Parenting strong willed children can easily turn into a battle, one with no winners. It is easy to revert to calling strong willed children stubborn, and misbehaved. The friction created by the actions of strong willed children can push stressed parents in to a defensive stance. The only thing this accomplishes is a vicious cycle of frustration. One which often leads to fighting. If you find your self yelling and screaming at, and with, your children, it's time to rethink things.
When my daughters school called to report that she had earned an in school suspension, I knew I had to stop and think. I don't want to be the mom who just reacts. I don't want to encourage a negative cycle of frustration. When she came home from school, I didn't shame my 7 year old. I talked to her. It only took fifteen minnutes to learn WHY she had pushed teachers to punish her. She wanted to be punished! What?!?
I'm glad that I took the time to understand her train of thought. She had been horsing around with a boy, he got caught and she didn't. She did not feel it was fair, she should be in trouble, too. That was her logic. The problem was that she didn't know how to express this, so she set out to get herself punished.
If I had not stopped to listen, I would never have figured it out. I spoke with her teacher, and she helped me figure out appropriate discipline. Her punishment was no TV and electronic, but also to have her write a letter of apology. Since we know the big problem came from her not understanding how to express her thoughts we hope to give her an idea on how to express her ideas.
Strong willed children usually have a strong reason for their behavior. Understanding the reason through loving communication is the best way to help these children understand how to cope with situations. Loving dicipline, is a good way to help correct it. Yelling and screaming at children is the opposite of communication. It doesn't solve anything.