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"Our Strong-Willed Child"

A strong will is not a bad thing - we all need some strength and determination to make it in this crazy world. It is in our guidance with this particular child that we as parents must learn the proper tools to help them be successful.

A strong-willed child is often saying, "I can respect your authority if you can just let me have a little control over something." So, for example in choosing pajamas to wear for bedtime, you as the parent set out two choices (you have control over that) and then the child can choose which one. This way you both have some control.

Some principles to remember in dealing with your strong-willed child -

*Once they have lost it, that is not the time to try to reason with them. Give them space and you take a moment to get some perspective. When they calm down and they are not in fight or flight, then ask them how could we have all handled that better? Let them have input, depending on their age of course.

*Make sure you know what the goal is through this crisis. Again, gain perspective and keep the main thing, the main thing. Lots of do-overs are okay. Try to keep emotions out of it and be very matter of fact.

*Make sure that through the trauma, your relationship is maintained, and you assure them of your love for them no matter what.

Our strong-willed children often end up being the most amazing leaders. Our desire is to channel that strong will for good.


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