Strong willed 6 yr old needs consequences - FamilyEducation
Strong willed 6 yr old needs consequences
01/01/2011 at 11:28 AM

My husband and I have been trying to look for ways to properly discipline our very strong willed child. She is an amazingly bright and intelligent girl. She has been a strong willed child since she was 16 months old. She fights us on everything! Over simple statements made like "the sky is blue" she would have to argue that it wasn't. We know she is only trying to show us that she needs control of situations but we struggle with simple tasks like cleaning up after herself and getting dresssed in the morning for school. We are trying to work on a chart for her that shows her what we expect from her from the time she wakes up til the time she goes to bed so we are all clear on it. But we struggle with the consequences if something is not done. Also as of right now limiting and taking away privileages seem of no consequence to her. She received a new DS for Xmas and has had it taken away now for a few days because she refuses to clean her room and it doesn't seem to phase her in the least. We have gone to the extreme of EMPTYING her room of ALL toys and still this did not seem to phase her.....HELP!! I know God has a reason for making her this way and we just want to help her learn to make the right choices.

The purpose of consequences is to teach the child to make positive choices. There must be a relationship between what the child did or did not do and a consequence. If limiting or taking away privileges is not effective, then teach her to earn privileges. Your idea to make a list of daily expectations is good. Also make a list of privileges she may earn. Begin with one or two behaviors to change, otherwise you and your child will be overwhelmed. Ex: cleaning up after herself. Allow her to choose one toy to play with at a time. Set the clear expectation that the toy be put away properly and in a timely manner in order for her to retain the privilege of playing with her toys. When one goal is accomplished move on to the next goal. This plan may take weeks or months to be effective. Your daughter has had 6 years to become set in her ways. The biggest challenge for many parents is to maintain a calm demeanor while teaching your child to behave in the manner you expect. Good luck!

"I know God has a reason for making her this way and we just want to help her learn to make the right choices." As a believer, I think children have different temperaments. As a teacher and a parent I see many "Strong willed children" but I also believe it is more often the parent and not God that makes them that way. When my daughter (now 28) was young (3-8 years) I allowed her to have an opinion, speak her mind thinking I was creating an independent child, but what I got was a mouthy child, that I had to contend with daily, It was exhausting. Of course taking away privileges or creating charts are of no consequence; they are a meaningless, means to an end and often become a new struggle in and of themselves. Unless she is held accountable for what she says and does and be made to know how it hurts you and dad when she acts this way or speaks to you that way, she will only continue and it gets harder, not easier as she gets older.

(post continued) When she begins arguing, or saying something contrary to you: Don't feed the argument. When she argues, be loving, but blunt and tell her I did not ask for your opinion. If she continues, say the same thing again. No negotiating or idle threats. When it is time to get ready for school, tell her if you are not ready to go in 5 minutes,you will go in what you are wearing. return in 5 minutes,if she is not ready, she goes in what she is wearing, grab a jacket or sweater to go over the top. Carry her out to the car (as she will be kicking and screaming), you'll only have to do this a few times, I'd say once but my daughter thought I was bluffing and didn't think I'd do it again (wrong). The next day give her a warning, you have 20 more minutes until we leave, unless you want to go in your jammies again, you will be ready, also give a 5 minute warning. Eventually this will not be a battle, as many other things will stop too.

The parents are fortunate to have a child with an easy temperament, who is eager to please, making discipline easy. These parents often don't even need to learn effective discipline techniques, Thanks for sharing the informative post. Regards, Jack - disciplining strong willed children

What often works for me is to reward with stickers when my daughter shows good behavior and take it away when she does not behave. IF she gets 15 stickers she gets a gift. This has worked well to set her boundaries.

2xstepmom good post! jim

Being punished by taken away from me never worked. I always held out and would never give in. I was also this bright child, and always wanted to have control over a situation. Is she a perfectionist, if so she may just be trying to take control to feel confident. Basically if I did something wrong I would just want someone to talk to me. Some people may be like that is not punishment, but for me it worked. You could try to explain why the behaivhoir is rude or risky, and ask her to stop. Even as a little girl I knew I wanted my parents to be pleased. I am 15 right now.