Tactics for Parenting Strong-Willed Kids
One of the features of KidStrong University is access to experts in child development, education, fitness, parenting and more. Recently, Matt and Megin Sharp sat down to chat with Patti Eubank, a preschool director of 19 years and mom of three, to talk about parenting strong-willed kids.
A strong-willed child is determined and stubborn; often has intense emotions; can argue for days; is bossy; makes their own rules; and is very concerned with fairness. If you’ve got one (or more) of these kiddos in your house, you know how frustrating it can be to parent them at times.
So what does Patti recommend to save your sanity and avoid endless arguments?
Be consistent! If you are not they will eat you alive! Keep your rules consistent, because a strong-willed child will pick up on inconsistencies and see them as unfair. Follow through with consequences for behavior - don’t make empty threats. They thrive on the power struggle, so make sure they know mom and dad are boss.
Create choices. Let them decide between choices that you select (clothes, food, etc.). You can eat this or that - choose one. You can wear that shirt or this shirt, your choice. The point is giving the child the power to make the decision, while any of the given choices is acceptable to you as the parent.
Don't kill their spirit. These strong-willed children become tomorrow’s leaders. They thrive when given opportunities to lead, even at a young age and naturally grow into leadership roles as they get older. So offer your strong-willed child the chance to lead and help out with important jobs at home.
At the end of the day, know you’re not alone. Many of us have at least one strong-willed child at home. And those traits that might make your child difficult to manage now, will propel him or her to become successful adults.
If you’d like to hear the full conversation with Patti, head over to KidStrong University and start your free trial today.