This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schreiber Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.
Do you have a strong-willed child?
Kids definitely come with their own little (or big) personalities. When my oldest, who is as mellow as they come, was born, I thought I had this motherhood thing down.
Then my other kids were born and I realized he was a fluke. A very pleasant fluke, but still a fluke.
Each of my other kids have been as strong-willed as they come. Being strong-willed can be a huge asset to kids, especially in today’s world. As a mom, it takes a bit more creativity just to get everyone through the day.
These days, with 3 kids 4 and under (including twin toddlers), my days are a very fine balance between letting my girls make their own decisions and trying to stand my ground so they don’t walk all over me.
How do you parent a strong-willed child? Carefully. Very carefully.
I’ve learned some tricks for life with a strong-willed child that I wish I’d discovered sooner.
Pick your battles
This applies to just about anything in life. Not everything is worth a fight.
I quickly learned that I could use up all my energy trying to argue about every little thing or I could pick the battles that were really important. One of my twins is super strong-willed. She’s very particular about which color cup, plate, and spoon she has at every meal. That’s one of those issues that I don’t have a strong stake in so I let her pick. Before we eat, I just tell her to go pick her plate and we avoid a long power struggle that isn’t fun for either of us.
I give in to the small things she gets some independence and I put my foot down when it matters . . . like wearing pants in public.
Dealing with a strong-willed child does not mean you give in to every demand. Even if you are picking your battles, you do need to put your foot down sometimes. I draw the line at safety issues or things that my kids learn to do in order to grow up to be functioning members of society.
With a strong-willed child, you can’t get into the habit of giving in. Kids are smart. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Getting in the habit of being consistent and making some things non-negotiable will save you a lot of hassle later on.
I’ve learned that the more choices I give my kids during the day, the more likely they are to give in when I take a stand. Kids are looking for those chances to be independent. With so many things in their lives, they are forced to do what someone else tells them to. It’s no wonder they get frustrated. Offer as many choices and opportunities for independence as you can and your strong-willed kid will be a lot more flexible.
One of the most challenging things we are dealing with right now with my twins is meal time. Meal time always seems to become a power struggle over something. Either they have the wrong color plate, didn’t get the seat they want, or want to eat junk food instead of whatever I had in mind.
I’ve learned a secret to making sure my kids get the nutrition they need without a fight. I make sure I have some fun snacks on hand. That way, when they are trying to sneak into the leftover Halloween candy or pull out a bag of chips they found in the pantry, I have a secret weapon I can use.
I just discovered Disney® Frozen String Cheese.
My girls are HUGE Frozen fans so when they tried to raid the junk food this week, I pulled out some Disney® Frozen String Cheese and they thought they’d hit the jackpot.
Disney® Frozen String Cheese is the perfect snack for kids and is a quick and easy solution for moms (especially if you have strong-willed kids). I try and use snack time to help my kids get some important nutrition in. With 2-year-old twins, they eat a lot of small meals so I try and make the most of that.
Disney® Frozen String Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, which is something I always look for in snacks for my kids. I love it when I find a wholesome snack that my kids love.
Want to try it for yourself? Visit www.cheeseadventures.com for a $1 off coupon on Disney® String Cheese (expires 1/15/2017) and check out some of the fun kid’s activities and tips for moms they have.
Give yourself a Break
Parenting a strong-willed child can take a lot out of you. It’s important that you cut yourself some slack too and make sure you have a break every once in a while. You’ll be a better mom if you take the chance to step away for a bit to enjoy a hobby or just get a moment to breath.
With my oldest son, I never felt like I needed a break. He was just so easy. With these three little girls who think everything should be negotiated, I definitely need a break. I’m able to parent in a way that helps them learn from each thing that frustrates them when I make sure to take care of my own needs too.
Sometimes, just getting someone else to step in when your child is being especially strong-willed can be a huge help. My kids will dig their heels in on something with me and then give right in when my husband or grandma steps in. Sometimes I think we have a way of pushing their buttons too and they just don’t know how to back down.
Do you have a strong-willed child? What tricks have you found to make life easier at your house?