HOW TO MANAGE YOUR STRONG WILLED CHILD
Do you have a strong-willed child? Yes? count yourself blessed then.
Strong-willed children can generally be a challenge when they are young but if carefully parented, they grow into fantastic teens and adults.
Who exactly is a strong-willed child?
They are those children that some parents call stubborn, headstrong, defiant or difficult. Even if you don’t have one in your home, I bet you know one.
Strong-willed children are often self-motivated and go after what they want. And although, you have a hard time getting them to do things the way you want them to, strong-willed kids are largely people of integrity who aren’t easily tossed away from their own perspective.
They see things from a point of view you are not seeing and they tend to hold on to do it so dearly… not wanting to lose some perspective they regard important to them.
They are often fearless and courageous. Little wonder when you impose or force something on them or have them do what you say, they react very badly. This is so because obeying you all the time translates to them as compromising their integrity.
I know most parent wants to raise a cooperative and obedient child that will do exactly what you want them to do and how you want them to do it but this may not always apply.
According to H. L Mencken, Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told while obedience is doing what you are told no matter what is right.
So which is your priority?
Are you freaking out about your strong-willed young child obeying you just because you are older and bigger?
Well, its time to adjust your mindset and concentrate on helping that child do what you say not just because you are older but because he trust you and also because he or she has overtime learned that you have her best interest at heart even though you are not saying yes to her demand.
Strong-willed kids are usually very persistent, high energy in fact bring out your cane, they are still looking at you.
Before you take that child’s name from pastor to pastor to chase out the stubborn spirit, please stop and educate yourself on how that child thinks and look out for more effective and positive ways to raise them. Don’t try to break their will because strong-willed kids often become leaders.
You will agree with me that it must take a high dose of “stubbornness” to be Dangote, Adenuga, Trump or any successful leader in any capacity.
Don’t crush your child’s spirit and turn him or her to a “Yes dad or yes mum” adult. Sadly, we have adults like this and they seem not to ever make any smart decision by themselves and if they accidentally make a great one, they are not courageous enough to see it through.
This is even more pronounced with a male child cause of their leadership position in homes. They never are able to protect their wives from anything. A phone call from their parents is all you need to change their mind from certain decisions they jointly made with their wives. They are convinced what mum said isn’t accurate and won’t work in their own home but well, they don’t know how to say “no thank you, not this time”.
Interestingly even mum and dad are not covered. If a wife has a disagreement with her parents and tell these kind of husbands not to pick her parents call. They will oblige. They never will be able to say to her ” but your parents did nothing wrong to me and even if they wronged you, I will not disrespect them. I am sorry, i don’t like what they did to you but I can’t stop greeting them because you are upset”.
Strong willed children and adults are not people pleasing and one way to parent the young strong willed child is by giving them options.
Don’t say to your strong willed 3 year old. Come and wear this shoe now, brush your hair and lets go and don’t waste my time or else..
Congratulations sir/ ma!! you have just signed up for a power struggle on a Monday morning because although the child is not saying how he feels, but he will rather brush his hair first before wearing his shoes. Hence, he stands and pretend like you said nothing which leaves you irritated.
How about trying this? “would you want to wear your shoe before brushing your hair so we can catch up?. You choose”.
The child feels involved and will cooperate and you would be through with both tasks in no time and more importantly leave the house without yelling and being irritated at each other.
Summary of this article is that you can get your strong-willed child to cooperate without power struggles.
Stop embarking on a mission to break your strong willed child just so you can feel in control or in charge.
If you succeed in breaking that spirit, you will lose out in the end too. They are experimental learners and want to understand why things must be done only in certain ways.
They need more dialogue than threats.
Finally, stop looking at your strong-willed child with that bad eye and wondering where she came from.
Article written by Yimika Anita Okeowo
Image Credit: Sunshine Whispers