The Bottom Line
I’ve taken the last eight months to discuss several of the issues in raising strong-willed children, spanning the entire makeup of the strong-willed child and their interaction with their parents. In doing so, I’ve passed along methods used by Dr. Dobson, other experts, and myself and my wife in raising strong-will children.
Strong willed children are a gift from the Lord and often become excellent leaders and workers in both the Lord’s kingdom and in the world around us. Helping them to maximize the application of their gifts means practicing techniques in leading them as you raise them in a loving manner that will help them stand on their own at the right time.
Techniques for Optimal Results (General).
Parents have the God-given responsibility and authority to mold and shape their children to set them up for success as healthy, God-honoring, independent children.
Some tips I’ve provided include: set Biblical guidelines, consequences for unacceptable behavior, and a plan for educating and training your children as they grow. In addition, parents must provide a united and consistent discipline plan for their children and then practice patience and forgiveness where necessary to make the plan work.
Remember Hebrews 12:11. “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Techniques for Optimal Results (Specific).
I provided many specific techniques to use for your children and cannot list them all here, but will cover a few that are critical. Most of all, if you haven’t thought through your parenting plan, start now. Implement it as soon as possible.
Build a consequences list in writing and post it in a visible spot, like the refrigerator. Enforce discipline in an age-appropriate way (time, understanding, and level of discipline). Find the right tools to document the hard-to-track parts of raising a child, like Dr. Dobson’s attitude chart, which provides a visual for the child to see their behavior.
Do not let your child confuse other’s rules with your own. Stay strong and steady. If you need to re-evaluate your rules, go to sources you trust.
Help your child plan their future and give them a clear understanding, with dates or gates, as to when you expect them to be able to stand on their own without your help. Teach them to work early and prepare them for the time they will leave home.
Read with your child and encourage them to continue to help them formulate their moral and ethical understanding of God’s plan and the world around them.
Finally, recognize the informational battle for your child’s mind by the media. While they are young, protect them by being involved and monitoring their activity, releasing control when you feel they are ready to assume a responsible role. Check out Media Talk 101.
When your children reach the appointed age or event, they will hug you, shake your hand, and thank you for taking the time to be bold and strong with them as a child in your home. Our children know that our rules provided a great framework for their successes in life, including getting and keeping jobs, gaining the education they needed, and choosing and marrying strong Christian women with whom they’ve started families of their own.
There is no guarantee that your child will automatically turn into the great Christian and independent adult that you desire. However, you will have done your part and planted the seeds for future success in their lives.
Thanks for following this serious and important series on raising strong-willed children. The articles will be kept on the ZookBooks website for your future reference. Continue to enjoy the articles, both fun and serious, that we publish in the future!
Blessings in Christ,
Didn’t catch the rest of the Strong Wills, Strong Parents series? Find the articles here: