I am the first to admit that E and I are not parenting experts. We have busy lives and one very strong willed child. In the 5 wonderful years since R has joined our lives, we’ve learned a lot about patience, compassion and parenting.
We all struggle every single day but we have developed some strategies that have helped us during difficult parenting moments. Here are 5 of our most often used strategies to parent our strong willed child:
1. Know your Child’s Triggers
This is a big one for R. He is usually happy go lucky, enthusiastic and energetic. However, if he is hungry or tired he becomes a mess.
We do our best not to let him get too hungry or too tired. This means that we’ll occasionally leave an event early and I must always have snacks on hand.
If the hunger monster and/or the exhaustion ogre pop out their ugly heads, E and I know to be patient. We know that this isn’t our son’s usual behavior and he needs something from us whether it’s a box of raisins or a pillow.
2. Respect and Embrace your Strong Willed Child’s Personality
I admit, it took me a long time to figure this one out. I’m stubborn but fairly quiet and generally willing to accommodate people. According to my parents, I grew up this way as well.
As R has grown, he has become more opinionated, super stubborn and very determined. Initially, this was very challenging to work with but I eventually realized that the best idea was to just respect and work with his personality.
Being a strong willed person will come in handy when R is older. Hopefully he’ll overcome his challenges, be confident and change the world in a positive way because of his personality. I certainly don’t want to stifle that!