8 Tips for Parenting a Strong Willed Child

1. Don’t let good behavior go unnoticed. This is especially important. Defiant children often times struggle horribly with confidence. Encouraging and recognizing things such as sharing or playing well with others really does wonders to let your child know they are wonderful.

2. Stick to what you have said. This means is you have asked your child to put away his or her clothes or take out the trash reminding them every 5 minutes is something that is unnecessary. Often times a defiant child will find an opportunity to argue or complain and search for reason not to do the task. You must be unwilling to participate.

3. Provide understanding for expectations. This means letting your child understand his or her choices. Expressing what you know they are capable of doing and then providing them with choices is great for encouraging better decision making.

4. Give positive reinforcement with enthusiasm. When you express your appreciation to your child make sure you are being enthusiastic and excited. This lets your child know they are appreciated also.

5. Don’t express drastic punishment. Stick to one thing not an add on of other punishments because your child throws a tantrum. The punishment should fit the crime and adding on a bunch of other things because the child continues with a tantrum or argument only fuels the fire.

6. Offer a reward system. When a defiant child can see their accomplishments they are encouraged, pleased, and building confidence.

7. Remove the child from the situation. If a tantrum is occurring at a store be prepared to leave immediately. That’s right leave that basket full of groceries and go home. Your defiant child will thrive off the attention you are giving to quiet them down but also the onlookers. Same thing for at home. A time out corner or a time out in their room is sufficient in letting a child know their actions are not acceptable.

8. Keep calm. Yelling and screaming accomplishes zero with a child who is throwing a tantrum. On top of that it is though you are saying that type of behavior is ok. In these moments it is ok to take a time out. Lower your voice and step away if necessary