Is your child a strong willed child?
Do you have one in your classroom?
We can either embrace their strengths or spend our days in power struggles. We can appreciate the value and leadership they can bring to any group or we can challenge their determination. We can give in to their demands or we can listen and give choices when possible within established rules and routines.
These are children who want to be in charge of themselves and their world. When they are determined, they may have a hard time seeing alternatives or envisioning the consequences of their choices. They have big emotions and live active all-or-nothing lives.
Here are 5 tips for surviving and thriving with the strong willed child in your life
- Avoid power struggles by establishing rules and routines–Plan ahead and be prepared to state the routine calmly: Bedtime is at 8:00 so that you get plenty of sleep before school.
- Give choices whenever possible–Before you got to bed we can read one book. You may pick out the one you want to hear.
- Look for win/win solutions–I know you don’t want to miss that t v show so I can record it for you. You can watch it after you finish your homework tomorrow.
- Listen and acknowledge their point of view–I understand that you don’t feel tired right now but your body works best when we follow a regular bedtime.
- Provide opportunities for challenges and active learning– I love your ideas for how to build a lego fort. Let’s see how quickly you can get ready for bed and if there is time we can work on it together until bedtime.
Celebrate the unique qualities of the strong willed child. The same characteristics that make them a challenge to parents and educators, can also be traits that put them in charge of their own corporation or make them the next president of the country. Find ways to channel that talent into productive pursuits. What can they be in charge of at home? In the community? At school? If you can pique their interest and develop in them a passion for excellence in a productive arena, you will make your job much easier.
Wonder how Wyatt handles a bossy friend?
Wyatt is always wondering about something and lately it is how to get his friend, Max to change his bossy ways. What can he do? Join Wyatt as he considers some rather unusual options until he finally discovers that a heart to heart talk with Max can create a new friendship with an old friend.
Grab a copy of Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Good Manners here