Raising a strong-willed child will take the energy right out of you unless you approach it the right way. There may be doors slammed, unkind words said and you may feel as if you’re failing with this parenting job. The reality is that raising a strong-willed child is not for the faint of heart. There will be many days where you butt heads and are found tossing your hands in the air to walk away. There are ways you can get curb this parent and child power struggle. Today I am sharing how to get your strong-willed child to listen so that you can enjoy this journey in parenthood.
Have a Routine
Having a day to day routine that is similar each day will help your strong-willed child listen more and respect the rules. A strong-willed child enjoys the structure and rhythmic routine of knowing what’s expected of them from day to day. Try to adapt your lifestyle to be more predictable for your strong-willed child to listen. This will help prevent the power struggle because your child will know exactly what to expect and you will also.
A strong-willed child needs to know ahead of time before they’re going to experience a challenging situation. Learn to warn your strong-willed child beforehand. Give your strong-willed child a warning before transitioning into another event or activity. This gives them ample time to prepare and they feel more in control of their transition.
Be Clear and Concise
A strong-willed child likes to feel safe and secure. Learn to be clear and concise with your expectations of your child. When you follow through with clear instructions or a plan for the day, your strong-willed child will be more likely to listen to you and be calmer as they know that they are safe and secure with you. They need to have clear expectations of their day and behavioral patterns.
Do not Give Ultimatums
Strong-willed children will give you a power struggle like you would not believe if you even attempt to give ultimatums. A strong-willed child could care less about if this, then that situations. They are not fearful of authority and they are demanding. Create situations where you are clear and concise directions and make them aware of the consequences. I like to tell my son to get dressed and that we need to leave soon and if he is not dressed it will be too bad we will not be able to go. This leaves it less threatening than me saying get dressed or else and I let him know what the consequence will be if he does not get dressed. When you practice being more predictable, concise and less threatening, your strong-willed child will listen.
Understand Their Intelligence
One thing that you do not hear all the time about strong-willed children is how incredibly smart they are or can be if guided properly. They have a strong sense of wanting to learn. This can be overlooked as stubborn instead of being recognized as intelligent but wanting to learn on their terms.
Embrace their intelligence. Provide situations that will stimulate their minds and let them accomplish things on their terms. My son thrives when presented with age appropriate things for him to figure out. Seeing the wheels turn in his brain is not only an accomplishment to him but is satisfying to me as his mom. I tell myself do not underestimate him. Set expectations and then let them figure out how to reach those expectations.
Raising a strong-willed child in a way that allows them to maintain their free-spirit nature in a respectful manner will bring greatness to our future generation of adults. These strong-willed children will be perfect in entrepreneurial and leadership roles. Children, who have a strong desire to be in control but are raised with techniques that encourage respectful behaviors, will go a long way in this world to change things for the better.
For More on Strong -Willed children please Read Your Strong Willed Child and Why It’s More Than Ok and Strategies to Parenting Your Strong Willed Child