Monday, May 24, 2010

Strong-Willed Child?

Is your strong-willed child driving you insane? Do you feel like every minute of every day is a nuclear battle of wills?

Raising strong-willed kids is hard on your complexion. They can rob your joy, your confidence and your sleep! For the record, most parents think they have strong willed kids. The fact is, every child goes through seasons when their capacity to test boundaries and assert their will exceeds our pay grade. I’m not talking about these types children. When I say, “strong-willed” I’m talking about those miniature Winston Churchill’s that somehow got assigned to your family photo. These kids are stubborn, argumentative, inflexible, and tough as nails. They are not going to budge from what they want and they have all the energy and time in the world to wait for you to come around.Don’t panic. And don’t surrender. Smile. God has so much confidence in you; he assigned you the job of raising a great leader for him.

Sometimes raising a strong-willed kid is like trying to saddle a rhinoceros.

The biggest problem that strong-willed kids have is that they often have weak-willed parents. These kids are a gift, and God made them the way they are for a reason. Our job as parents is not to break their will, but to bring them up in an atmosphere of grace that builds character into their heart. Obviously, these kids need discipline and respect for authority, but they also have a great need to have choices and control over as much of their life as possible.As long as they're eating, who cares if they want to dip carrot sticks in their chocolate milk? As long as they are going to bed, who cares if they want to wear their Halloween costume and galoshes to sleep? The less battles you create, the fewer you have to win.

Raising strong-willed kids takes courage, stamina and a whole lot of ibuprofen!

Strong-willed kids are a gift from God; not a curse from your parents. These are your future leaders, dreamers and visionaries; but as children, they are a force to be reckoned with. The battle of wills, however, is a war that you must win. But the fewer battles you create, the fewer you have to fight. Before engaging in a sparing match with your kid, ask yourself one question: Is this hill worth dying on?You can circumvent a lot of battles by allowing your strong-willed child to make choices within guidelines that you establish. For instance, as long as they take a nap, who cares if they sleep under their bed dressed as G.I. Joe!Save your energy for those disagreements that aren't open to debate. Focus on issues of moral significance, and make your goal not behavior, but character.


The Kelly Fam said...

SO I had to comment on the dipping the carrots in the milk, so something my son would do! Oh and sleeping in his halloween costume, he has done that too. Yesterday he wore 2 shirts just b/c he wanted to and I wasn't going to fight him on it. Ah the age of 2!

Bridget said...

I did a post a couple years ago on this..I think when Landen was Avens age.. go figure! ha! I think it was called choosing my battles. I'm excited for our strong willed boys, they are going to make great men of God. We might be fully grey by 35 ha!
Do more post on what you learned..this was great!

JillAileenJones said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog and your prayers. My husband and I joke that with each child we think they are strong willed till we have the next one! lol After 4 whew!!! lol Loved your blog today, thanks for sharing it was really great.
My six year old is very strong willed-I am going to try and put more of this into practice-the blessing is he did ask Jesus in his heart last Thursday-so if we can keep him on this road I think being strong willed will be a benefit to him-can't wait to see what God will do with that strong willed heart.
Thanks again.