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You say the zebra has black and white stripes, but he says it has white and black stripes. No matter how much you try to reason that both are the same, your tot will not accept your answer. It is white and black and NOT anything else. Have you gone through such experiences? Well, you might be the parent of a strong willed child.
So, what’s the strong willed child definition? Also referred to as a difficult or stubborn child, can be a challenge to your parenting skills. A sensitive approach can help them grow up to be self motivated, confident individuals with high integrity. These five pointers can help you ascertain whether you have a strong willed child.
Strong Willed Child Symptoms You Can Easily Spot
Catch Me if You Can
They are fast. Strong willed children are fast at everything – walking, talking, eating. As babies, they might even start walking and running, giving crawling a total miss! The incessant talking and running can drive you to near insanity when he’s a tot but is a boon once he grows up. He is sure to teach you one thing everyday – just what does it mean to be strong willed!
The Small Big BOSS
They generally ensure that they have their own way. This isn’t limited to parents and daily food, play or other habits, but it can also extend to friends wherein they set the rules of the games and the role of each player. The next time you give your child those yummy round cookies and she insists on the square ones, be rest assured that you have a strong willed child.
Little Ms./Mr. Right
It’s difficult to convince strong willed kids that they are wrong. All your well meaning efforts can be met with a fit of rage. Children who aren’t strong willed will accept a parent’s explanation. However, children who are strong willed have very strong beliefs and thoughts which might be difficult for parents to change. In fact, this is one of the most distinctive characteristics of a strong willed child.
If your tot is testing your limits by being disobedient, you might be seeing a strong willed child in action. Such kids like to be in control, make their own rules, and stick to their terms and conditions. They don’t want their mom, dad or anybody else to dictate the whens, whats and wheres in any scenario.
Parenting The Strong Willed Child
Raising strong willed children can be complicated and frustrating. Keep the following tips handy when you feel like pulling your hair out!
- Setting limits for your strong willed is crucial. TV time for one hour means exactly that and is not up to negotiation.
- Reduce the number of small rules and keep broader ones in place. For example, a weekly reading target may be a better idea at first than a daily one. When your child gets into the habit, he will turn to books of his own accord.
- When dealing with strong willed child, consciously avoid power struggle. Respect your child and don’t baby-talk to him.
- Acknowledge your child’s personality and never compare him with other children.
- Connect with him every day, even if you are very busy and have only bed-time to do so. Discuss how his day was and tell him about yours.
- Make sure you reward good behaviour and clearly state the consequences of bad behaviour. These don’t have to be negative but need to be firm, say, a 15 minutes time-out.