6 Tips Parents Of A Strong Willed Child Should Know
I can’t lie but parenting a strong willed child is HARD and I have two of them! Lord help me and give me patience!
My daughter, knows exactly what she wants and you can’t tell her different. Let me give you an example, she loves to close the beaker she drinks her milk from and if i forget to call her to close it, all hell will break loose. She’s very independent, she will do what she thinks is right, she is bossy. And will throw a huge tantrum if she doesn’t sometimes get what she wants. Sometimes going to the store is a struggle, as she wants something that we don’t need. Some days at the end of the day, i want to drink wine and i don’t even like wine.
Put your hands up if I'm not alone on this one!
Although it can sometimes be challenging to have a strong willed child. She is so loving towards everyone, so caring, she will share her favourite fruit with you. She is a great little sister and has a huge heart. And she’s one smart 2 year old that knows so much. She reminds me a lot of her auntie Lulu...haha!
What Parents of strong willed child should know.
Let’s not forget that although it can be hard at times to handle a strong willed child, they are natural born leader. So best believe he/she will make a difference in this world. He/she can be a surgeon, they will have their own businesses and help so many people, hell they can even be president nothing is impossible.
Parenting a strong willed toddler requires for you to have a lot of patience, that is out of the norm. I was a person with patience before having children but after having my daughter I had to become even more patient. I am not saying that some days I don’t want to rip my hair out, but I had to learn to pick my battles with her and not react to everything.
1) Routine! Routine! Routine!
My daughter loves routine, they can predict what is to come throughout the day. From eating, to activities and bedtime routines, she absolutely loves it. Children thrive from having a routine, this excites them knowing what is to come during the day. Having a routine will also teach your strong willed child boundaries and good habits. And because strong willed children like to be in control, having a routine allows our children to feel comfortable and secure when they have predictability in their lives.
2) Pick Your Battles
Without a doubt anything that compromises their health and safety should never be negotiable. For example my daughter thinks she can cross the road without holding my hands. But that will never happen and i don’t stand for it, even if she cries her head out. But i have learned to not fight with everything and sometimes let her feel like she won. For example she’s a girly girl and is very opinionated when it comes to what she will wear. So now I pick 2 to 3 outfits lay them on the bed and allow her to pick what she wants to wear. She thinks she was in control of picking her outfit and gives me peace and quiet to get them ready. Let’s be honest clothing isn’t worth fighting over every single day.
3) Stay Calm
I know with this point it is easier said than done, but i learnt the hard way. When your child sees you worked out because of something they are doing, they will absolutely do it even more and they actually enjoy seeing you worked out. They sometimes will even laugh at you, while doing what you told them not to do whilst shouting. Get on their eye level and communicate with them, and express to them about their behaviour. Sometimes only that alone works and if it doesn’t work follow through with a consequence. Strong willed children need to know that you will not put up with bad behaviour even if they throw a tantrum and that there are consequences for such behaviour. These can be time out and removing privileges.
4) Acknowledge their feelings
Often when children have an outburst, it is for you to understand the extent of how upset they are. As that’s the only way they know how to express themselves. Making them feel like what they are feeling doesn’t matter won’t help the situation, it'll only detriment your relationship with them. My daughter loves to see her grandmothers and she will sometimes cry if she can’t see them at the moment. I make sure I acknowledge her feelings at that moment by saying something like, ‘grandma is at work we will go there in the weekend’.
Me showing that I understand her feelings, it automatically stops her from crying and whatever bad behaviour that was going to come from that has been avoided. If your strong willed child feels that you understand and hear them, they feel less obliged to show you tantrums or any bad behaviour. There's also nothing wrong with apologising to your children, when you've done something wrong. No one is too young to understand or deserve an apology. Understanding their feelings and apologising doesn't mean that they're wiping the floor with you. It's a demonstration of love, and I believe that love conquers all fears!
5) You don’t have to apologies to people
Remember that we all go through one thing or another as parents, if your child is crying and throwing a tantrum while you are out. You don’t have to feel embarrassed about what people will say or how they are looking at your child. YOU surely don’t have to apologies to no one. It’s their own problem if they feel uncomfortable near a screaming child; they need to go sort themselves out. All you are doing is being a mum and teaching your child all life lessons. If they have a problem they should walk away!
Honestly prayers have helped me stay sane when it comes to raising a strong willed child! Sometimes when I see that I’m about to shout or get really frustrated, I take a second and do a quick prayer. I calm down after and then deal with the situation.
Raising a strong willed child, yes it is hard, but rather than finding it negative, and just looking at the tantrums that they throw and crush their spirits. Find ways to use their energy and strong character in a positive way. Don’t forget that you are raising a future leader!