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October 28, 2014 By SoberJulie 23 Comments Almost 11 years ago I gave birth to my first child, a daughter who entered the world in a dramatic fashion three weeks early via an emergency c-section. We were cocooned in the hospital for 5 days, these were days of bonding and quiet which I’m forever grateful for. Very early on we realized that Sydney had her own ideas and was rarely swayed by our efforts.
Choices, Choices. When we order a strong willed child to do something they may see this as us nagging.
Strong willed children can be a challenge which we as parents must equip ourselves to deal with in a loving, nurturing manner. We are raising children with strong opinions, emotions and a steadfast position and this is beautiful! I hope you can Jason, I know I’ve failed over the years but the more consistent we can be in patience the better!!
That was the first thing I have read that actually felt not only useful, but also that it pertained to my little guy. Dad and I have witnessed, for years, you and Brad’s patience and admire you so much for it. This shows them that you care about them, and their emotions.  It also shows that you respect their feelings. Hang in there on the tough days, Mom!  God gave you that strong-willed child, and He will give you the strength and wisdom you need!
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I am the first admit that my 5 year old child is a strong willed little girl.From early on in her toddler years we noticed she would have temper tantrums over simple things if there weren’t just so. However with all that being said, we still need her to follow our rules and maintain self-control in our home and when we’re out and about.We’ve come up with 8 simple things that are working to give her the environment she needs to make her feel that she has a choice and does have power in her daily life. Ask yourself…What are some ways to help your child feel like they are “in control” and have “a voice” even though you as the parent are in control of the environment and rules?
First of all keep your cool when you sense that Strong Willed Child expressing those needs and wants in an uncontrolled way. Whenever we observe an undesired behavior arising we try to resolve it by encouraging her to come up with a Behavior Management Chart . We’ve found that she functions much better when things were told in advance and structured for her.
We’ve learned to ask ourselves 3 questions when we find our child choosing a strong willed behavior.
Our viewers and bloggers submit stories about great parenting they’ve observed in a family member, friend, neighbor or even a stranger. Here are a few books about raising a Strong Willed Child that you may find helpful to read as you learn what works for your child. We started it at when Kindergarten started at age 5, althought we probably could have started it sooner in Preschool since that was when I noticed some frustations with getting dressed with the things I was picking out. Thanks for sharing, the more tools parents can have in their pockets the better it is for everyone. Debi we had trouble with my daughter with the gym daycare and we started to talk about it more and more when we weren't there and how much fun it is to be able to go to your own school, we called it that even though it was just a sitter.
That day is etched upon my soul, the nuances of the smells, sounds and experiences are ones I can recall as if I’m instantly there.
This is a VERY good trait in adults but when you’re parenting and teaching it can be the most challenging situation, one where we can easily lose ourselves to frustration. These are children who want to experience and learn for themselves rather than taking the word of others.
The biggest thing I’ve learned through parenting Sydney is that I had to adjust my attitude.
Your spirited child has a thirst for mastering things so when you can, allow them to have control over the things they desire. If we approach these kids with a hard-fast stance, we are more likely to be met with a stone wall.
When we allow our kids an opinion and begin to discuss with them, we can often sway their outlook and give them an out where they don’t have to battle with us.
Your child values being heard, take time to hear what she is saying and repeat her words to her.

When these kids are in a confrontation, they’re overwhelmed by adrenaline and emotions. You give so much Love and more to both our youngest Grand Daughters, we are sure that they will learn so much for their future years. My son is most definitely strong willed, I have learned to pick my battles and decide which mountains I am willing die on. When they are being stubborn, it is a good time to remind them that you love them just the way they are, and how glad you are God gave them to you.
I think it’s important to help kids understand the WHY behind what you ask them to do. Building Character In Your Children is an ebook that looks at the importance of setting an example of Godly character for our children, giving them Godly role models, and also teaching and training them in the area of character.
Not only will they learn the meaning, and have a Bible verse to go along with it, but they will also do copy work to help with their penmanship, while helping reinforce the meaning of the character trait. Most power struggles begin from a child feeling that they are not in control which is something they seek very early on as a form of independence. Here are some answers I’ve come up over the years with my own three children and hundreds of children in my classrooms. When children sense you’re being affected by their behavior they will continue because that means it’s working and they just might get their way, whether it’s good or bad behavior, if it’s working they’ll keep doing it.You can also vocalize what you see their body language doing so that they become conscious of it too. If you want them to pick up the toys and they are refusing, give them a choice that still ends in the result you want.
When she knows the weekly schedule and the daily schedule she’s easily able to predict what’s going to happen next. As we see it coming we try to find a task, job or interest that will take her to a different thought process.
As you know most 4 & 5 year old girls would wear a dress every single day if they could, plus we had to deal with uniforms this year too. If you’re interested in sharing your own Parenting with Purpose Story, just email us anytime! Its also a good reminder for myself that each child is different and I cant parent all my girls the same! I love how you kept control over the problem areas by helping her feel more control over them. I know many of these tips have worked with my kids and I'm going to try the new ones I learned!
I'd love to hear if you have some more suggestions to add to the list of what works well with your kids too? After weeks of feeling her grow within my body, of mentally, emotionally and physically preparing for her arrival our first-born had arrived and the joy was overwhelming. Within a week I felt like the world was ending, I was overwhelmed and simply out of my depth. One day we had a disagreement (yes a disagreement with a two year old) and I had put her into a time out in her room. These are rules that apply to everyone so it’s easier to accept and be sure to remember they apply to YOU as well, this will set the bar high for the spirited child. While it may not be touching the stove to see if it’s really hot, find another area where they can exert this need. Show them positive communication by telling them you empathize with their feelings, that these feelings are valid but the behaviours aren’t. Slow things down and prepare yourself in advance with the best ways to deal with how your little one thinks. There are many things that you named off that he does and I also find that our attitude towards them makes a huge difference. One thing that helps me is when I say NO to something if I change the subject quickly it doesn’t give her time to pick a big battle over it with me. Will keep in mind these tips, and yes, I think we will have to adjust our parenting attitudes and styles to our son’s attitude too.
She’s not starving and she can eat her sandwich after her nap (if she says a prayer of course!). Included is a 10 step plan for teaching our kids character, fun ways to give them Godly role models, and many practical ways to teach specific traits and help the kids learn to apply the teaching to their every day life. You might say “You can pick up the dolls or the princess stuff first?” or “It’s time to clean up.

However in order to successfully experience each day with your child, sometimes you have to focus on a specific area and reach that goal before you can address other goals.
Kim shares ways to make learning fun and parenting an adventure by sharing developmentally appropriate activities. It has taken me a while to catch on, but I use some of the same strategies that you have listed and WOW! My second born is definitely a strong-willed child and I can already see how these will work for her.
Sydney’s arrival pulled my husband and I even closer, watching him sit in the bedside hospital chair cooing at her all night filled me with rushes of loving emotions I had never experienced. Between feeding her every 2 hours, lack of sleep and a complete disaster of a  home I wept over my own inadequacy. These little people have large emotions and it’s difficult for them to switch gears and slow things down.
Sydney was screaming her head off in her room, to the point where it sounded like an animal was in there. There was a time when we allowed Sydney to wear her clothes for 31 days, believe me when I say this wasn’t easy but it did teach her the harsh reality of the need to launder and change our clothes.
For example I’ll say to Syd would you like to make your bed or put laundry away before we watch a movie. By opening the lines of communication you’ll gain insight into the way they think and opportunities to build trust and increase chances for teaching them. It can be tough at times but I know with me putting my foot down she will be better in the long run.
You can pick up the red ones or the yellow ones” Either choice makes them have to clean up but you are giving her a choice which feels like power.Be clear about your expectations and rules by talking about them when your child is listening and communicating calmly with you. Thankfully my husband and I survived this time but looking back those challenges seem somewhat small compared to the trials of parenting a strong willed child. Within thirty seconds of me closing the door, she proceeded to fire her little people at her door over and over one at a time until the door had paint chipped off of o it and there were wee dents in the back side of the door. Your child knows you have ultimate authority so when you can, allow them to have input in and show them you’re considering their opinions. Choices are definitely something we do in our house, helps her feel like she is in control.
We’ve created it together and she feels that she’s had a voice, a part of the control that she’s seeking. Many times the whole situation could have been avoided if we made sure these simple needs were met. There was no consoling her, no settling until she’d spun the tantrum down after a few minutes. Something in me stopped as she rallied against me and I realized the socks were itchy to her. All it takes is a week or two with the chart and we’ve seen a big improvement with that specific behavior issue.
Think of those outbursts at the park, on vacation or at Disney and you just can’t understand why and then you realize they are off their schedules, haven’t had a nap and did not eat all their breakfast. Within minutes the situation was resolved with a new pair of socks but if I hadn’t paused and listened, it could have been a disaster.
I have read a lot of books and participated in counseling over the years, but your post says it the best.
It’s worked for staying in her bed at night, combing her hair, watching TV, cleaning up toys, eating her food, controlling temper tantrums. Then on those mornings where she is having a strong willed moment and doesn’t want to wear something we simply remind her that she choose that day what to wear and needs to stick with her plan. I am really going to need it now that her school closed and we are going to public school and so no more uniforms.
This is why part of me is not a big fan of summer vacation bc their structure of school comes to a stop. Now I have to build a structure during the summer which is hard bc we are always doing something different each day.

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