Expert Tips to Parenting a Strong-Willed Child So That They Listen To You
If you have a strong-willed child, chances are you are struggling with getting him to do the right thing. Strong-willed children come with a mindset to decide for themselves rather than let someone else decide for them. But we as a parent have to ensure that our child learns the right thing and grows safely. This clash in parent and child’s thought process causes power struggles, which can turn out to be detrimental to child’s growth. Parenting the strong-willed child requires patience, understanding, and a lot of energy. While you may be sitting wondering the possible techniques that can help you in handling a strong-willed child, this article is going to solve your parenting worries. Following are practical tips to help you with the question; how to deal with a strong-willed child?
Provide freedom to experiment
It is time to recognize the fact that the strong-willed children learn more from experience than being told. So if you have told your toddler several times a day not to touch a hot cup of coffee, it is time to back off and let him learn from his mistake (ensure that it is not too hot to give him severe burn/always ensure safety in such cases). The take away is to let him experience within safe limits. Once his fingers feel slight burning sensation after touching a hot cup, it is unlikely for him to touch it ever again.
Stay calm and be ready to negotiate
You have to realize that strong-willed child becomes stubborn if you give up on him by yelling or screaming at him. He will make up his mind against you if you keep losing your patience with him. It will be hard to break the ice and get into fruitful negotiation making it hard to raise a strong-willed child successfully. Just keep calm and cool in the weak moment and do not act like your child. Instead, offer her some reasonable choices keeping your as well as her interest in focus. Your focus is to get the right thing done, and his focus is to do his own thing. Why not combine it into one? Let him do the right thing on his own through regulated supervision. In this way, he will feel independent, and you will feel accomplished too. Win/win right?
Combine play with control
They want mastery, perfect control of themselves, and autonomy. Isn’t it natural for all of us to seek absolute independence? It sure is. But for children, we have to be considerate about their safety and healthy physical and psychological growth. Give them control where it is possible during play. You can let him control his emotions and actions while playing freely. For instance, playing in the sand, give him the independence to play his heart out. This will provide him with a feeling of control as well as sand lets the anxiety in your child flow out by playing with sand.
Establish routine rules
Raising a strong-willed child does not ask you to leave all the rules and discipline that you once had implemented in your home. Instead, stay vigilant regarding rules and discipline. For instance, lights will be out by 9, whether your child creates a fuss or not. Similarly, do not change meal timings and healthy food options. Offer her favorite foods more often to keep her interest in eating. Try to include vegetables and fruits in her routine diet, to develop a liking for years to come. Keep behavioral checks and reiterate the idea of being loving and compassionate than being unruly and rude to other children.
Keep their dignity intact
Ok, so this one is important. Don’t try to break their strong will. We recognize that raising a strong-willed child is challenging and we appreciate the courage that you have shown to accept that your child is strong-willed. But it is not something to worry about to an abnormal extent. Do not use hurtful comments or ‘stubborn’ attitude to deal with your strong-willed child. Instead, be compassionate and understand that he needs you. Take a deep breath and hold your impulse to react rudely. Immediately think about the guilt that will follow if you scream or yell at him. Instead, tell him, “I understand that you do not want to wear your jacket but it is cold outside. I am going to wear my jacket too. How about we keep your jacket with us in case you need it?” it is likely for your child to agree to this term. This will save their self-esteem as well as get your work done.
Be considerate and listening
Strong-willed children happen to be sensitive to words and actions that are directed at them. They can sense the slightest hint of discomfort and frustration in your words and actions. Make sure to be neutral in your tone while talking to them. Also, let them speak when they have something to tell you in return. Be an effective listener and let him know that he is being heard. This will improve your connection and relationship with your strong-willed child.
Empathize her viewpoint
Parenting your strong-willed child demands you to be inclusive and understand his natural traits, likes, and dislikes. If she doesn’t like to wear a specific outfit, she might have felt uncomfortable in it the last time. It is essential to be in her shoes and empathize the situation from her perspective.
You may also want to shape his strong will towards the positive direction to save him from future focus and attention span issues. But do not be intimidated and take an initiative today to help your child. By following these practical tips, you can transform your strong-willed child into an energetic and highly intelligent individual. You would like to pat your shoulder when you see your child as a successful and happy individual in his coming years.