Don’t we all wish raising kids could be as easy as a walk in the park? A child who follows orders promptly, and doesn’t assert nor argue. It’s a dream scenario that all parents have but don’t always get.

There is a saying that goes, “Leaders are not born, they are made.”  Yet every now and then, a strong-willed and difficult child can come your way and take your life by storm. They could become great leaders and powerful influences if proper discipline is taught in their childhood, but all that responsibility is in your hands as a parent.

We know it’s not simple. It does require more effort. It’s tough, but it’s also never impossible. And you as the parent have all the power to make them the best versions of themselves. But first, it has to start with YOU.

So, where to begin? The key here is to have a stronger will that can outmatch theirs and go from there.

Be Patient, Time is on Your Side

If you have to remind yourself of this over and over, please do so. Disciplining a strong willed child can take time. Lots of time. It will not be easy, so gear up, and set yourself proper expectations before you begin.

Raising a child is different for each one. The amount of time you spend training one could be double or triple the time you spend on another. A strong willed child will likely take a longer time to train than a laid back one, and that’s okay.

Your strong will as parent should triumph over theirs at all times.

Remember to Keep Your Cool

It’s not a battle of words, it’s a battle of wills. Perseverance is important and your commitment as a parent can guarantee success in disciplining your strong willed child. As mentioned earlier, it’s a big challenge, but it is never impossible. It can just take a bit of hard work and maintaining a level head.

So, to keep things simple, here are five steps to effectively discipline your strong willed child.

Is Your Child Genuinely Strong Willed?
Some parents may complain about their child’s behavioral problems which can get overwhelming, but that isn’t always what makes up a strong willed child. Children need training and proper discipline. Good behavior does not come naturally. Parents at the very least should set standards for what is right and acceptable and be there to teach when there’s a need to correct something. The first step is to ask yourself, “ Is your child is genuinely strong-willed or do they just lack constant training?”

Discipline Isn’t a One-off Task, You Have to Keep Going

If proper discipline is already in place and your child is still difficult and strong willed, the next step is to make sure you follow through. However long it takes to get the lesson to stick, it is important that you don’t give up and follow through as needed. This circles back to our point earlier of keeping a stronger will than your child. This is the time when you have to keep doing so until they pick up on what you are teaching them to do or not do.

Set and Maintain Respectful Boundaries

A strong willed child will always find grey areas and loopholes to manipulate and base an argument upon. The success of disciplining a strong willed child also lies on the rules you’ve set in place. Be sure to set clear rules and boundaries and make it known to them that the rule is absolute and that there is no room for negotiation. This sets expectations that rules aren’t going to change soon if circumstances would differ.

Manage Unwanted Behaviors

Strong willed children may likely exhibit leadership early on and their desire to take charge can quickly escalate into being sassy or bossy with their colleagues. Work with your child to maintain good behavior by using proper phrases to express disagreement, give commands and display leadership. Training them also requires you to be an authority in their life. It’s important that they learn to submit to authority and understand their position. Learn how to identify if your child is being defiant or simply not able to communicate effectively. There’s a thin line between the two and knowing this can reduce misunderstandings with how your child is dealing with things.

Share Some Responsibility

A strong willed child loves to be in charge. It’s what fuels them and that is a good thing. Their need for a sense of authority is encouraged when you give them a chore. Something they can be solely responsible for. It can be a pet, an assignment or a toy. Just let them be in charge of something. Sharing some responsibility is an easy and effective approach to discipline a strong willed child.

Remember these steps and you’re on your way to greatness. And if ever you need a hand with your children, Early Childhood University has amazing teachers who are well-trained in child discipline. Schedule a tour to see our teachers in action. Visit for more details.