Real Is Better Than Perfect Series

Parenting a Strong Willed Kiddo

August 5, 2019


If you have met my little one (although I guess I can’t say that anymore, he’s 7) he makes a BIG first impression! He’s silly, he’s wild, he’s fast, he’s kind, he’s outgoing, he’s fearless and he’s never ever met a stranger! He’s a million things and trust me, I am BLESSED that he is mine. But one character trait stands out above them all and that character trait is that he is very strong willed!

Parents of strong willed children need a club all of our own! Usually when we get together and start chatting there is a sense of comeraderie and oh my gosh, you too?! I feel so much better!~ I remember when I first met my friend Ashley who has a strong willed daughter. I remember finally feeling like I had someone that could offer me comfort and acceptance and a lifeline on days that were especially tough. We still text each other or call each other when we are having especially tough days. As people pleasers ourselves, it’s hard to understands sometimes why our strong willed kiddos challenge us, questions us, or push back on just about everything.

I remember reading in a book something that made so much sense to me, as parents of strong willed children, we often have to be a “brick wall that our kids have to come up against.” And man… being that brick wall is super hard and lonely sometimes. It’s nice to have other parents that understand what that feels like.

Not all strong willed kids are alike, just like not all kiddos are alike. I can only explain my strong willed kiddo and I’m telling you, although these qualities are exhausting for me now; they are the qualities that make him a leader and he will probably run an empire one day. At least that’s the mantra I repeat to myself over and over again 😉

  • Linc questions everything. He is super inquisitive.
  • He is incredibly smart so after he questions everything, he wants to argue why or why not he thinks that is the way that is should be. I call that lawyering. And if I’m not on top of my game… he will “lawyer” me in a circle
  • Linc challenges every single rule, boundary, safety check that is in place. See lawyering…
  • He remembers every single thing you say, every promise made etc. So if you go back on a rule or boundary or a promise, you are held accountable.
  • He is also fearless and I add this in there because combined with the other character traits it can be very overwhelming.

Those are just a few examples of what some strong willed kiddos (mine in particular) might be like. They are all amazing characteristics. We want our children to be inquisitive, to challenge things and find out how the world works for themselves. We want them to push the boundaries and to question things so that they can make the world a better place!

Linc questions everything because he wants to know why things are the way they are. He truly wants to understand! It’s also the reason he argues every point. He argues because he see’s a better way or he’s fighting to find out IF there is a better way. He challenges the rules because he is fighting to find out the boundaries and where HE in particular fits inside those boundaries. Sometimes he fights because right now in this moment he does not agree with them, and that is hard for me. He doesn’t quite understand that he is little. He might understand that his ability is greater than I understand so he pushes me and believe it or not he stretches me. I end up of learning and growing.

He also keeps adults on their game. He does remember EVERYTHING. So he holds adults accountable. Nope, I don’t like it. I doubt anyone does. I know his teachers don’t appreciate it all the time, but you better believe it helps them in the long run. No adult wants to be told they forgot a promise, or they didn’t have the correct answer per the book. But, he keeps you honest.

And yes he is fearless, but not without fear. He is brave and he will attempt just about anything that HE believes he is capable of!

Sometimes though, when they are little and still learning that can be dangerous and difficult at times. As a parent that can be overwhelming!

All this can also be harsh because it can lead other people to pass harsh judgement.

  • They need more discipline
  • They are too wild
  • They are disrespectful
  • They are out of control

It’s easy to pass judgement when you aren’t truly seeing the whole picture! If you don’t truly know a child, it’s easy to pass judgement, especially on one that is strong willed.

Just keep in mind though that every parent is doing the best that they can! Not all kiddos are the same and not every kiddo has the same needs. Parenting is a tough job as it is so instead of quickly passing judgement, maybe we should all just give each other a smile or a high five and remember: we are all doing the best we can and we’re pretty much in it together!

Maybe the kiddo that’s wild at the pool is a strong willed kid that just needs to get out their energy. Maybe the kiddo that’s throwing a tantrum has had a rough day! Maybe there’s just more to the situation! 😉

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