Monday, January 26, 2015

Brining up a Strong Willed Child



Written for mycity4kids

I was a strong willed child... Still am :-). I see glimpses of me in Z, definitely, not as strong willed as the mother, but she's catching up for sure. Z is better in many ways.
I read somewhere "You are lucky if you have a strong-willed child. If the child is parented sensitively, they grow into terrific teens and young adults. Self-motivated and inner-directed. They go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to "break their will", strong willed kids often become leaders.' 

I had a huge smile after reading this. Then all of a sudden it disappeared.

A little flashback - What happened to me as a child? I was forced to adhere to what the society thinks is right.... Of course I didn't and that was a reason for a childhood where I struggled with myself and the people around. Frankly, it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds. I knew I will do what I want to. I just had to convince people around me... Which was a task but I managed. 

I didn’t want Z to go through all this; hence I started reading about bringing up strong willed kids. I don't want Z to be at loggerheads with what she wants and what people around her want. She is strong willed and sensitive as well. We need to make sure we do the best to maintain her 'strong-will' alive.

Image courtesy pumpkinpatchkidsblog


Before you say, why do you want a difficult and a stubborn child. Well, being strong-willed doesn't necessarily mean she is difficult and stubborn. She isn't. Strong willed kids take their own stand and don't believe in following a leader in a herd...not such a bad thing eh? She's independent and she doesn't want to be guided at every step. If she cries she wants to be left alone, when she's done, she comes and hugs me or Faizan and we talk. If she falls, she hates people giving her a helping hand. She wants to get up on her own. She wants to control herself, which is fair. She is open to hear us out because we never expect her to do as we tell her to.

She does argue, I need to be patient. When she's done with her drama. We speak to her... this doesn't mean we do whatever she wants us to.

Giving Z a power to choose makes her more comfortable and confident. Since we decide what her options are, she stays within the range (I won't say boundaries) we want her to and she doesn't realise she has done what we want her to do. She thinks she is in charge when in reality, she isn't exactly taking total control of her life.

If I tell Z not to touch a candle because I say so... she won't listen. If I tell her its hot and take her finger near the wick, without touching it, she knows why I'm telling her not to and she's OK with that.

She wants to decide what she wants to wear specially. If its cold and she doesn't want to wear her sweater or stockings under her dress. I tell her "its cold and you definitely need to keep yourself warm. Suit yourself.... I'm wearing something warm, I'm feeling cold." Just by doing it we're sorted.

The other day I was chopping some onions and she wanted to chop them too. Well all I did was let her, she cut a piece and after a few seconds her eyes started burning, she left the onions there and then (of course you can't do that every time. If the situation allows, try it). So we let her see what she has got herself into, to a certain extent we let her be her own-self and enjoy herself too.

Fizz and me make sure we talk to her and see what she wants. Right now she's young, but once she's older, we believe, the only way to make her listen to what we say is by letting her keep her point forward. This also works at improving our relationship which is crucial.

We discipline her but we try never let that ruin our relationship. Time outs work best for her. For her its 4 minutes of trying to figure out what's wrong. They always results in an apology and a hug.

When we want something to be done we make sure we don't force her into it. We usually say 'how about doing this'

Its crucial to give her space and respect her for who she is. Z will always be strong-willed and we have developed our parenting style based on that and other aspects of her personality. At the end of the day I'm happy with the fact that Z is strong, determined and extremely independent.

During my research on this topic I came across these two images on a blog called pumpkin patch kids
and I had to share them.

Image courtesy pumpkinpatchkidsblog

Image courtesy pumpkinpatchkidsblog

4 comments:

  1. Nandita Oberoi SharmaJanuary 26, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    I love the way you explain things. It's a learning by itself . Ur daughter is lucky to have u as her mother.

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  2. I have one of those! Lord! the battles we've had! The problem is as they grow older letting them learn from experience becomes more and more risky. Envy you your patience :-).

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  3. Thanks Nandita, I'm (we're) definitely lucky to have Z as well. She is our biggest teacher.

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  4. Thanks for dropping by Tulika, we did have our power struggles as well. When I realized she is just like me, I started keeping myself in her shoes and things changed for good.

    From what I have read, communication becomes easier when they grow. And my experience also says that. We as parents need to trust our kids as well, we can tell them what is wrong/right cannot keep them in a shell for a long time. They need to be independent and take risks. Patience well, we know she isn't wrong in what she does, we need to handle her with care.

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