Strong Wills, Strong Parents: Techniques to Lead the Strong-Willed Child, Letter #1 – Intro
The Series Blueprint.
What can I do with my child? Who can help? How do I handle this situation?
These are questions I have heard from many parents raising strong-willed children. Our own children exhibited the same condition. My wife and I found that it took strong-willed parents to lead them to future success.
In the following seven newsletter articles, I’ll explore seven areas in which parents must lead their strong-willed children. These general classifications will touch on new techniques and methods for working with your children for specific behaviors, enabling both you and the child to maximize their potential and create a more peaceful environment.
Techniques for Optimal Results.
How do you think of a strong-willed child? Is he or she a rough-housing, mean, ungrateful, spiteful, and arrogant miniature of you?
While this may be the case sometimes, often it is the result of parents and children not achieving a good working relationship for solving and resolving issues. Another factor is a parent’s expectations for behavior that are inconsistent with a learning child. However, a strong-willed child wants one thing—to be in control of their life.
This series will give you stories and techniques that will help you work on leading your child to a promising future.
Areas of Focus
We cannot focus on all the areas of a strong-willed child, so I will focus on what I consider the seven selfish sins a child will commit and how the parents can react in a positive manner to lead them to the best result for all involved.
Since the strong-willed child is focused on control, below are areas we can address:
To answer these questions, I’ll use techniques we’ve gleaned from experts like child psychologist James Dobson, pastor-at-large Robert Lewis, Stu Weber and many others, including online sources. Also included will be tips from the raising of our own two sons and talking with other parents.
Leading v.s. Raising
When I think of these two words, I believe the definitions and descriptions are critical.
1Raise (verb) [Primary definition] – to move to a higher position; lift up; elevate:
[i.e.] to raise one’s hand; sleepy birds raising their heads and looking about.
2Lead (verb) to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort:
[i.e.] to lead a group on a cross-country hike.
When you raise something, you bring it to a higher position. I’ve often associated this term with an agrarian society – raising chickens, cows, or hogs. The only involvement is minimal feeding and caring while the animal grows bigger and learns the basic rules in its life. Some people believe if their children grow into adult-size humans, they have done their job. They may not understand their part in the end goal of raising a child to become an independent, productive adult, not just an adult size person who can follow rules.
Our society is changing because parents are raising children who are not independent adults. The statistics of children living in their parents’ home has changed dramatically.
1) 3More adult children than ever before in the past 40 years are living with their parents.
2) 4According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), from 1996 to 2013, the number of 20 to 34-year-old adults living with their parents in the United States has increased 25%; and in 2013 that number was 3.3 million.
Leading a child into adulthood creates a different society. Leading is showing the growing child or escorting them through the stages to become an independent adult, capable of earning a living and fulfilling their purpose in life—something more than being the ultimate entertainment consumer. To accomplish this, the parent must work with each individual child’s temperament, skills and abilities to help the child determine God’s plan for their life.
You Can Do It!
Without a doubt you have the capabilities to establish good goals for launching your child into the world. No matter the difficulties or challenges, Jesus made it clear that we are to be stewards of all we have been given. And children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3)
The techniques I will pass on to you provide a background for many future decisions. Properly implemented, you will achieve the goal, planting seeds in your child’s heart and mind that will bear fruit for their entire life.
Next month we tackle the first challenge—mental control. Dr. Dobson shared a great story in his book Solid Answers, which will launch us into the universe of the strong-willed child.