Oh you know,…… they are oh so cute and cuddly when they first come home from the hospital. They are so sweet and warm and they smell delightful. As the weeks go by then you start seeing the sweet smiles, and gummy grins to their first time they sit, crawl, and then start to walk. As your little one gets bigger their personality and temperament starts really coming out. You start seeing whether you child is shy, outgoing, compliant, or strong-willed.
I think for most families, one of their children will end up being strong-willed. A strong-willed personality isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is if you don’t properly shape it and keep it under check.
In a family our size, I would probably say I have 2 children I can clearly say that are strong-willed. It can be very challenging and tiring! (Also let me add….I’m not a parenting expert just a regular mom to 8 kids and this is what has worked for me!) Be reminded that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. And know that God created each child in a special way for a special purpose.
So what do you do in the mean time? How do you handle a child that is challenging and at times seems like it’s always a battle.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while dealing with a strong-willed child:
- Pick your battles. Not every situation or every event has to be a power struggle. Learn to pick your battles and not go head to head on every little thing.
- See the positive. Sometimes when dealing with a child that is more time consuming and challenging you tend to just see the negative. Learn to see some of the positives and point them out as much as possible.
- Stand your ground. There are times when you as the parent MUST stand your ground on certain issues or rules. That is that! It can be tiring but in the end it is better that the child knows there are somethings just not up for discussion or debate. You know the areas in your family that are most important and things that just can not be compromised.
- Be consistent. With any parenting….consistency is key! But when dealing with a child that can be stubborn, you’ve got to learn to be consistent with your boundaries and rules.
- Love them. I know this one may sound a bit much, but sometimes it’s hard to truly love them when all day it can be frustrating. You sometimes need to go before God and ask for the strength to love them where they are. Try and take one on one time with them and just put your arm around them and just show them unconditional love.
- Pray. This is a huge, huge one! You must make a point to daily lift their name before the Lord. Ask God to give you wisdom first on how to handle them. Ask God for the strength and grace each day to better communicate on their level. Prayer is a powerful tool and something that will help us as moms to draw closer to God. Here’s a little help with finding quiet time here.
Here’s something I read from Kendra Smiley “The Journey of a Strong-willed Child”, she said “Ask God to show you the vision He has for your child’s future, and what specific and measurable goals you and your spouse should set to help your child get there.”
Remember that God has a wonderful plan for each of your children, but God designed this child with a strong-willed temperament for a reason! Keep that in mind.
For me I’m just starting to see progress in one of my two children that are strong-willed. It’s been a long road at times, & tiring too, but seeing the progress is very encouraging!
Does that mean I won’t have any more problems?….. not at all but know that if you give it to the Lord and depend on Him for help, you will start to see remarkable difference in your parenting skills and how that child learns to handle themselves.
Parenting a child can have it’s challenges but when dealing with children that are strong-willed it can feel like it’s never ending. Hang in there and keep on loving them, keep on connecting with them, keep on praying for them………Remember God is the one who formed this child and He knows them better than you! Hang in there Mom, your not alone!