It seems like there is at least one in every family. The infamous “strong-willed child” (or SWC). We don’t know what to do with them. They seem like a lion (or maybe a goat! :), butting heads with everyone over everything. Getting into trouble, just to keep it interesting. Making mom’s life difficult. If you have one, you know. They are strong-willed and there is nothing you can do about it.
And even though they are strong-willed, you love them, because they are your child. You’ve got to love them, because who else will, right? Strong willed adults are some of the most successful people around because they are willing to fight the fight, to think out of the box and not just take any one’s word for it. They’ve got to find out for themselves. There are so many wonderful giftings that come out of strong-willed children & adults. But, for many of us, we can’t see the forest for the trees. We are right in the middle of it (it isn’t easy!) and we don’t know what to do. (You may find you are a SWA as well…be prepared!)
|This is funny. I love it. I really do! & I believe many of our kids would agree with this.
But, let’s not let it be said of us, that we sacrifice a relationship on the altar of a clean bedroom.
4 STEPS TO FINDING PEACE WITH YOUR SWC:
1. GOD GAVE THEM THIER STRONG-WILL. Thank God for their strong will and ask Him to give you grace, understanding and love for your SWC (every day!!)
2. KEEP THE RELATIONSHIP. Stop nagging. Oh, it is so hard! Cynthia Tobias says in her podcast (link further down), to stop nagging and begin praying for them. Whenever you pick up a shirt (that they should have put away) – don’t nag, pray for them.
3. SHOW THEM THE LOVE. Do you tell them you love them in real, tangible ways every day? If not, you’ve got to start. They don’t know you love them, especially if you have been living with a lot of tension. You’ve got to show them and tell them.
3. BE POSITIVE IN REFERENCE TO THIER STRONG-WILL. Most of the people in history that are remembered today, were strong-willed. That means they had firm determination even in the face of horrible opposition. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr…..yep, we all know these names, but we know them BECAUSE of their strength of determination. It may be tough as a child…but, these kids make AWESOME ADULTS!
FANTASTIC RESOURCES for FRAZZLED PARENTS:
Focus on the family has this incredible 2 part podcast on Surviving the Strong-Willed Child, by Cynthia Tobias. You will come away encouraged and enlightened on how to deal with your SWC. (p.s. SHE was a SWC so you will receive some wonderful insights!) If you have a SWC, it is so worth your time to listen!
Surviving The Strong-Willed Child Podcast – Part 1
Surviving the Strong-Willed Child Podcast – Part 2
YOU CAN’T MAKE ME, BUT I CAN BE PERSUADED
Cynthia Tobias also wrote a book on the subject – available in Hardback & on the Kindle
You Can’t Make Me, But I Can Be Persuaded – Cynthia Tobias (hardback)
You Can’t Make Me, But I Can Be Persuaded – Cynthia Tobias (Kindle Edition)
PARENTING FROM YOUR STRENGTHS:
“The Global Parenting Plan (GPP) draws on the imagery of Global Positioning devices-by doing what Global Positioning devices do to help people track a successful course. What a GPS device does is “triangulate” a person’s position, by getting a reading from three known positions: God’s unchanging Word, their own unique parenting strengths, and the way each of their children is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” By drawing on these three factors parents can not only draw closer to each other, but can be even more effective in “training up a child” in their own unique bent.” (taken from description on Amazon – I thought they could explain it better than I could! 🙂
Parenting From Your Strengths – John Trent
Parenting From Your Strengths – John Trent (Kindle Edition)
And obviously, 🙂 THE NEW STRONG-WILLED CHILD
The NEW Strong-Willed Child – James Dobson (hardcover)
The NEW Strong-Willed Child – James Dobson (Kindle Edition)
I hope these resources give you strength, encouragement and hope, in the journey you are taking. I know it isn’t easy, but it will be worth it, when you have STRONG BOND with your Strong-Willed Child, then Adult. 🙂
With love, Kristen
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