If you’ve ever caught yourself exasperatedly wondering, “Why won’t they just do as they’re told?!” multiple times in the same day — or even hour — chances are good that you have a strong-willed child on your hands. Plenty of parents can relate to dealing with a marathon argument or two, but there’s a difference between enduring a sporadic, passionate outburst and the day-in, day-out struggles with a spirited child. And while you may catch yourself feeling envious of the quiet kid at the restaurant or the one who isn’t a picky eater, your child’s hard-headed tendencies can actually be a blessing in disguise. Here’s a checklist of 10 signs that you have a strong-willed kid and why it can actually be a good thing.
If you tell your kid to do something, good luck. But if they’re allowed to be the one to choose, they love to cooperate and things go much smoother than if they weren’t given any autonomy. As exhausting is this can be, it actually builds trust between you and your child. They begin to trust what you say without blindly obliging and they also trust that you’ll be there to help them figure it out along the way.
From the material of their shirt to the texture of their vegetables, these kids have an opinion about it all. And while sometimes you wish that you could experience an argument-free haircut with your kid, picky children lead to decisive grown-ups.Research shows that these children earn more as adults and are more likely to be entrepreneurs.
They know what they what, when they want it, and how they want it, and it has nothing to do with what anyone else is doing. Following to the beat of their own drummer doesn’t make these children difficult; it makes them brave. They are spirited and not afraid to follow their passionate pursuits.
While it might come across as they just don’t like doing what they’re told, that’s not entirely the case. When strong-willed kids are doing something, they are giving it their all. They’re focused, driven, and passionate about whatever they’re working on, which makes it harder to just stop a project halfway through.
Sometimes you wish that you had their energy (how is it possible to keep arguing for that long?!), but other times you wish they would just drop it and move on. The answer “because I said so” just isn’t going to fly with these kids and their continued questioning is for a reason. They’re not just giving you attitude, they’re giving you the facts — or at least what they believe them to be. Meet their determination with admiration and watch how much they bloom.
You think they should wear clothes that match? That’s cool. You think they should join the same activities as the kids in the neighborhood? That’s a nice thought. Strong-willed children are going to do it their way (no matter what your opinion is), and you should let them. These children are less likely to be swayed by peer pressure because they are self-motivated and only do things because they believe in them, not just for the sake of doing them.
Because these children only want to do things that they agree with, they’re not afraid to put up a fight for the things they believe in. Nothing can be accomplished without spunk and it’s this conviction that leads to successful adults.
So what if they’re only willing to wear dresses (that pass the twirl test!) every single day? This passion and attention to detail is because they have high standards. While all of their stances aren’t practical, you shouldn’t always make them bend their beliefs or accept less from others.
No, your child isn’t just trying to drive you crazy and no, you’re not speaking a different language. Your child is fiery and being spirited isn’t the same thing as being disobedient. They crave adventure and exploring for themselves, not just passively sitting back and letting the world go by.