How to guide strong-willed, inner-directed and determined children

strong-willed chilren

Strong-willed children are generally determined, highly motivated, persistent. And they are not easily persuaded, once they make up their minds. They know what they want, have their own ideas and plans. They are also, confident, passionate, and are determined to succeed at whatever they do. These children want to recruit others into their plans and they love to be in control. They can even try to recruit the parent on their own agenda and control them. Hence, can easily manipulate the parent knowingly or unknowingly. Pretty much, these children are internally motivated, so the carrot and stick parenting approach, in and of itself, won’t work with them. Usually, these children want to get their way. how-to-deal-with-a-child-who-reacts-with-anger-when-frustrated. The parent ends up very frustrated, angry and all over the place. No wonder they can be the most difficult to parent.

Strong-willed children – the heart

The will is the place of determination and the level is determined by personality, character, values and one’s sense of morality. The heart makes a commitment and makes one want to act in a particular way. what-is-the-heart? When somebody receives Jesus( makes a commitment to follow Christ) Jesus comes into the heart and reorients the person’s character, morality, and values. The person is now born again, therefore in the spiritual things, they are babies. they need to be teaching and coaching in the things of the Lord. the same way babies are nurtured until they are fully grown or matured. This aspect of nurturing somebody happens in walks of life, work, school, and sports, the list goes on.

Salvation is the biggest asset for heart change so its important for the parent to lead their child to the Lord and if they are still little just by going to church, hearing the Word and praying with the parent helps to configure the heart. The parent needs to establish and maintain a good relationship with the child in order for the child to connect and take advice and correction without difficulty. Somebody said, ” In authority and under authority.” The parent needs to maintain their relationship with God, they are able to know when God is guiding and correcting them. And for the parent to get guidance in working through their heart issues also.

Strong-willed children and the will

The will makes choices based on the commitment. The parent needs to get to their heart. Since it’s deeper than the will. When the heart is in the right place, it guides the will in the right direction. The parent starts on the heart level to see lasting change. The strong-willed child needs a solid inner sense of direction to keep them on the right path. The parent has to identify the issues of the will and use a heart-based approach. The parent sets limits, keep them accountable but still focusing on the heart since the heart guides the will. Create a wall to block the child’s will but at the same time feed the heart with new information and experiences.

Strong-willed children and parental guidance

This child once their hearts decide on something because their will is strong, they want to go all the way in implementing it. The issue is the decision might be wrong or it might be right. Still, they need direction because the timing might not be right or whatever they want might not be the best for them. At times, the parent might not be in the position to make it happen. Because they are children, they might not consider all aspects of the situation. So, they are internally motivated but the parents need to work hard in order to direct them on the right path. That strong will can also create problems with their siblings. Thereby creating a rivalry. how-to-deal-with-sibling-rivalry

God redirecting Saul of Tarsus

Acts 9:1-9 and verse 20

1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [a]It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

Saul Preaches Christ
20 Immediately he preached [e]the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.

Teaching your child

Even before your child receives salvation, you need to teach them. Teach the child where limits exist in a relationship. It’s important for the strong-willed child to know boundaries. Otherwise, they will just bulldoze their way into others. Some adults are not socially appropriate they try to bulldoze into everyone’s business. Because a strong-willed child has a way of forcing their will onto others. One can kinda notice its a character issue that has not been dealt with from childhood. That’s why this child needs to be taught basic social cues, that tells them they have exceeded appropriate relational boundaries.

The parent needs to exaggerate the cues without being mean. Either facial expression, hand gesture or verbal expressions. It’s advisable for the parent to exercise wisdom. Even with the right information, the parents have to know how and when to apply the knowledge. Parents need to be firm and compassionate, praying for the child and themselves so they stay the course, have compassion and wisdom.

Stay the course-a strong-willed child will sway you

Don’t let your strong-willed child sway you. Nor let them intimidate and control you. After redirection, Saul(Paul) changed his agenda and started to proclaim the gospel all over. I was just thinking of how Paul was most of the time under persecution, but still, he would continue preaching. At one time he was left for dead. one time he was shipwrecked. Still, he persisted. That’s someone with a determined will for the right reasons. Stay the course. Exercise patience, brace yourself up. As a parent, God has called you for a big job. Of course, there are times where the parent needs to compromise and get input from the child. Then incorporate it in the plan accordingly.

How to deal with a child, who reacts with anger when frustrated.

An angry child usually causes frustration for their parents. children-hurting-parents. It’s important to know that emotions are God-given, but they can be misused.  I encourage the parent to spend time reflecting on your emotions. Because if you process your emotions well yourself, its easier to connect on a heart level with your child.

Emotions come from the heart of a person, therefore, parents need to connect with their children emotionally, on a deeper level. Emotionally connecting with your child will soften their heart, and prepares the way for much of the hard work of parenting. Thereby, making it more tolerable or even enjoyable. When the parents connect on a deeper level with the child, it’s easier for the child to cooperate with the parents.

Jesus was a good example of leaving behind an agenda, in order to care for people’s needs and connect with their hearts

 In Luke 10:38-42 He rebuked Martha for her busyness and affirmed Mary for sitting with Him.

At the Home of Martha and Mary
38. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” N.I.V.

Jesus here emphasized relationships over other activities. Not saying what Martha was doing was wrong, but Mary chose the best and most beneficial activities.

Jesus ministered to people’s needs by feeding 5000, Matthew 14: 13-21

13. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15. As evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17. “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18. “Bring them here to me,” He said. 19. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were leftover. 21. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Paul In Romans 12: 15

” Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” This indicating emotionally connecting with others is important.

An angry child-During nondiscipline times

During nondiscipline times, have a meeting with your child. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, and help the child understand what’s going on in his/her heart. You also need to teach them three basic emotions: sad, mad and happy and have them talk about the visual cues we receive from others that tell us they are upset. Explain that at times when children are sad, afraid or disappointed they cover up these emotions with being mad. This is not intentionally done for the most part. Because it takes vulnerability and courage to admit sadness or fear. Anger becomes the preferred response because children have bought into the lie that angry people are strong. Teach the child to see emotions in others, so they develop greater empathy and relational maturity.

Teach the child to:

  • Identify the cues- the place where they can tell they are starting to get angry eg the hairs on his arms start to stand up or they can’t think straight. Tell your child that you will raise the awareness level of the cues like when you start seeing him raising his voice, becoming irritable then you come in. Give them this Scripture- James 1: 19,” be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Also, inform the child that the Bible does not say don’t get angry, but be slow to get angry, meaning be patient and have endurance. It’s not wrong to get angry but meanness and disrespect are not acceptable. Negative feelings don’t justify poor responses.

Emphasize also, that when one gets angry it’s important to deal with anger quickly since when one is angry for a long time they give an opportunity for the devil to come in and make a mess.

Ephesians 4: 26-27

26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Tell your child to choose a better response

i) Coach your child in using The Break Technique the-break-method as a way of pulling back. This method can be used for a child of any age. The parent just adjusts to the age of the child. If your child says it’s difficult to pull back, they would rather vent their anger, you may give them:

Proverbs 29: 11,” A fool gives full vent to his anger but wise a wise man keeps himself under control.” Explain to him/her that he/she is not a fool but wise that’s why he/she is eager to tame their anger and he/she will do it if he keeps at it.

ii) talk about it instead of reacting emotionally.
get help from the parents

iii) slow down and persevere instead of whining and complaining about it

iv) use non-emotional times to practice the right responses

v)Give your angry child hope by encouraging them and giving them Scripture Romans 5:3-4 trials help us develop endurance, endurance, character, character helps us develop hope. I also strongly encourage parents to pray for your child and pray for yourselves, so that you develop the tenacity to help out your child

Don’t engage with an angry child-caution to the parent

chhild's anger
Engaging with an angry child

 The parent to stop and pull back instead of pushing forward. If the child pushes forward don’t engage with the angry child, because that will be adding gasoline to fire. If you engage with an angry child, you lose the battle. Because the child usually would want to argue with the parent. Why? So that the parent loses focus on the real issue.  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare-Proverbs 15:1-3.

When the child is angry and you are also angry, you may end up saying negative statements to the child which is not good for them. That will eventually cause your relationship to deteriorate some more. And usually, children remember those words. Also, remember words are powerful. You can build or destroy with words. Since the parents are an authority in the lives of their children, what you say does matter a lot. Children will easily believe it. In the future, you might end up trying to undo the damage your words have caused. This is not to scare you or make you feel guilty. We all make mistake, but it is to make you more aware of the words you speak.