5 Parenting Tips for the Strong-Willed Child


Do you have a hard time parenting your strong-willed child? Do you feel like your child is out of control?

I noticed very early on that my child has a sense of independence that I had really only seen in older children. She gets frustrated with herself over her inability to do certain things. And she always knows exactly what she wants.

However, as great as some of that may be, it also means that my kid is more prone to frequent tantrums and outbursts. For the longest time, I doubted myself as a mother. I constantly blamed myself and thought I had just spoiled her.

5 Parenting Tips for the Strong-Willed ChildAlthough the spoiling part may be kind of true (lol), I have since taught myself to understand my child’s triggers. And I now react the way she needs me to.

Here are 5 tips that have helped me with my strong-willed child.

  1. Listen to your child. It is very important to listen to your child when they are upset. Don’t try to quiet them or yell at them. They are upset and they want you to know why. 
  2. Be gentle. As difficult as it may be, the calmer you are when reacting to your child’s bad behavior, the better. Children are still learning and don’t always know how to react. It is always better that they feel love and understanding in these moments. 
  3. Pay close attention to what your child does in their bad moments. Children will continue to throw a fit until they feel heard. Watch them carefully and your child will communicate their needs to you. 
  4. Be patient with them. As tough as it may be, a strong-willed child needs as much patience as possible. Parenting is never an easy job. But having patience for your stubborn child is always a good thing.
  5. Ignore the rude comments. There will always be people who have something to say. Your child being stubborn isn’t your fault and the negative comments from people who don’t care for your kid really don’t matter. 

Always keep in mind that all children are different and as long as your kiddo is happy and healthy, everything is perfect the way it is. Try your best to understand your child and the hidden messages behind their behavior.

For more tips, follow Mary Van Geffen on Instagram or check out her website. She’s a parenting coach for moms of “spicy children.”

Originally published May 2022.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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