrong children rarely back down and hang their head in defeat. They’ll push back over any amount of control.
But the news isn’t all bleak if you’re navigating life with a strong-willed child. A strong will can be a very positive attribute. It just needs to be guided.
Some of the most successful people in the world have a strong will. Most of their personality is about determination. Don’t tell them something is impossible to do because they’re not easily discouraged. They’ll think, “That just means it hasn’t been done yet.”
It can be challenging to get strong-willed children pointed in the right direction, which is why we think you’ll be interested in our conversation with Cynthia Tobias. On our broadcast Monday and Tuesday Cynthia will offer helpful insights on raising and disciplining strong-willed children. That’s something she knows a lot about, not only because of her training and work with young people, but because she’s lived it. She was strong-willed as a child and will tell you she’s a strong-willed adult now. She knows how this personality type thinks and will share with us how to handle it as parents.
We want to equip you as parents with the tools you need to help your relationship with your strong-willed child be the best it can be. So join us for “Practical Advice for Parenting Strong-Willed Children” on your local radio station, online, or check out Focus’ free, downloadable mobile phone app.
I’d love to hear your ideas, too. Comment below if you have a strong-willed child and a few good ideas to share with the rest of us.
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