A strong-willed child will often push boundaries and limits. They might have intense, angry outbursts or refuse to comply with instructions. Often, parents of these children will feel exasperated and be at a loss for what to do.
Fortunately, there are some strong-willed child parenting techniques. They will help children go from obstinate to well-behaved. This behavior will spill over into other parts of their lives, enabling them to get along better with teachers and peers.
Below, we’ll get into our tips for parenting strong willed children. Keep reading to learn more!
Identify the Root
Strong willed children seldom act out for no reason. Instead, they often do so because they’re experiencing large emotions or disagree with the way a situation is panning out.
Unless you identify the root of your child’s outbursts, you might not have as much success in handling them. So, see if you notice a pattern. Does your child tend to get upset when you don’t allow them to do a certain thing? Do they seem to be trying to communicate a pent-up emotion to you?
Address the Emotion
Once you’ve identified the root of the outburst, address your child’s emotion. Make sure you do this in as gentle and non-confrontational a way as possible. Say something like, “I know you’re frustrated right now.”
That way, your child will know that you’re not faulting them for having emotions. Instead, you’re explaining why they can’t do whatever they want to do at the time.
If your child continues to act out, tell them what the consequences will be. Remember, throughout the entire interaction, you should avoid raising your voice or appearing angry. Allowing your emotions to spike might cause the situation to escalate.
Should the child keep doing the behavior, enforce the consequences. If you don’t, your child will learn that they will be able to get away with their stubborn behavior even when you say you’ll punish them.
Set Clear Boundaries
Children thrive when there are plenty of clear, healthy boundaries in the home. In fact, some children act out just to test the boundaries.
So, tell your child the boundaries and the consequences for breaking them.
Sometimes, strong willed children will wonder why they aren’t allowed to do certain things. If you have this type of child, resist the urge to say, “Because I said so.” Instead, give them a brief explanation.
Praise Good Behavior
A strong-willed child will benefit from praise or rewards for good behavior. Psychologists refer to this as positive reinforcement.
Kids learn which behaviors are acceptable and which aren’t from how adults react. Rewarding and praising good behavior will show the child how you want them to act and give them the incentive to continue doing so.
Raising Strong Willed Children
Raising strong willed children can pose its challenges. If you use the techniques above, however, you should be able to reduce your child’s outbursts and encourage healthier behaviors.
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