I don’t know about you mommas, but being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. But it is also even harder when you have a strong-willed child… Don’t be fooled by all those cute innocent pictures of kids you see on social media, it is not as easy and simple as you might think.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a child expert by any means, and Samy is an adorable little boy, but he’s also very stubborn and very independent which I like but that can make parenting even more challenging sometimes and I’m pretty sure there’s still more to come that I haven’t seen yet! Haha!
What is a strong-willed child:
If you think your kid is a mini-dictator, here is what you can do to make your parenting life easier, without having to crush your toddler’s strong personality.
Let them investigate the world around them but set limits:
It is very important to set boundaries from an early age, and this does not happen overnight. It takes time, trial & error, and most importantly: Persistence! You cannot set rules one day and then forget about them the next day: it confuses your child and they won’t get it. Consistency is key!
Let them be in control whenever possible & choose your battles:
I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re like me, and you’re a control freak. Let your kid be involved and be part of the decision making process, they’ll feel more confident. Try not to use the word “No” all the time, it frustrates the kids, and instead try to offer explanations, and do more talking with them. In case you don’t know, strong-willed kids thrive on challenge. If you tell them they can’t do it, they will do everything to prove you wrong!
Positive reinforcement is very important no matter what age your kid is! Use positive reinforcement to encourage any behavior that you want your child to repeat. Whether it’s a high five, a hug, a sticker on their forehead, or a cheering clap. Every little gesture counts to your kid, and he will remember it every time he’s doing the right thing.
The Power of Alternatives:
This is something I do all the time! Whenever I find myself in a crazy situation that might turn ugly, I TRY to switch the situation into a smoother one.
I don’t want to spend the whole day saying NO to my kid, because I can see how frustrated he becomes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m human, and I lose it sometimes but I really find that choosing an alternative works best for my kid…when possible of course. So if your kid always wants to play with his nappy cream, try to have an empty cream bottle on hand and switch it with him! Or put on some music and make him dance and let him forget about his need to play with that tube!
Strong-willed kids need to let out their temper, and it’s better if they have a physical outlet to let go of all that energy they have, outside the house. These kids just cannot sit down. They have to be busy and doing something all the time, so try to go out as much as you can and let them run it off. You don’t want them to end up turning to electronics and TV, make sure to always have tasks for them that they will enjoy doing.
It is very important to remind ourselves that most often, our kids disobey us or misbehave because of the lack in their communication skills, they sometimes struggle in communicating their feelings and their needs, especially when they’re very young.