Being a parent of a strong-willed child who can be both a blessing and a curse.  These kids are frustrating and stubborn- which is a challenge for you today, but will also give them confidence as they grow.

Parenting strong-willed kids

With sensitivity and compassion, you can raise a strong-willed kid to be an incredible adult. Here are some of the best parenting practices for parents of strong-willed children:

1. Balance personal authority with your child’s independence

It’s important to balance personal authority and your children’s independence in order to teach the life skills that will enable them to manage the everyday life challenges without fear. Strong-willed kids have an advantage over other kids thanks to their natural strength and independence.  This makes them more ready to explore whatever comes along in their lives. By being firm but understanding, you will enable to realize their potential on whatever path they choose to take.

2. Be a detective

Many parents often worry about their strong-willed kid’s behavior, but they don’t do any investigation into why they act that way. Through a thorough analysis of his or her behavior, you can offer guidance on the right steps that your child should take to be happier and more productive.

3. Positive reinforcement

Make sure you complement anything good that your strong-willed kid does. You always want to nurture the good behavior that a kid shows. Remember you do not have to do an extraordinary thing to give attention to your child’s good behavior. A kind word is often enough. This will help your kid to stay positive about whatever he or she does.

4. Never hit your kid

Most parents often hit strong-willed kids instead of adopting new parenting styles. Find new ways to correct kids without resorting to physical punishment. Talk to your child about his or her behavior. Explain the consequences that he or she will face if the rules are broken.


5. Understand that what a strong-willed kid wants is up to you

Most strong-willed preschoolers often do not seek their parent’s approval thanks to their independent and explorative nature. However, as a parent,  you still need to give clear directions and rules your toddlers. Not doing this can end up with your strong-willed children not understanding their limits, which can get them into dangerous situations. Your influence matters at lot, even to a strong-willed kid. By realizing this, you will help your kids be more responsible as they grow up.


6. Speak less and act more

According to the latest research done by University of Alabama, spending more time talking to a strong-willed kid increases the risk of frustrating him or her and losing his or her attention. Whenever you are telling your child to behave or do something, keep it sweet and short. The more annoyed and frustrated a parent gets when instructing a strong-willed kid, the more the kid feeds off the parent’s energy. This creates a snowball effect and results in worsening relationships and no improvement in the child’s behavior. 


7. Strong willed children need choices

Your strong-willed kid needs to feel that he or she has control over his or her life. Allow your kid to have a little freedom in controlling his or her life while you still make most of the decisions. This will allow you to avoid conflict that can cause emotional and relationship issues. In addition, it will also help teach your kid about responsibility.

8. Enforce consequences

Strong-willed teenagers like to exert their power. They tend to push their limits. It is important to make the consequences of broken rules very clear. This will ensure that stubborn behavior does not destroy your family’s rules and expectations.

9. Let kids have their own feelings

One important last piece of the parenting advice: avoid telling your strong willed kids that they are wrong. They usually think that they are right in all they do. What should you do to keep from hurting them badly? Take the time to explain in precise detail why they are not correct. This will help rather than hurt your relationship with your kid.

Remember that the line between a strong-willed child being a blessing and a curse is very fine.  Using the parenting tips above can help make sure it is a blessing. They will help you guide your kid in the best way possible, helping them to become a responsible citizen who will help build a better future.

Stay tuned for more parenting tips from Kids Making Change and enjoy our funny parenting quotes after a rough day!