A lot of parents can think they have a strong-willed child, but that may or may not be the case.
Most strong-willed children begin to assert their dominance at about 18 months.
“What happens so much of the time is that these parents give into these kids. And then, all of the sudden, the kids become the parent and they’re the one’s in charge. God didn’t intend that at all.”
John and Kendra offer tips for parents of strong-willed children:
• Don’t give in.
• Be patient but firm.
• Parents have to look long-term and recognize that not giving in to their strong-willed child now will help that behavior to go away eventually.
• Know that strong-willed children have a tendency to be persistent about their behavior if they have any hope they might get their way.
Parents need to beware of giving in even once. If a child knows that acting out will get them what they want, they are going to be very persistent. The behavior will keep escalating.
Parents should also keep in mind that strong-willed children aren’t always extroverts. Not every strong-willed child is loud and spunky. Really it doesn’t make any difference if the child is introverted or extroverted. The issue is how they deal with control.
Extroverts will be more likely to talk about the situation and verbally demand their way while introverts just quietly go about enforcing their will on the family.
John and Kendra have written the book . They have also written a blog post about the specific topic of Introverted strong-willed children.