If you struggle with raising a strong-willed child check out how I use just 10 minutes a day to reverse all the struggles that come with parenting a strong-willed child and connect with my children each day.
Raising a Strong-Willed Child
Do you struggle with raising a strong-willed child and feel like retreating as opposed to reaching out to them?
Perhaps the tension, the yelling, the power struggles are such a regular occurrence that when it’s quiet it seems safer to withdrawal. They are playing quietly. Or quietly on their electronics. Leave well enough alone. Besides, you may well rest up for the next blow up.
I operated this way for years. As a working single mother, I did not see any other way around it. While parenting a strong-willed child I was told he would eventually “grow out of it”. I would have to wait it out.
The problem was, my child didn’t “grow out of it”. Being strong-willed, or headstrong, or whatever new phrase we are supposed to use now, is simply who he is. And it isn’t a bad a thing.
The problem was me. I had to change.
What my child need from me, was me. Not for me to ignore them. And the way to give them some of the ‘completely exhausted me’ was extremely simple.
Resources on Raising a Strong-Willed Child
As is my default, when I don’t know what to do, I begin reading. I can be the internet, school papers, books, I don’t care. Just let me read and research!
I was at my wit’s end with my child and finally found a couple good books to guide me.
There are a lot of books about parenting a strong-willed child. My favorite is Boundaries with Kids. I have never marked up a book so much as that one.
However, a surprising book that isn’t specifically about raising a strong-willed child is “If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling” by Amy McCready.
From this book, I adopted what she calls “mind, body, and soul time” with each child. The idea is simply to spend 10 minutes, twice a day with each child.
Now, this sounds way too corny for me so I call it “Mom Time” or “Quality Time“. Additionally, I do not know as a single mom how to get twenty minutes total per child in per day, especially on days or weekends that the children are not with you. So, each family should tweak this. I decided on ten minutes per day per child.
The Key to Raising a Strong-Willed Child
So, call it “mom time” or “quality time” or whatever you want, but the key to parenting your headstrong strong is simply – your loving, undivided attention. And it can be done effectively in 10 minutes a day.
During “Mom Time” or “Quality Time”, each child gets mom’s full attention and the other child(ren) are not allowed in the room. The timer is set. This makes it official for the kids and wanting more. Sometimes they ask for longer. To keep the time precious, it stays at ten minutes.
The first day I suggested to my son if he could use this time to explain Pokémon to me. He was all over this! He asks me to wake him up early each morning so we have our ten minutes first thing each day before his sister wakes up. This sets the mood for the day.
The first week we did this, our arguments stopped immediately! He just soaked up the extra attention. I like to think I gave him this attention before I started an official “mom time”, but this set-aside, quality time has made all the difference.
My other child gets “Mom Time” as well. Often when you are parenting a strong-willed child the other child gets ignored. They are quiet in the background and as a single parent, all your attention is on one child. This one-on-one time is a great excuse to force your time on other children as well.
More Benefits to This Approach on Parenting a Strong-Willed Child
- The great thing about using this quality time is that the kids keep you accountable, they want this time with you and won’t let you forget it!
- The surprising payoff for spending ten minutes of quality time with my children individually makes such a big difference in the day-to-day struggles. I see they are more willing to get ready for school in the morning or take out the trash or do homework. As anyone who is raising a strong-willed child knows, it can be daily tasks that you fight over.
- If I put loving them first and fill that need up consistently, I see they are in return more respectful of my requests.
- This time makes our children feel special. Wouldn’t it make you feel special if the person you looked up to the most set aside ten minutes a day with no distractions and concentrated solely on you? Who wouldn’t want that?
- These ten minutes are faster than the sometimes two hours we could spend in an argument that is now diffused before it even begins.
When I feel super lazy and don’t feel like doing this 10 minutes, I ask myself if I spent ten minutes on social media doing nothing today. Well, yes, of course, I did, probably times ten.
Ideas for Quality Time
Need ideas for what to do during your 10 minutes? Why not give your child these coupons and have him or her cash them in? Most take about 10 minutes or you can fill out your own.