of West McKinney
9070 Westridge Blvd., McKinney, TX 75070 • (972) 346-3000

Raising a Strong - Willed Child

Posted on 08-19-2015 | Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of West McKinney

When parents welcome a new beautiful baby into the world, their hearts are filled with dreams and expectations for that little bundle of joy. What may come as a surprise is that the child has plans of his own that may not align with what the parents had hoped for.

Some children exhibit a personality that is identified as “strong-willed.” This means, the child will want to push limits, explore boundaries, and take charge of the environment. While this behavior can be very frustrating for the child’s parents, it’s important to remember that strong-willed children often become great leaders in their families and communities because of their desire for independence at an early age.

If you have a strong-willed child at home, you understand the unique challenges that occur on a daily basis during ordinary tasks such as picking up toys, eating lunch etc. For a fiercely independent child these everyday rituals can take twice as long due to their resolve to do things their own way. Additionally, some parents have difficulty finding a babysitter for a child that exhibits these personality traits since managing the child can be overwhelming for someone unaccustomed to a strong-willed child’s behavior.

Below are a few suggestions that will hopefully help you to enjoy your strong-willed child without sacrificing your family’s sanity in the process.

1. Recognize and celebrate your child’s personality – As stated earlier, strong-willed children are often the leaders of tomorrow who need your intentional guidance, discipline, and instruction as they learn how to manage their intense feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

2. Set boundaries and stick to them – Strong-willed children can often be very persuasive in convincing parents to bend the rules or expand boundaries that have been put in place. It’s important to stick to your boundaries and to discipline your children when they step outside of them. The only way a child will learn to respect rules and authority is when the rules are consistently enforced. Explain to your children why the rules exist so they can learn the value of following them.

3. Give room for independence – When strong-willed children express a desire for independence during a task they are capable of doing, give them thae opportunity to do it themselves. Often when children say, “I can do it myself!” it’s more about their desire to flex their independence and not meant to be a direct attack or undermining of the parent’s authority. This takes a lot of patience as your toddler/preschooler will likely take considerably longer to accomplish the task than if you had done it for them. If you’re in a situation that is time-sensitive or you have an appointment, help your child for now but create an opportunity for your child to handle the task later.

4. Step back and breathe – Raising a strong-willed child is a difficult task and it’s easy to become quickly angered or frustrated with your child. When you sense yourself about to lash out with angry words towards your child, try closing your eyes briefly and take a deep breath. This exercise won’t make your child any less strong-willed but it can considerably help you navigate your own frustration and avoid doing or saying something you may later regret. When raising children of all temperaments and personalities, the goal is to seek to encourage and affirm, rather than focus on the negative.

At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of West McKinney in McKinney, TX we understand the different personalities found ininfants, toddlers, and preschool children. Our curriculum is designed with varying learning styles in mind and meets each child where they are in the developmental process. Contact us to schedule a free tour of our state-of-the-art facility and come see all the ways we are so much more than an average daycare or childcare! 

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