Parenting A Strong Willed Child

5 Simple Ways To Parent Your Strong-Willed Child

Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child

During my last pregnancy I prayed for two things – a daughter and that we would have a mother-daughter relationship better than what I had with my mother.

Be careful what you ask for.

From day one, Miss V came out being …. Miss V.

She just had this “I’m so un-bothered” demeanor about her and did not want to deal with anyone … but me. There were times my husband seriously looked at her like “do we really share DNA?” because she would have nothing to do with him if I was around.

This went on until … well, she’ll be 4 in October and it’s still going on strong.

I’ll be honest with you, Divas, it can be frustrating at times when I’m the parent she chooses ALL the time. She’s quite content playing with her dolls or blocks while sitting on my lap or laying next to me or right outside the bathroom door (because I finally put my foot down and claimed back that space – most of the time).

“V, don’t you want to go play with your brothers?”
“No, Momma. I’m fine.”
“Ummm…I think Daddy wants a hug.”
“No, Momma. I gave him one earlier. Do you want a hug? Here you go.”

How can that not melt your heart, right?

One thing we definitely share is our demeanor – very strong-willed, not the most patience, and straight to the point, no chaser.

The dialogues we have can be interesting, to say the least.

Parenting A Strong Willed Child

As with any child (person, for that matter!), your strong-willed child needs love and security. It could be the fact that she’s the only girl. Or that she’s the baby. Or a combination of both. If I hug or spend one-on-one time with one of her brothers, it bothers her that she’s left out. I noticed a year or so ago that my middle son was getting shorted of a lot of his one-on-one time because his sister was constantly pushing her way into our cuddle sessions or overtaking our conversations. Once I realized that, I make a point to let her know it’s not fair and redirect her attention to something else.

Don’t respond to every remark. My daughter has to respond to everything. And she has this innocent way of being very smart and sarcastic. (I promise, I have no idea where she gets it from!). There are some remarks I choose to ignore because I know she’s saying them to get a response and for me to engage with her when she’s either in timeout or very close to being put into timeout.

Acknowledge and correct rude and inappropriate words and statements. Remind them that they are a child and there are certain things children should not say and do Рbecause they are a child.

Parenting A Strong-Willed Child

If your strong-willed child is anything like mine, you get a lot of questions. The majority of these questions are very well-meaning – she’s genuinely interested and inquisitive. She wants to know the whys and whats and the hows. I know this is a characteristic of most children, but with a strong-willed child the questions seem to come in a larger volume when compounded with their personalities. I answer as many questions as possible, but am learning to turn the questions back on her to put her cognitive thinking skills to the test.

As parents we know that every child is different and unique. Just like us, they have their own little personalities that are growing and developing daily based on the interactions and life lessons that they experience. It can be a test of patience to parent your strong-willed child, but I promise you – it will be okay. I’m reminded of it daily when I look in the mirror.

Parenting A Strong-Willed Child

  • MJ

    My almost three year old is so strong willed. It’s exhausting and sometimes I feel defeated but then I just take a minute and compose myself. She is her parents child.

    • MJ, I have to remind myself of the same thing from time-to-time. Many of her personality traits are that of a mini-me and she’s growing and learning how to manage her thoughts, words and actions. It does help that I can recognize what she’s going through and curb some of the arguments or breakdowns she may have.

  • adrianscrazylife

    She’s sure a cutie, but strong willed kids of any age are tough to deal with. Mine is a Senior in High School and he’s sooooo stubborn. No, I have no idea where he got that from , so it is battle of the strong wills around here every day. One technique I discovered when they get into that pesky, “I know I’m not going to get what I want, but I’m going to argue you into the ground over it” mode. I just say “asked and answered” and walk away and he knows I’m not going to continue the arguement. That one has been pretty helpful. Honestly, there’s not much difference between toddlers and teens – the problem is that you can’t just physically pick them up and move them when they are being a total MULE! #SITSSharefest

    • “Asked and Answered!” I love it! Thank you for sharing that technique. I will definitely be implementing it! I think it’ll come in handy with all 3 of the age groups in my household (3, 7 and 14 year-old – have mercy!)

  • I’m reading your post and thinking this is my daughter. My labor explains a lot about my daughter there was no slowing her down. I feel like she flew out and was like watch out y’all here I come ready or not. Oh and Diva she is the nurse told me as she was washing her hair after delivery she laid back as if she was really enjoying the shampoo. This was hours old,what in the world? I do believe the fact she is 6 years after the oldest attributes to a lot of the behavior(I refuse to take any credit for this part of her DNA). One thing I do know it takes lots of patience and as I’m getting older my patience is dwindling. I agree we must set boundaries in terms of needing our personal space. Hopefully over time the Diva-tude will become manageable. I will keep hope alive.

    • Yes! These little Divas can be a handful. My daughter is the youngest with two older brothers and they are at her beck and call. I can relate to the dwindling of patience as I get older, as well. I do find setting boundaries and immediately dealing with any issues that arise makes a difference. We’re going to do this and have lots of wonderful tales to tell them when they become mothers one day.