Parents and teachers can throw around the term ‘strong-willed’. But I typically see these children as more ‘internally motivated’
Kids that i’ve come in contact with who i’d describe this way are more interested in what they want to do…
And not what they should be doing which is the issue.
So how you can get through to these types of young people?
Here are a few ideas you can use.
“I always like to learn, but I don’t always like to be taught’Winson Churchill
Because internally motivated kids don’t like to be told or even ‘taught’, they need to absorb things
And they do this from what’s in their environment
My dad made furniture and put it around the house, that is what attracted me to woodworking
The same can work for you.
Doing this, you are not asking for participation. Instead think of it like advertising. It’s an ad on the TV, it comes it goes.
Your young person has a decision that they can make, do they act on whatever the ad wanted them to do. Yes or no. If not then life moves on, if yes then they are in control because they are making the decision.
Don’t make it about you
Many of us make our kids lives about ourselves without even realising it.
(I guess we have earned it becasue of all the time, effort and money that we’ve put into them. But they don’t appreciate it.)
We make it about us when they do something good ‘I knew you could do it!’ and make it about them when it’s bad ‘Why did you do that?’ or even ‘I told you to …’
It sounds simple when put this way, but it’s not an easy habit to get out of.
The simple rule to follow
But the rule to know to get out of this is by being factual with your kids when you talk to them.
‘Did you have science class today?’ This invites them to talk if they wish or not if they don’t wish to.
We can think that we need to make them talk to get something (anything) out of them. But if we take the pressure away they can fill the void with what they want to talk about
Agree to terms
Strong willed kids usually rally against boundaries. But there must be boundaries.
Because strong willed kids will challenge boundaries they must be clear, visible see and easy for you to consistently keep.
I like to set mine up so they are clear and simple to understand
For example, I have a late register in my classes. If students come late, they get a strike. Three strikes and they get a detention. No excuses. That’s what the three strikes are for, if they have a good reason, it takes one of their strikes.
This way they know what the boundary is. It’s clear and they cannot talk their way out of it.
Having a scoreboard that they can see also helps reinforce it to them. I put my list at the front of the class. But maybe the fridge is more appropriate for you.
Well that’s all for today. There are some ideas you can use.
I sell courses in woodwork that may appeal to your child if they are strong-willed.
There are videos they can watch and I make the projects somewhat customizable which is great for strong-willed children. They can have a go at it themselves without having to listen to an adult tell them what to do.
Thanks for reading my ideas on changing a strong-willed child’s behavior. If you have any thoughts you can contact me here.