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Advice On Strong Willed Child

Has anyone had a strong willed child? How did you discipline your child/children? What is the correct way to discipline, and for what reasons. Any advice on what has worked for your family would be great.

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 ---Tina on 8/30/05
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Don't engage with him in a power struggle, as that is what he is wanting to do to assert his "control". If he keeps up this behavior I would tell him that a phone is a privlege and not a right. If he want to be able to have these adult luxuries than he needs to behave like one. Tell him, calmly but firmly, that the next time he wants to break the rules, misbehave etc. his phone will be confiscated and the service turned off. If he wants a phone at that point he will need to pay for it himself, and if he doesn't have the money then he will need to get a job. He is looking for inconsistancy and seeing if you and your husband are on the same page. Good luck!
---Amy on 12/20/10


A strong-willed child is tough to deal with. They will make you or them wind up hurting the other. That is not good. The kid usually does not listen to reason, does not respond to anything that is said to him/her. This in turn causes the parent to use harsher punishment. The kid can be driven to unusual tactics against the parents,also. Very hard to deal with. The parent usually wind up pleading and giving in to the kid, for the sake of peace. Or to keep from hurting the kid. The kid learns he can get away with certain things and things gets worse and worse in the relationship. An outside person or help will be needed, at some point.
---Robyn on 7/30/10


My problem is while I am trying to stay calm during my 17 year old son's temper tantrum episodes, he is trying to think of more ways of engaging me and it is escalating. I have been praying and trying to stay strong, but I don't know what is coming next.

He prioritizes his phone. I am clear that when he is disobedient, that is what will be taken away first. Even though he knows I will follow through (because he has lost it several times) and says that he HATES it the most when I take it away, he still continues to have weekly blow-ups, after which he loses his phone for his inappropriate behavior. One would think that he wants to keep it so bad, he would behave himself.

Ideas?
---Marcia on 7/28/10


Love must come first! Then you can do all things thru Christ who gives you strenght. Children are gifts from GOD, they required lots of LOVE, WORK, and PRAYER.
And believing "The tasks a head of you is never as great as the POWER within you".He gave us the road map for life on what to do and not to do (the WORD)we must use it, with HIS mercy, grace and forgiveness available to us.So that we can try again and not give up until we perfect it as He wants for us to be more and more like HIM. Raising Children strong willed or not is same as when CHRIST chose to die for all of us on the cross because of LOVE.For LOVE conquers all!!!
---chona on 6/22/10


children are a gift of god,they should have someone to go to and listen to them,they should also be able to listen to your problems,but for all that you have to show them that you are the boss no messing,when you say your not going out they shouldnt go.when they answer you back in disrespect you should tell them to remember who they are taking to.you was givin a child from god to bring it up the way they should go.ask god to help you brake that childs will give that child to him askhim towork though you.
---nikki on 7/30/07




Yes, I had one. My advice, let them do as they please. HA, HE.++>>>>>>Reward for that. Not too many wrinklies, No heart problems. Child pretty good today. Praise God.
---catherine on 7/17/07


You have to figure out what drives that child. Spanking was never that effective but make the consequences fit the crime. An example my oldest was not allowed to ride past a certain point on his bicycle, but he did anyway, so he lost the bicycle for a week. We never had that problem again.
---Annie on 7/17/07


I used to spank my kids. I read a good essay on sexual assalt and physical abuse in children's lives and how spanking can be linked to abusive and sexually abbusive behavior later in life. I cried. I love my daughters, why did I believe that hitting them would turn them into better kids? What does it say about me? "do unto others as you would have done unto you" . If my husband hit me because I spent money when he asked me not to, I'd leave him. So why would a child react any differently?
---bev on 10/2/06


I grew up with spankings, I actually deserved them! My son is gifted so he was easy to explain things to do or not to do. When I told him no and he would ask me why not, I would have him tell me why not. But ... believe me there were spankings included in his upbringing. Usually for telling a lie, today this 16-year-old young man will tell me anything. I so respect his honesty. He accepted Christ at age 13.
---Nellah on 11/17/05


We had one child who from the age of 3 could be reasoned with and obeyed because it made sense to him; another child had to have the boundaries well defined and CONSISTENT.....both are now grown and doing well.....not easy though! It takes much prayer and follow through!
---Elsie on 9/30/05




"Strong-willed" can last well into the teens too! My 16-year-old daughter is not doing well in school. We've denied her learner's permit until she brings up her grades. My husband and I have reasoned with her that if we can't trust her with her school books, we certainly cannot trust her with a car. We are sticking to it, and her grades are coming up. You must be strong! Say what you mean and mean what you say.
---Crystal on 9/29/05


When you have a strong-willed child, you have to be an even stronger-willed parent. The child must understand that there will be negative consequences for negative behavior. You can't give in! The punishment must suit the crime. Ex: Child throws a fit, child gets placed in room with door shut until its over, no matter how many times that takes. Idea: Can't make the whole family suffer. BE CONSISTENT! Most important. Please, notice and point out good behavior too.
---Crystal on 9/29/05


, we now have an "epidemic of attention deposit disorder". yet back in the good old days, we called it "childhood". let kids be kids and they will thrive, punish when they defy you intentionally.
---steve on 9/8/05


, remember that if a kid is too young to talk about why they did something, they are too young to see a relationship between their action and any spanking.
---Steve on 9/6/05


I think James Dobson has a book that teaches on the strong willed child. My advise although late is to seek wisdom in teachings in your local Christian bookstore that uses biblical principals.
---Lehua on 9/2/05


#2, Set punishments for certain actions ahead of time, and let the child know what will happen when they do certain things, and stay firm to the list. Taking away things they find enjoyable, certain toys, TV, Games. The biggest thing is to never lose self control and get mad at the child.
---geraa7578 on 9/2/05


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The problem with today's youth is that the parents are not being parents! The child needs rules to live by and make them a better person. Parents need to be on the same page with each other, or the child will play one off the other. The child needs bounderies set, and held firm by the parent, Don't give into the child! How will the child learn if he does not know the bounderies.
---geraa7578 on 9/2/05


, also, remember that kids are kids, and will seem to be bratty. punish only when they are being intentionally defiant, or challenging your authority openly.
---steve on 8/31/05


, many people fail to realize that spanking does not work before the child is old enough to know why they are getting it, and also, there is no reason to stop spanking before the teen years begin.
---steve on 8/31/05


There is a book on the market called
"The Strong Willed Child" by Dobson. Read some of it and liked the advice.
---barbara67 on 8/31/05


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Consistency is important, both parents agreeing on discipline and sticking to it, otherwise the child will play one off against the other. Let them know why you have to have rules. Don't let Monday's "no" be Tuesday's "yes". I think children appreciate strict parents, who do not keep changing the rules. And don't fall for the "everybody else is allowed to do it" routine. Your children are unique and so are your rules.
---Paulette on 8/31/05


Each child is different and needs discipline to fit their needs. My daughter is strong willed. Spanking never worked. She's 8 now. Taking away things or doing things that she wanted/wants works. Sometimes, she's gets alittle spat on the behind to get her attention and then I tell her the consequences of her actions.I tell her now that she must obey her parents so that she'll grow up to obey God, etc.
---EJ on 8/31/05


You must dicipline the child from day one. If the child is older and you have not always diciplined properly you are going to get rebellion. Most dicipline will be done prior to age 7. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Also read and talk about the Bible and pray with your kids. Make sure at an early age you have the opportunity to lead them to the Lord. I don't care how strong willed the child is if you have this type of relationship the child will learn how to be obedient. Remember, thou ages 1 - 7. After these ages, it would be rough going if the child isn't already properly taught.
---Moderator on 8/31/05


I need answers
---Raymond on 8/31/05


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part 3
Do not let the kid think that he is the boss. There is a delicate balance between stern discipline and mercy, but don't become so merciful that the kid doesn't think you can discipline him. Most importantly, pray. Pray for wisdom, discernment, love, and anything else you may need. There are many situations which may arise that you won't know exactly how to handle, but with God's wisdom and leading, these situations can turn out good, even great.
---david7648 on 8/30/05


part 2
Consistency is very important as well. Don't discipline a kid hard for cursing one time, and the next time say that it's not ok for him/her to curse. Consistency prevents confusion, gives the kid a standard that is hard and fast, so he knows what is expected of him. When you have a strong-willed kid that knows he has a certain set of guidelines that he has to stay within, or he will be disciplined, he will eventually decide (hopefully) to stay within the guidelines.
---david7648 on 8/30/05


love and consistency. There are several different approaches used to discipline kids; i.e. spanking, time out, loss of privileges, etc. Whichever method you use, make sure it is age-appropriate and followed up by letting them know that you love them, and explain why you had to discipline them the way you did. Hugging them is a good way to let them know that you are not mad at them, but that you do still love them.
---david7648 on 8/30/05


I've had several strong willed children. Discipline depends on their age and the circumstance. What works well for one may not work well for another. You can write to me here on Christianet ruth4766 if you want further discussion! One could go on forever!
---ruth on 8/30/05


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