Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child |Building Our Story Yum

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child

Most of you have not met our Teagan but if you have read any of our family updates you know that this little miss is undoubtedly a strong willed child.  Teagan is the complete opposite of Jude, sweet, over emotional and sensitive Jude.  Teagan is in your face, tell it like it is, make no mistakes who the boss of the family really is!  

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After years of just dealing with the emotional and sensitive child, we are a bit perplexed on how to deal with this spitfire little lady.  Let me be clear, we are not experts in this field but have done a lot of research and reading on how to parent a strong willed or spirited kiddos.  Below are a few tips that we have either found really helpful or that seem to be a great option to try in the future.  


Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child


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1.  Give your strong willed child choices.  When you tell a strong willed child an order, they will not listen, instead offer them choices to meet their goal.  This allows them to feel like they are making the decision rather than following an order. Offer only choices that the parent is okay with.  

2.  Routines and Rules are your friend!  Power struggles are the worst with a strong willed child.  Avoid those struggles by following good healthy routines and rules.  This helps the parent not be the bad guy! 

3.  Listen.  Stop...remember that this child is a growing person. She is ready to discuss life choices and it is your turn to listen. She has a viewpoint that is making her hold fast to her position, and she is trying to protect something that seems important to her.  Validate that feeling and make sure you take time to respond to her feelings. 

4.  Let them learn.  Strong willed kiddos learn through experiences.  Even if you are telling her over and over again that the stove is HOT, she may not believe you until she finds out for herself. This is why strong willed children test your limits on the daily. It is important to keep your child safe but the fact is, it is more effective to let them learn through experience, instead of trying to control
them.

5. Praise good behavior!
Strong willed children often times struggle horribly with confidence. Encouraging and recognizing your child playing well with a friend will do wonders to her behavior.


6. Reward systems. Find a system that your child is excited about. We use stickers and prize boxes for good behavior days. When a strong willed child can see their accomplishments they are encouraged, pleased, and will continue building confidence.

7.  Keep calm.  Yes, I know this one is hard. Yelling and screaming accomplishes zero with a child who is attempting to get her way. On top of that it is though you are saying that type of behavior is okay because mommy and daddy are doing it too! It is okay to take a time out if needed. 

8.  Empathy goes a long way.  Switch places with your child.  What are they feeling?  What are they losing control of.  Step back and empathize with what is happening in the moment.  Use this time to paraphrase and let them know that you GET it.  Our kids deserve our respect at every age.


Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child, parenting a strong willed child, parenting tips for defiant children, a strong willed child, strong willed children, how to deal with a strong willed child

While parenting a strong willed child is full of challenges, take heart in this character trait. Your child will more than likely grow into a terrific young adult; a self-motivated and in control young person who loves to learn through experiences. Strong willed adults think for themselves, resist peer pressure, and stand for what they believe in! Amazing characteristics if you ask me!

Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child, parenting a strong willed child, parenting tips for defiant children, a strong willed child, strong willed children, how to deal with a strong willed child

I cannot wait to see the person Teagan becomes, I know she will move mountains and make big dreams reality.  For now, we just have to get through these challenges and grow from them - all of us.  

What tips do you have for parents of strong willed children?


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11 comments:

  1. She is a darling little girl. You have shared great parenting tips😊 For me listening is important too. Parents should learn to listen more instead of telling children what to do.

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  2. I have a strong willed little boy who is determined that it is his way or the highway. I admire his independence,but I wish that he would not be so hard headed! It is tough raising a strong willed kiddo, but I know that it will be worth it in the end.

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  3. These are great tips for parenting a strong willed child. My oldest is definitely strong willed and determined. Sometimes parenting her can be challenging but it's always worth the effort. She is bright, kind and so sweet.

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  4. Wonderful post for parents. I remember when my kids were little .. my daughter was so strong willed. For us routine was key .. as well as staying calm (easier said than done). The good news is I had lots of years to hone my skills .. she's in her young 20s today and still a bit stubborn!

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  5. I have a VERY strong willed child. Goes their own way and while I love it? Drives me NUTS! They know best. Whatever you think is wrong. Or, I suppose that could be a teen thing too. Double Whammy maybe? lol. Either way, I'm counting down the years when they come and tell me I was right.. Is that bad? LOL

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  6. I have the same problem with my son. He thinks he know everything and I am always wrong until he finds out the hard way. Keep up the great work. We can only do what we can and these are great tips!

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  7. Oh dear, I raised two very strong willed daughters. One has two very strong willed daughters of her own now. I have zero advice. You would think I would have something wise to say, but each are so very different. Just enjoy them.

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  8. Oh she is so cute! This is very helpful information. and great tips. I know a family friend who has a strong willed child and they could certainly use your advice.

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  9. Oh, that smile! Her personality just shines through. Thanks for the terrific tips that you shared. I have a willful niece and I will definitely share these with her parents. I think you're right that these little girls will grow up and be strong and smart young ladies.

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  10. I second all of your tips for parenting a strong willed child! We have a strong willed child that challenges us daily. I love seeing the different personalities shine through each of our kids. It is so crazy to me how different they can be!

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  11. I think that raising a strong child is a blessing in disguise. You want your children to grow up learning critical thinking skills and being able to make decisions for themselves. Well, strong willed children certainly have opinions about things!

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