The Challenges of Parenting
Being a parent has many challenges and one of them is dealing with a strong-willed child. You see the signs from infanthood that “this tot is a tough cookie.” This little one knows how to stand his ground even if his request is unreasonable.
Your child will test your limits. He will stand his ground amidst correction. Having a strong-willed kid is not that bad but when you are on a stand-off with your child, you know that it is not that easy too. It drains our energy and our blood pressure starts to rise-up. Now what do we do?
How to deal with your strong-willed toddler:
1. The Sandwhich Principle
A love bank is like a piggybank. When we discipline our child, we “take away” from his love bank. When we show love we “invest” in his love bank. The love bank should be full, if not, it leads to a hardened heart. So before disciplining our child, we have to explain why we are doing it. He needs to understand what did he do to get that form of discipline. After enforcing the discipline, we have to assure our child that we love him. Perhaps we can also give him a hug after.
Sandwich Principle = Love. Discipline. Love.
2. Start Early
We have to correct our child while he is still young because correction of behaviour will be difficult when a child gets older.
3. Practice Tough Love.
Earlier, I had a stand-off with my toddler about “packing away” the toys because he refused to put back the toys in its proper place. He threw away another toy (distraction method). Despite the “distraction” method, I still stood my ground that he will still have to pack away his toys and pick-up the item that he threw away.
It can be exasperating at times. But this is tough love. If our child is stubborn, we should be more stubborn in terms of correcting the bad behavior. We cannot give-up on our child.
4. Model good behavior.
Our child looks up to us. What we do, he copies. How we react to situations, he imitates too. Keep in mind the power of modeling.
5. Choose your battles.
We have to choose our battles with our children. We need to know which issues are worth the “battle” and which are not.
6. Pray for your toddler.
Pray that your child’s heart will be open to correction. Pray for obedience. Never underestimate the power of prayers. I love the book the entitled “The Power Of A Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian. This is one of the prayers in her book that perhaps most of us parents can relate with.
I submit myself to You. I realize that parenting a child in the way You would have me to is beyond my human abilities.
I know I need You to help me. I want to partner with You and partake of Your gifts, wisdom, discernment, revelation, and guidance. I also need Your strength, and patience along with generous portion of Your love flowing through me.
Teach me how to love the way you love me. Where I need to be healed, delivered, changed, matured or made me whole, I invite You to do that in me. Help me to walk in righteousness and integrity before You.
Teach me Your ways, enable me to obey Your commandments and do only what is pleasing in Your sight. May the beauty of Your spirit be so evident in me that I will be a godly role model.
Give me the communication, teaching, and nurturing skills that I must have. Make me the parent You want me to be and teach me how to pray and truly intercede for the life of this child. Lord.
You said in your word, ‘Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive’ (Matthew 21:22).
In Jesus’ name I ask that You will increase my faith to believe all things You’ve put on my heart to pray concerning this child.”
No matter how our little ones test our limits, at the end of the day they are a gift from God. And life is so much colorful and fun with them.
Omartian, Stormie. 1995. The Power of a Praying Parent. Harvest House Publishers, Oregon.