Parenting Tips To Cope With A Strong-willed Child

You know you’ve got a strong-willed child on your hands when they won’t respond to any type of discipline strategies you have up your sleeve.

Parenting a strong-willed child can be quite overwhelming and challenging. Kids with a strong will refuse to respond to any of your “go-to” discipline tricks. While their stubbornness will serve them well in the future when they won’t let anything stand in the way of their dreams, it does make things difficult when you are trying to teach them not to draw on the walls. Here are some effective discipline strategies that can work to help teach your strong-willed child right from wrong.

Use positive reinforcement

As a parent, you already know that negative reinforcements like ‘time-outs’ don’t work. Instead, try positive reinforcement and reward your child for their good behavior. Whenever they do what they are supposed to do, give them some heartfelt praise so they can see their progress. One helpful tool is the cotton ball method, which is especially effective with strong-willed kids. Whenever you notice your little one doing the right thing even if it’s the smallest thing, pop a cotton ball into a glass jar. Then reward them once the jar is filled to the top.

Walk the walk

Kids learn best not by listening to the things their parents say, but by observing their behavior and emulating it. If you want to get your child to listen, learn to walk the walk and practice what you preach. If you want your kid to be kind, let them see you being kind to others, especially when you don’t have a reason to. If you want them to stop yelling, you must watch your tone first.

Give choices

Kids with a stubborn nature like to be in charge of themselves. Give them plenty of opportunities to have authority over their own lives. Let them make little choices that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, like which color of the cup to use, what to wear, or which swing to use at the park.

Set expectations

While you want to let your kids be themselves and make individual choices on their own, you also have to set some rules. The easiest way to enforce rules is by having a set routine, which might involve, doing homework right after school, bedtime at the same time every night, and much more.

Pick your battles

Strong-willed kids have strong opinions about everything, starting from what to eat, what to wear, what to do – and you quickly learn that you can’t argue about everything. So, pick your battles. It’s perfectly okay to let your little one wear snow boots in the middle of June, while you can be a little more rigid when it comes to not hitting their siblings.

The firm attitude of stubborn kids can be challenging at times, but with consistency and patience, you can help them grow into resilient, independent, and free-thinking individuals.


Satavisha hails from the city of joy, Kolkata. She took up writing as my profession amid the pandemic when the world was at a standstill. Here, she acquired a balance between her passion for writing and sharing various ideas and facts through her stories.
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