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Parenting a Strong-Willed Child
Categories: For Parents / General Knowledge Fund / Practical Life

Article Recommendation: Parenting a Strong-Willed Child

Ms. Lingo recently read this article by Dr. Laura Markham on parenting a strong-willed child; there are several portions that she remembers coming up during CommuniTEAS and conferences.    The entire article is worth a read, especially if you find yourself in the lucky position of being a parent to a strong-willed (read: somewhat stubborn) child!


At this time of year, we often see students and parents at odds about weather-appropriate attire (“You need a jacket.” “No I don’t!” “It’s cold!” “No it’s not!”).


How can you help your strong-willed child?  Dr. Laura Markham has the following to say:


Give her authority over her own body.

“I hear that you don’t want to wear your jacket today. I think it’s cold and I am definitely wearing a jacket. Of course, you are in charge of your own body, as long as you stay safe and healthy, so you get to decide whether to wear a jacket. But I’m afraid that you will be cold once we are outside, and I won’t want to come back to the house. How about I put your jacket in the backpack, and then we’ll have it if you change your mind?”

“She’s not going to get pneumonia, unless you push her into it by acting like you’ve won if she asks for the jacket. And once she won’t lose face by wearing her jacket, she’ll be begging for it once she gets cold. It’s just hard for her to imagine feeling cold when she’s so warm right now in the house, and a jacket seems like such a hassle. She’s sure she’s right — her own body is telling her so — so naturally she resists you. You don’t want to undermine that self-confidence, just teach her that there’s no shame in letting new information change her mind.” – Dr. Laura Markham, Aha!