Parenting a strong willed child is both a blessing and a curse at times. As a parent, you want to know that your kids are going to be able to stick up for themselves, protect themselves and become self-sufficient. However, that same strength can be tough when it comes time to discipline them. That led us to sharing some great tips for how to discipline a strong willed child without breaking that same strong spirit they have.
Tips For Disciplining Your Strong Willed Child
A strong willed child has many potentially amazing aspects to their personality. Being so set in their ways is a great thing when they are focused on work, school, or even hobbies. Being strong makes them great leaders, and much less likely to become victims of abuse or peer pressure. These tips for how to discipline them will also utilize those same amazing aspects of that strong will to help you reach them when they are unreachable.
Get to know their triggers. Even the youngest child will have a trigger that often causes reactions that are tough to manage. Pay attention to the environment, words, situations, and events that often trigger a problem in communication. While this may also help prevent the disobedience in the first place, it can definitely help you to understand how their mind works so you can discipline more effectively. Do they often get frustrated and talk back when others are telling them to do something? Perhaps they are a strong willed child that simply doesn’t want to back down when they have a desire for themselves? These are things you can learn from.
Parenting and learning how to discipline a strong willed child is a matter of learning what they react to. Once you establish an idea of what causes them frustration or provokes them to fight back, you can either avoid those situation or you can figure out set rules that are followed around them. Regular routines and set rules that you don’t waiver on are a huge help with a strong willed child. Specifically in times when they want their way or want a specific item. If you have a rule in place about that already, it is easy to refer to it and keep your stance even with their protests. This will help eliminate the need to discipline.
Don’t baby talk to them. Even a toddler can often tell they are being talked down to by a parent or adult. Baby talk is not often a good idea with a strong willed child. Instead, talk on their level using clear words in a calm voice. Giving your strong willed child the chance to voice their thoughts goes a long way toward them accepting the punishment being given.
A strong willed child wants to be heard. Even if they did something wrong and need discipline, they want you to hear their side and their reasoning. Instead of yelling or talking down to them, take the time to sit with them and let them explain their side. Talk to them like you are on equal ground. This gives them a feeling of being respected and paves the way for you to set down discipline and explain the reasons for that discipline.
Make them a part of the decision. Discipline is a big deal with any child. Choosing what a punishment is can be tough for a parent, but involving your strong willed child in the process may be just the key to getting through to them. While you don’t want them to get by without proper discipline, you can take into consideration their thoughts, and talk to them about why you think something else is needed.
If your strong willed child is old enough to understand, sit down with them during a non-confrontational time and talk about what discipline methods you think are appropriate for specific types of disobedience. You can include things they already struggle with, as well as things you know they rarely have problems with. The little things they fight about most, should have the harshest punishments since they are most frequent. You can even talk to them about there being a punishment for fighting back or throwing a tantrum.
Knowing how to discipline your strong willed child has much less to do with actual punishment methods and more to do with communication. Learning what makes your strong willed child react is the first place to begin, and as you communicate with them and show them respect, the result is easier discipline.
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