We are often asked if there is a typical personality type for the strong-willed child. The assumption is made that every strong-willed child is loud and extroverted, demanding to be in control. That is actually not the case. Some strong-willed children are extroverts and some are introverts.
Here’s a question we recently received: “My daughter is very quiet yet very determined to win at all costs. Is it possible for a strong-willed child to be an introvert?”
You already know the short answer is “yes.” I (John) was a strong-willed child. Kendra refers to me as a “formerly-strong-willed-child-turned-responsible-adult.” In addition to being strong-willed, I am also an introvert. I was very seldom loud and boisterous which is behavior more typical of an extrovert. Instead I was like the little girl described in the question. I was determined to win, very determined to win. When a strong-willed child has a temperament similar to mine, that child has a quiet will of iron.
The strong-willed introvert will not argue with you like the typical extrovert. Instead he or she will simply determine not to follow your instructions.
The child’s thought process is simple. Why should I waste time and energy in an argument. I don’t intend to do it your way and so there is really nothing to discuss.
The strong-willed introvert will simply dig in her heels and quietly refuse to cooperate. Yes, it is possible for a strong-willed child to be an introvert.
Ultimately you as the parent will realize that this little darling is not arguing with you AND is not acquiescing and obeying you. That is when it is time for the consequences. Introvert or extrovert, your responsibility is to guide your strong-willed child and love him or her enough to maintain control.
Is your strong-willed child more of an introvert or an extrovert?