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Strong-willed child

My middle child has got to be the most strong-willed person I've ever knwon. Everything is a battle with him. I can't ask him to do anything without causing an argument. He won't sit in time-out. I've tried putting him back everytime he gets out but the second I turn my back he runs out again. He won't sit for even 5 seconds before he's back up. It's draining. I have a feeling my youngest will be just like him too. Does anyone else have a strong-willed child? Was there anything that worked for you?

He just turned 4.


Asked by ReneeK3 at 10:19 AM on Jul. 13, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • I haven't read the 5 Love Languages for Children but have heard that if your child's love language is physical touch, and you spank, it is the worst thing you can do. Or, if their love language is words of affirmation and you berate or lecture, it is the worst way to discipline. Now I want to read this book...

    Answer by TXdanielly at 11:21 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • As a mother of 3, I only have one strong willed, but persistance is the answer. I know how tired you get, but just remember that it is only temperary. I spent about 2 hours one day trying to get my daughter to sit in time out, finally she did it, the next time she only took 3 mins to go to time out. I think that if they know that no matter what they do, you are still going to follow through, most times they will finally accept that. Also, you can try a different type of time out. I had to resort to heads down instead of a corner.

    Answer by standr4 at 10:30 AM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • LOLOL!!! Bwahahahahahah!

    Answer by romanceparty4u at 11:08 AM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • I have to agree with persistence. I have a 10 yr old ADHD, attachment disorder child and an almost 4 yr old that is very strong willed. I had to put him in timeout 6 times within 45 minutes and had to stand there the whole time. I have 4 kids altogether 10,4,3,2 and I think sometimes I spend more of my day in the corner than anywhere else but it is slowly getting easier. There is a glimmer at the end of the tunnel.

    Answer by jasonia4Cs at 12:12 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • My oldest daughter is 4 and everything is a constant fight with her. She thinks she has to have the the last word and she will argue that black is white lol!! The best thing we have found to work is to take stuff away from her. She loves to play with barbies, so we will put them up for a week to start and she has gotten to the point now that a threat is all she needs and that usually calms her down. Hope this helps!!

    Answer by redtang912 at 12:22 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • I bought a book that helped A LOT. "The Strong Willed Child" by Dr. James Dobson

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 12:56 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • My DH has a friend who is a chiropractor - he says that raising kids is like chiropractic care - when they slip out of line, you just have to keep pushing them back in.

    My now 12-year-old daughter was terrible for time outs! I'd put her down, and she's pop back up - one day I devoted the entire afternoon to putting her in her time out chair - she finally wore out and stayed after 3 hours! Once she figured out I wasn't going to give up, she sat there and did her 4 minutes!

    I watch SuperNanny once in a while, and she does the same thing. This is one battle you simply can't let the child win, even if it takes all day!

    Good luck! It DOES get better when they get older.

    Answer by lawmom623 at 1:21 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • With my 4 year old stepson we had the same problem...although we were stuck with all the discipline responsibilities but we only see him every other weekend. When he was 3 we had a really hard time with him. His dad called him a free spirit...I called him a pain. One day I had had enough. I sat him in the corner, hands behind his back, and told him that if he sat there for 5 minutes he could get out but until then he would stand there...oh and he couldn't cry. Four hours later he got to get out of the corner. Now he listens much better. Sadly it takes a while but it does get better. Just as you get to your wits end it gets better.

    Answer by HeatherTurner at 2:09 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • My 8 y.o. has some PDD issues, and is SOO sensitive. Putting him in time out upsets him to the point he sobs, but sometimes a time out is really needed to settle him down when he is over stimulated.

    When he's in time out, his time is self-limited. He is allowed to come out the moment that he is done crying or screaming. It took him a while to get the idea, but now when he gets over-stimmed, he tells me "I need a time out," and sits for a's hilarious!

    Answer by lawmom623 at 2:45 PM on Jul. 13, 2008

  • All I can say is welcome to my world! My son turned 4 at the end of Feb. He is a whiner and hates time out too. He is better if I am home with him alone, but if my husband is home he acts up more. My husband says we should spank, I say no it does not work and comes out of frustration and anger. We do the time outs. My problem is follow though. I have to be better. In school he is wonderful, so I am at peace with this stubbron streak showing at home. But boy, oh boy, do I know how you feel.

    Answer by Teachermom01 at 2:57 PM on Jul. 13, 2008