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Children with a lot of character: how to treat them

Being parents is not an easy task for anyone, and this becomes a bit more complicated when our child has a complex or strong character.

But this does not have to be a bad thing, and much less overwhelming, because it offers you the possibility of trying different parenting styles from the ones you know (either because you were raised that way or you have applied them yourself with other children).

On the contrary, it can be a great adventure! But how do we do it? How to treat a son with a lot of character?

“Your children need you to put everything into yourself so that you love them as they are, not so that you spend all your time correcting them.”

-Bill Ayers-

The game as strategy

Keep in mind that for all of us it is much easier to learn and feel comfortable when we are comfortable. Well, the same applies to your child, and what does a child like the most? The most likely answer is simple: play.

So instead of punishing him and forbidding him to play, use it as a resource to model his behavior and so he can learn to recognize and express his emotions assertively.

You will see that by using humor, laughter and fun to explain what you expect of him, you will have better results than with a reprimand.

Don’t resort to comparisons

When we see children who have behaviors that are easier to manage than ours, we are often tempted to compare and say phrases like: why don’t you behave like “such a child”? Or, you should be like X who is well behaved.

This is of no use except to make your own child feel awful and frustrated at not being able (and probably not wanting) to be like the children you compare them to.

Mom, dad and the family in general, should be a source of safe relationships , where the child always feels loved. Comparing it with others only generates great pain and sadness.

Put yourself in their place

Empathy is essential when dealing with any child, not just those with a lot of character. This quality allows us to put ourselves in their shoes and understand how they live situations.

Never demean his feelings, listen to him and invite him to explain what is wrong with him.

Don’t try to downplay what they think or feel. Use phrases such as: “I have felt that way too”, “I understand how you feel”, “it has happened to me” …

“Children are educated by what the adult is and not by his talk.”

-Carl Young-


One of the ways you can treat your child with a lot of character to better manage his intensity is by involving him in what you do . This will help you feel cared for, as well as allow you to learn to collaborate and cooperate.

And it’s not just about involving your child but also yourself. Instead of asking him to do things, join in too and say phrases like: Let’s brush our teeth! Instead of just sending him to brush, for example.

Don’t forget to explain the reasons

Explain to your child the why of things; it is not enough to tell him what to do or what you expect him to do. Your child needs to understand the reason for this.

For example: instead of telling your child that he should remain seated in a restaurant, without further explanation, you can tell him that it is a place where everyone wants to eat quietly and that someone running would be annoying; You can even ask him: don’t you think so? This way, they are more likely to change their behavior .

Always gives options

For children with a lot of character, parenting based on strict discipline may not work. In fact, this may lead to much more challenging behavior .

So what you should do is give him options whenever possible; give him some space to decide what to do. You can negotiate with him; This way it will be his decision and not an imposition of yours, so he will be more committed to it.

What to do before tantrums?

Tantrums are very difficult situations for any parent to live, and they are even the worst fear of many. And is that nobody likes to go through moments like this , but they happen and it is better that you know what to do in these cases:

To prevent

The first thing you can do is prevent tantrums; how to do it? Avoiding places or situations that may be triggers for them , for example. You can also distract her focus or give her options to choose from, if possible.

Keep calm

We know that it is very difficult to remain calm in the face of a tantrum, but remember that your child will see you as an example to follow, and if you are calm, it will be easier for him to calm down.

Stay calm with the tantrum if possible, accompany him and provide him with emotional support, hug him, tell him that you are going to help him calm down, rock him, etc.

Be consistent

The most important thing is to be consistent with our children; We cannot deny them something, or set a limit, and end up giving in to avoid a tantrum.

Thus, if, for example, we put a limit on them and explain the consequence of passing that limit, then we must apply it (be careful! We are not talking about punishments, but about consequences).

“Children should be the role models of us parents, since they are clothed with the spirit from which they came: clean, innocent, brimming with the delight of life.”

-Gerry Spence-

Having a strong character … It also has its good side!

If your child questions everything and always wants to do things his way, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. On the contrary, it means that your child has a strong character and wants to experience his own life.

If you have a hard time getting your child to stop doing anything to make him listen to you, see the positive side of the situation; it means that you focus all your energy on what you do and this turns out to be a very good thing.

Thus, just because your child has a lot of character does not mean that he will be a difficult child, you may just have to try different methods to approach him and explain things to him. It is very likely that, with patience and a lot of love, you can do it!

“While we try to teach our children everything about life, our children teach us what life is about.”

-Angela Schwindt-

Photos | Cover (freepik), Image 1 (pexels), Image 2 (pexels)

Babies and more | How to help your young child to manage his emotions, “Emotions are allies and the child should not be forced to repress them”: why we must educate with emotional intelligence

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