Here’s some hope and help for Teaching the Strong-Willed Child at Home!
Teaching the Strong-Willed Child at Home
I used to laugh when my mother-in-law, Darlyne, told me how my husband was a strong-willed child. That was until our daughter turned out to be exactly like her dad.
A scrawny high schooler, John was told he’d never make it in the Marines. So he joined. He not only made it, but he graduated top of his class. In the military, he stayed true to God, even when alcohol and women were readily available to him. All through life, he has lived as a man of honor and excels in his work. His strong will has taken him far.
This, of course, wasn’t comforting as I dealt with my own strong-willed child. Leslie was a sweet baby doll her first year of life, but things changed once she turned 2. She’d have tantrums if she didn’t get her way. She would hide behind me and refuse to talk when people approached her. If I gave her a blue cup, she wanted the red one. If I offered a cookie, she’d want a cracker, and vice versa. Each day was a battle—my will against hers. There were days I loved my child but didn’t like her that much.
Leslie is witty, intelligent, and extremely strong-willed. This meant when she was growing up we would often find ourselves at odds when it came to homeschooling. Getting her to focus on schoolwork was a daily fight. I had to apply the same principals to home school that I had used to raise as a busy, obstinate toddler.
Maybe you have one (or more) kids like this. Here’s what I’ve found helpful when teaching a strong-willed child.
Narrow The Choices
Offer two choices, and make it clear that your child must pick between the two choices. This helps them have some level of control while establishing healthy authority as a parent. Of course, there are subjects that must be covered and your child needs to learn the topics that are required. But could they paint their own map of the world instead of color a preprepared one? Could they jump rope while reciting times tables instead of sitting at the table? Choices can include the method of learning as well as the delivery of the answers.
Stand By Your Word
If your child disagrees, don’t give in. Once they realize that bad behavior won’t get them what they want, they will back down.
With my child, Leslie, instead of offering a blue cup and her demanding a green one, I’d offer both colors and let her pick from those two. Of course, she’d then want the red cup, but I didn’t give in. She had to pick between the two. This worked for clothes, snacks, and other things. I’d still give my daughter a choice, but I’d limit those choices. After a while, the battles stopped. She soon understood that I wouldn’t give in to her whines.
Focus Their Strong-will On Positive Things
Help her channel her energy into positive activities at home, like exercise, musical instruments, or writing. Strong-willed kids often battle with having excess energy. Help them focus that by giving them extra breaks or activities that give them opportunities to expel that pent up bounce. If your family schedule permits, consider allowing your child to play on a recreation sports league such as basketball or soccer. The extra running and interaction with others can give them an outlet for their busy mind and body.
Fill Their Love Tank
Even while at home, take steps to speak your child’s love language. Make their favorite breakfast, make a special dessert or coffee drink and sit with them on the couch, or take a walk just the two of you. As you build that relationship, they will start to open up and trust you more.
My daughter is a quality time and gifts person. She gets excited when I bring her a pack of gum or her favorite lip gloss from the store. She loves when I take her to coffee or when we go to lunch. As we spent time face-to-face, my daughter opened up about everything she was dealing with. She even confessed to some areas that she struggled with. I discovered that she wasn’t as strong as she liked everyone to believe. When I filled her love tank, her will weakened, and we built a bond that has remained for years.
Teaching the Strong-Willed Child at Home
Although you might be facing fear and anxiety about schooling your strong-willed child at home, don’t dwell on those feelings. The most important thing to remember is that what your children need most is your love and support. Learning can take place in many ways. But if our kids feel loved and safe, they will continue to excel through any situation that comes along. Remember, you are your child’s biggest fan–show them you believe in them and that you’re there to help them through this.
Together, we will succeed!
Here are more resources I think will help you as you are Teaching the Strong-Willed Child at Home
My Stay Home Journals Help Kids Focus on Good Things
During this time, kids need a place to think, write, or draw what is going on in their hearts and minds so I created these journals to provide kids a special place to record their experiences. I like the sound of “stay home.” It’s a way to focus on the good during a hard time. It’s a great way to help your kids think about what good things may be happening during this time and what they are looking forward to when it’s “safe” for us to return to normal life.
I’ve designed several styles so every child can have a journal that makes them feel special.
You can find all the journals I’ve created here: Stay Home Journals
Free Stay Home Journal: https://bit.ly/
Free Resources (Not just for kids!)
My team has put together a list of over 200 amazing resources and courses for you. This is a load of great education for all ages. From the tiny tots to the parents, there are some wonderful sites on this PDF. Yes, you can go to the Smithsonian, tour Yellowstone, or travel to Paris without leaving home!
I’m especially looking forward to every Wednesday, where there will be free, online, worship-painting classes with Blossoming Hearts Studio on Facebook. And don’t forget about the free Lamplighter audiobook too!
The list also has sites for every homeschooling subject you can imagine. Pass this on and share it with your friends: Free Resources for The Whole Family.pdf
Hope and Refreshment for Homeschooling Parents
Need more ideas and advice on homeschooling? Pick up a copy of Homeschool Basics. Receive tried-and-true homeschool advice from veteran homeschooling moms Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover. We dish out practical help on getting started and staying the course. Homeschool Basics will remind you that the best homeschooling starts with the heart. Packed with ideas to help you push aside your fears and raise kids who will grow to be life-long learners.
Kristi and I believe that homeschooling can transform your life, your home, and your family. Mostly, we believe homeschool can truly prepare your children for the life God’s called them to live.
Advice and Encouragement for Teaching the Strong-Willed Child at Home
Are you struggling with finding hope and help for school at home? I recently talked with Focus on The Family and offered my thoughts and experience with being a homeschool mom of over 25 years. You may have fear and anxiety during this time, I understand and I want to help you get your own heart-centered so you can have peace and be the best parent and teacher you can.
Listen in to my Interview on Focus on the Family
And here’s a PDF with more Work-at-Home Tips!