Help with the strong willed child

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Help with the strong willed child
2
Sun, 08-24-2008 - 9:56pm

I have a very strong willed dd who just turned 4 in July.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 08-26-2008 - 2:02pm

It's been my experience that I handle their stubbornness (is that a word?) and refusal to do something I know they would like if I completely take myself out of the picture. Often their reactions and fits have nothing to do with me at all. Its about them, their idea of what is going on and their feelings about that. So it is not about me at all. Doing that means I am not as likely to get upset, flustered or embarassed if they refuse to participate in an activity I've signed them up for. I will not sit there for the entire class if they are refusing to participate but I don't yell or punish. I will tell them that if they don't want to participate then we will go home and they can spend the time in their room as they need some down time. I'm big on choices and always have been. I will offer a choice between taking a few minutes to calm down and then participate or we go home. If they refuse to make a choice, they've made one-- to go home, because they aren't trying to calm down and participate.

If certain aspects of the class bothers them I will talk to them about what they can do to either deal with it, change it, or let the teacher know what is bothering them. I make a point of telling them they need to use their words to tell us what is bothering them. They will get better results that way.

I hope that helps.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2008
Mon, 08-25-2008 - 9:49am

Strong willed children can be frustrating and you are so right to try to stay out of situations that could cause conflict. If you cannot avoid try to give choices and warnings. "It is ok that you left your hairband at school but what is the rule about hair at the gym?" "You know your teacher will have hairbands and you can pick whatever color you want." Also try to keep in ind that you do not have to fix everything. if she does not want to do gymnastics, ok. If you get home and she is mad let her be mad. When she clams down ask her to replay the afternoon. "You are upset and you want to go to gymnastics. What happened today that made you miss it? How can you do things differently next time?" Scolding or yelling at a child who is wound up will always amplify the situation.

Have a great day.
Brandi

Brandi Davis
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