Parenting

Dealing with a Strong Willed Child – (Part 2)

Side view of Tiger girl

Side view of Tiger girl

In the 1st part of this 2 part post I shared the triads of my strong -willed child, Tiger girl. She is a child which really challenges me on a daily basis with her wit.

It is really amazing that a 3 year old  can be so certain about what she wants and really can wear your patience ultra thin.

Kids this age flare up  and tear easily when they don’t get what they want. It is very important to address this errant behavior at this stage or else it will get more difficult as they grow up.

It has taken many trials and errors before I’ve learned how to deal with her and minimize the amount of  conflict that she has with me.   Here are  two things I have learned so far.

1. Speak calmly and model desired behavior.

An Example of modeling the behavior you wish your child to display.

‘ I WANT that drink!!’ she would shout.

” I cannot hear you” I would tell her. ” You are shouting. If you are speaking nicely in a nice tone I maybe able to hear you better”.

” Can you say – Can I have the drink please?”  (This is repeated if there is no response from her or she still continues shouting)

She doesn’t not get the drink if she doesn’t ask properly and this is something that I have to be insistent on if she is to learn about proper etiquette.

After a few times Tiger girl would “get the idea” as she realize that shouting gets her nowhere.  She’s one smart cookie as these few days  it takes less then a minute for her to model the correct behavior so that she is able to get what she wants.

2.  It takes skill to play the waiting game.

When Tiger girl throws a tantrum and refuses to walk I will tell her that she has two choices either to walk or she can stay at where she currently is but don’t expect me to wait for her.

I make it clear to her that her current behavior is not acceptable and the reason why she is not getting the item (Ie: Ice- cream / soft toy etc).  I do offer her suggestions or alternatives to her initial request as I reason with her.

Sometimes she does start asking for alternative demands when her initial demand is not met.  She may or may not get her alternative request depending on how realistic they are.

Most of the time kids this age can be reason with. You just have to be a bit more patient and spend the extra 5 -10 minutes cajoling them.  They may not understand your intentions the first time around however after repeatedly testing you under similar circumstance they will start to realize that tantrums don’t work on you and cease doing it.

If we are at home and she starts throwing tantrums I will just walk away  and let her scream and shout after explaining to her that her behavior is not acceptable. She can go on for an hour and sometimes cry until she falls asleep.

As long as they are not in any physical danger I feel that it is all right to let them cry it out.  You have to stay firm and even harden your heart to their pitiful cries but it is something that has to be done to be able to “tame” them.

Tiger girl’s outburst have reduced a lot since I’ve adopted this method of addressing her tantrums. I’m not affected by her mood swings and the day is not spoiled for the both of us.

In the next post I will be doing a follow up on how Positive Affirmations have been working on Monkey boy and how Doggie boy has been faring in his  studies so far.

Post in this series

– Parenting with Less Stress ( An Introduction)

– Teaching Kids about coping with the fear of Failure (Part 1)

– Teaching Kids about coping with the fear of Failure (Part 2)

– Encouraging a Struggling Learner (Part 1)

– Encouraging a Struggling Learner (Part 2)

-Dealing with a Strong Willed Child (Part 1)

– Dealing with a Strong Willed Child( Part 2)

– An Update on Monkey Boy

 

Dealing with a Strong Willed Child – Part 1

Tiger girl posing for the picture

Tiger girl posing for the picture

Strong Willed Children are commonly defined by having the following characteristics. They are known to be demanding, insistent, stubborn , difficult and even rebellious.

Handling a  strong willed child can be a real challenge for parents.  They are typically highly creative and intelligent and you really need to “burn many brain cells” trying to come up with more ingenious ideas to be able to reason with them so that they see your point of view.

Monkey boy is  and overachiever  while Doggie boy is a struggling learner.  Tiger girl ,on the other hand, is totally different from her brothers.   She has been even more challenging to deal with an is an extremely strong willed child as compared to them.

 

Tiger girl, being  the 3rd born  and a girl,   is growing up faster then her brothers.    I  put it down to the fact that  girls mature faster then boys and having two older brothers  gives her ample opportunity to build up her social skills.

Having older siblings can be good but unfortunately this also means that she picks up both the good and bad from them.  ( If only there is a fairy wand to wish away all the bad habits that she picked up from them it would certainly be neat!!)

Tiger girl has always  had a clear idea of what she wants and goes all out to get it.  She is very vocal and expressive which makes it easier for her to be understood.

She is not one to budge once she has made her decision. She may  scream, shout and cry if she doesn’t get her way and it is really trying to reason with this three year old.

She can be nice as an angel one moment and in a split second turn into a shrieking hyena once she finds that the odds in the particular  situation is not to her favour.

Tiger girl can kick up a fuss and complain like a drama queen  for at least an hour or so if I let her be.  It can be really frustrating dealing with her and trying not to give in to her wimps and fancies when you are pressed for time or have other impending issues to handle.

In the next part of this post I will be sharing with you the different techniques I have used to rein in this strong willed child of mine while at the same time giving her the space to develop at her own pace.

Post in this series

– Parenting with Less Stress ( An Introduction)

– Teaching Kids about coping with the fear of Failure (Part 1)

– Teaching Kids about coping with the fear of Failure (Part 2)

– Encouraging a Struggling Learner (Part 1)

– Encouraging a Struggling Learner (Part 2)

-Dealing with a Strong Willed Child (Part 1)

– Dealing with a Strong Willed Child( Part 2)

– An Update on Monkey Boy