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Parenting a Strong-Willed Child

“Could you share some parenting advice for raising my enneagram 8 daughter? She is very headstrong and persistent, but has a complete disregard for rules and regularly challenges authority. As an enneagram 5 (and people pleaser), I do not understand the way she thinks. We have gone around and around and I’ve tried to get to the heart is the issue. But it seems her bottom line is she is going to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. How do I help channel her perseverance and tenacity in a positive way? She is only 8 years old. -a podcast listener”

When I got this email in my inbox, I could relate so much — because I remember being that 8-year-old girl with a very strong personality. And truth be told, I think “headstrong” and “persistent” are two words that can still describe me as a 38-year-old woman!

Oftentimes, we hear people talk about their “strong-willed child” in a way that makes it seem so negative… as if a child’s will needs to be broken and replaced. But that’s like trying to strip someone of their God-given personality.

I believe that the character qualities of persistence and determination can be such a gift — to your home, to your community, and to the world. That’s why I want to encourage you to stop trying to stifle a child’s strong personality and instead embrace the strength that it can bring.

In this episode, Jesse and I share encouragement for parents who are raising strong kids. I share from the perspective of being a strong kid growing up and we both share from the perspective of raising a child who has a very strong personality.

In This Episode: 

[02:26] Why Swaddle Sacks have been a life-saver recently.

[04:53] I came down with mastitis on Tuesday, so here’s what’s been saving my life.

[07:59] My experience getting a Coronavirus test (Spoiler… it was negative!)

[10:59] A book update on Get Out of Your Head.

[14:07] We’re chatting all about raising strong-willed kids.

[16:21] It’s okay if you can’t relate with your kids, but seeking to understand them is so important.

[17:16] Why rules for an Enneagram 8 are very restrictive.

[19:29] Change your mindset and see the desire for independence as a blessing.

[21:03] Stop using negative labels to define your kids.

[22:07] How studying personality typings can be so beneficial.

[24:26] Celebrate their strengths because they really are gifts.

[26:11] Say yes as often as possible for your child.

[29:45] Don’t overly protect your kids from struggle and failure.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

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  • Clare says:

    My toddler is one as has the strongest willpower. But instead of seeing it as a negative I am viewing it as a positive that he knows his own mind.

  • Katie says:

    Wow, that was so helpful. My almost 10 year old has challenged me like this since he was 1. I’m his complete opposite, and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This talk is the most hopeful I’ve heard on the topic in a long time. I have “reading people” downloaded on my phone to read soon, and I had gotten it thinking it was about a completely different topic, lol! God knew 🙂 thank you! I’ve been meaning to listen to more podcasts too, so thanks for those instructions too.

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