5 Practical Strategies For Parenting A Strong-Willed Child

spicy child strong willed child Oct 08, 2023
Parenting A Strong Willed Child

There is a LOT we can do to have a better relationship with our strong-willed / SPICY children, but mastering these 5 can be a game-changer.

And if you want to dive waaaaay deeper than we can take things this blog, tap here to reserve your seat in the next session of the free training - The Parenting R.E.S.E.T. (SPICY Edition).

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#1. Learn how challenging kids think

The Key 🔑

They simultaneously believe they’re too much and not enough.

Their Thought 💭

“Me and my big feelings are too much for others… that makes me feel like I’m not lovable and not enough.”

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#2. Realize your challenging child isn't TRYING to be difficult

The Key 🔑

They simply don't have the skillset or brain hardware to stay calm, listen, and be flexible.

Their Thought 💭

“Hey, I suck at emotional regulation. The part of my brain responsible for impulse control, frustration tolerance, and being flexible doesn’t fully develop until I’m around 25-28. Can you lower your expectations of me?”

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#3. Change the way we're raising challenging children

 The Key 🔑

Stop shaming them, criticizing them and trying to control them. Y’all know by now it doesn’t work anyway 😂😂

Their Thought 💭

“I need you to focus on the relationship with me first. I need to know you think I’m a good kid, and collaborate more.

"Having more choices makes me feel safe, which in turn makes me feel more in control. This means I won’t have to fight you at every turn.”

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#4. Model emotional regulation for strong willed kids

The Key 🔑

SPICY kids often trigger us, and so we are tempted to yell, shame and criticize them.

Their Thought 💭

“I suck at emotional regulation. How am I ever supposed to learn how to control my big angry feelings if you never show me?

"How am I supposed to learn how to calm down when you always explode at me? When you explode at me it just validates what I suspect to be true: that I’m unlovable and bad.”

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#5. They’re a good kid having a hard time

The Key 🔑

You ever had that feeling where you thought someone believed you were bad, stupid and lazy / not trying?

It doesn’t motivate you to change or improve. It makes you feel hopeless and misunderstood. These kids feel chronically misunderstood. And this is why they’re chronically frustrated.

Their Thought 💭

“Who cares. You already think I’m bad and unlovable. Which is my biggest fear. And when you yell or leave me alone with my big feelings, it’s then proven to me that I am, in fact, bad.

"I know what’s right and wrong, it’s just in the moment my brain can’t find the right way, and my impulsive feelings take over. I don’t want to be like this, but you keep telling me I’m deliberately being this way - which isn’t true - you don’t understand me at all.

"I’m so alone in this life and in this family. Nobody gets me at all.”