to the parents of strong-willed children

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strong-willed child

From the book “You can’t make me, but I can be persuaded” by Cynthia Tobias:

“Dr. Breggin said that Newsweek had asked the questions: “Where are the great thinkers of the 90s? Where the Freuds, the Einsteins, the Picassos?” Dr. Breggin then responded with a sobering thought: “What if we’re medicating them?” Tobias wrote “When you think about it, all three of those great men would have fit most if not all of the symptoms of many learning disorders.”

I first published about Mason’s strong-willed personality a couple months back, find the post here. Well, we’ve had a pretty awesome summer, no it hasn’t been outburst free but it’s getting better. We have learned so much the past couple months, it has really helped by doing research, reading books and articles about a “strong-willed” personality. With a strong-willed personality you really have to look at the whole picture and think about it; is it a spoiled brat moment or is it his personality and he really can’t help it? And believe me you really can see the difference, but it takes time and practice.

After reading articles like this one at Aha! or others and all these other children have the same exact traits as Mason does or certain ways we were already parenting like – that came naturally. Strong-willed personality is a REAL thing and NO it doesn’t have to run your life!

The first step to any parent is recognizing their child is a SWC and no you can’t change that and you shouldn’t want to. No, they don’t need medications. No, they don’t need to be beat. No, strong discipline will not solve anything.  Next do research, read a book, talk to other parents about the subject SWC. There is a lot of knowledge out there that will help, and it will help tremendously! Lastly all that knowledge you are reading, use it and you will notice wonders with your child. And make sure when you find what works great for your child, that you let all the other adults in his/her life know.

Wondering if you child is a SWC? – stubborn, high energy, challenging, persistent, determined, doesn’t like the word no, likes to be “in charge”?

These things work wonders for Mason and it sounds like most other Strong-Willed!

Routines/Rules – our day runs so much smoother when there is routine, and the rule thing works wonderfully, it makes him feel like we’re not trying to control him it’s just a rule everyone has to follow.

Prime/Prompt/Front Load – this is a huge one for Mason, telling him what I expect of him before going somewhere/doing something and sometimes I will add in the consequence, example before going to the playground, “if you start mis-behaving, we will leave”. And going over scenarios.

Choices – seriously if you tell a SWC “go brush your teeth now” they will not go without a fight, but if you tell a SWC “you can either go brush your teeth now or in 5 minutes?” they think they are in charge and bam no arguments! Give choices, make them feel like they are still in charge. Let them be in charge of as much as possible, let them make decisions, they are amazingly smart children.

I’ve come to love Mason’s personality and feel very lucky to have such a strong child and we will continue to embrace it! Do you have a SWC? I would love to chat with you, are you looking for advice, a support group/parent, did you raise a SWC…


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