Tips to Discipline a Strong Willed Child | Proven Discipline Techniques

Although raising a strong willed child might seem troublesome, but having a strong willed child is a blessing in disguise. If parented well, strong willed children often become leaders and motivators while erroneous parenting might make them amateurish and careless teens when they grow up. and As Jackie Kennedy said:

“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”

At the same time parenting a strong willed child is not a piece of cupcake, it needs some solid best practices. This article reveals the all-time best parenting tips about how to discipline a strong willed child.

It is a renowned fact that all children are not born the same, not meant to be the same when they grow up and can’t be handled the same. Likewise, parenting techniques for every child are not the same and parenting strong willed child is most challenging. But by reading this complete article you will come to the conclusion that some of the regular discipline techniques can be applicable to disciplining a strong willed child .

What is Actually Strong Willed Child? (Signs that you have strong willed child)

What is actually strong willed child
Before you jump to tips to discipline strong willed child, you must know what actually strong willed child is.

Some parents refer to them as “stubborn” or “spirited” child. However, all children can be stubborn, spirited and strong willed some time but real strong willed child is the one who possesses certain properties. Strong willed children often question everything they come across and tend to do whatever they want even if advised against by people. Strong willed children also argue with their parents when they are told to do something.

But strong willed child should not be confused with “bad child”, strong willed child is simply determined and tenacious to do things their own way. Here are some signs that you are probably raising a strong willed child:

1. Arguing on Everything:

Strong willed children are good debaters and they can keep being engaged in arguments. They are good at finding loopholes when they don’t want to listen to something and want to think that they are right.

Strong willed children argue to parents when their parents want them to something they don’t want to do.

2.Bossy Nature:

Strong willed children don’t like to be ordered around and are bossy in nature. They have some vision in their mind and want to do things their own way. They want people to act according to their order rather than following someone else.

3. Low Tolerance and Intense Angry Outbursts:

Strong willed children are short tempered and get angry easily but that anger is temporary. Especially when they are ordered to do something they don’t want or they are not allowed to do something they want they get angry.

4. Questions on Everything:

Strong willed children question every advice and every decision others make for them and most likely they oppose them. They want to follow their own will. Parents want best for their kids but strong willed kids ask questions on everything they are being ordered to do.

5. Refuse to do things they don’t like:

Strong willed kids simply refuse to do things they don’t like even if their parents want them to do that thing. It is useless to convince them about the things they have refused to do. Also, explore the things that you should never say to your children.

Tips to Discipline Strong Willed Children:

1. Let them Learn through Experience:

Strong willed kids want to test things themselves, they are experiential learners. So instead of imposing your experience about something on them, let them experience things themselves if that thing is not really harmful to them. Because strong willed kids will always question your experience unless they experience themselves. Your experiences imposed on them will always keep their conscience vague and their opinion will always be vague about the things they have not experienced. As said by famous actor Chris Hemsworth:

“As kids, our experiences shape our opinion of ourselves and the world around us, so that’s who we become as an adult.”

2. Don’t Act in Heat of the Moment:

Nobody comes in the world knowing the boundaries and expectations from them and everyone makes mistakes so don’t shout at your kids in the heat of the moment and try to teach them with a calm mind. Strong willed kids don’t learn things forcefully, so instead of scolding your kid try to teach him/her through some example.

“Certainly, truth should be strenuous and bold; but the strongest things are not always the noisiest, as any one may see who compares scolding with logic.”

3. Lead through Example:

Children learn what they see, and this is not only true for strong willed children but for every child. So as parents you should teach your kids lessons through example rather than just saying it to them verbally.

Always remember don’t do things in front of your kids that you don’t want them to follow. If you even shout at them they will learn and will become aggressive in nature. If the child lives in criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives in hostility, he learns to fight. If the child lives in dear, he learns to be apprehensive. If the child lives in ridicule, he learns to be shy. If a child lives intolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives in acceptance, he learns to love.

“Children learn from what is practiced, not what is preached.”

4. Give them Choices:

Strong willed kids are bossy in nature, follow their own will and refuse what they don’t like. So if you order them they will become more stubborn about their decision and will refuse every choice you make for them. So instead of giving them firm orders, give them choices so that they feel like a master of their destiny. This is the only way they will be able to follow their own will and your will as well at the same time.

“Strong willed children become adults who change the world as long as we can hang on for the ride and resist the temptation to tame the spirit out of them.”

5. Give them Authority:

Remember that strong willed children want to be in charge of their activities and don’t like pampering. Trust your children and let them do their things themselves unless it doesn’t put them in harm’s way.

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them”

They don’t want to listen “do it this way” or don’t want to be nagged that “let me tell you how to do this” or ”do you need anything else?”. The more you give them the authority of their activities the less they will oppose you and they will take more responsibilities.

Tips to Discipline Strong Willed Children

“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.”

6. Make Two-way Relationship:

Remember that growing and disciplining a child is a two-way relationship where you learn from each other. Don’t think that your child is always wrong where he/she opposes you. Try to think from their point of view and listen to them what they have to say. When you will start cooperating with your child he/she will get a sense of integrity and a valued member of the family. Your child will be willing to do things according to your will. But you would also have to let them do things according to their own will where it is possible.

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have for instance.”

7. Prioritize your Relation with your Child :

Every child needs and demands care. If your child doesn’t get enough attention it will be reflected through his/her actions and words. A child who has a strong connection with their parents tend to do well. Your connection with your strong willed child is the foundation of disciplining him/her. Parents who prioritize their jobs over their relationship with their child can’t get their child to be disciplined well because at some point in the life of their child they will exhibit behavior like rage and disrespectfulness which shows the lack of attention and care from their parents. As said by Ben Carson:

“There is no job more important than parenting. This I believe.”

8. Try to Avoid Power Struggles:

A power struggle is a condition where children refuse to do something and parents insist on doing that thing. But parents can take certain steps like giving a warning and providing a consequence to avoid power struggles and take control over them.

” Do something today for your child that your child will thank you for in the future.”

Avoiding power struggles doesn’t mean that you comply with your child’s ideas or force your child to do what you want, you can rather find the way in between.

9. Keep your Power but Give them Respect:

You should have control over your child but that doesn’t mean you should abuse or beat them. Most of the strong willed child wants to respect if you provide them with respect they won’t have to fight and oppose you. See things from their point of view, if they feel understood it will help a lot in disciplining them.

10. Channel their Direction into Positive Direction:

Strong willed children are usually energetic, you can channel their energy into positive.

  • Give them projects. Energetic kids love doing projects.
  • Indulge them in sports
  • Compel them to do chores.

Channeling energy into a positive direction will keep them away from futile things and they will grow to have amazing physical and mental skills.

If you have positive energy, you will always attract positive outcomes.”

Conclusion about the Ways to Discipline a Strong Willed Child

It is always a better practice to think a lot every time while saying anything to your children because in their growth process everything you say becomes the part of their life during your whole life and can affect their personality as well. So, always try to choose words more carefully because these words do not feel that way for you like your children feel when they hear them.

These discipline techniques about disciplining a strong willed child or toddler have great results. These are very small things that can make a huge difference when you apply them in the correct way.

Rosalie smith

Rosaline Smith is a Psychiatrists by profession. She deals with the issues related to childcare and is a publisher at

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