Raising a child is one of the most rewarding parts of life. It can also be one of the most difficult parts of life since there is no existing rule book on how to properly raise a child. If your child is very strong willed, you may run into a more difficult time when it comes to setting limits for them.
Luckily, there are many options when it comes to setting limits for your strong willed child. Giving children choices is one of the most useful tools when raising a child. Since you only offer choices that you are okay with, you are winning in either situation, while your child still feels like they are making the final decision. There are some guidelines to follow when it comes to offering choices, including:
- Give limited choices. Make sure to only give choices that are beneficial to you, not any that are unacceptable.
- For young children or children who are easily overwhelmed, give an either/or choice. Giving them too many options may backfire, and they may be too overwhelmed to choose.
- Make choices more complicated when children get older. Instead of giving older children an either/or choice, allow them to come up with their own choice, as long as it is still beneficial to you.
- Choices can be used to help kids learn how to manage themselves. Giving children choices with one good choice and one not so good choice can help encourage them to motivate themselves.
- Choices can teach children consequences. If you give your child the choice to practice the violin before their recital, and they choose not to, they will learn about the consequences of taking the easy route.
- Remember that empathy doubles the effectiveness of giving choices. Empathy helps children to feel understood so they are less resistant and can make a choice and move on.
For more information on the benefits of giving your strong willed child choices, contact the Community Presbyterian Counseling Center in San Ramon.