Practical Advice for Parenting Strong-Willed Children


Jean and I have a strong-willed boy. Over the years, we’ve joked that we were raising a lawyer-in-training. He could find a loophole in anything.

Once, Jean hosted a women’s tea and set out chocolates in the living room. She later discovered half the bowl was gone. When she asked him if he’d eaten all the chocolates, our son responded, “No,” without hesitation.

“You didn’t eat the chocolates?”

“Oh, I ate some of them. But you asked if I had eaten all of them.”

If you’ve got a strong-willed child, you’ve probably encountered situations like that. You may have even locked horns with him or her in a way that was no laughing matter. Strong-willed children rarely back down from a fight and hang their head in defeat. They’ll happily battle you for control.

The news isn’t all bleak if you’re navigating life with a strong-willed child. Inner strength is a positive attribute. Some of the most successful people in the world got there by harnessing their inner determination. Their personality is a significant ingredient to their success. The impossible becomes possible because they’re not easily discouraged. “It can’t be done” simply means “It hasn’t been done yet.”

Mom and Dad, you play an important role in teaching your child how to funnel their will in the right direction.

We’ll help you do that On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Practical Advice for Parenting Strong-Willed Children” with our guest Cynthia Tobias. She knows a lot about strong-willed children. Not only is she trained to work with young people, but she was strong-willed as a child and is strong-willed as an adult. She knows how this personality type thinks and will help you understand how to handle it as a parent.

You have to be creative when you’re raising a strong-willed child. Cynthia Tobias will be with us to offer helpful insights on raising and disciplining strong-willed children and to help your relationship with them be the best it can be. Listen on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.

Our conversation was based on Cynthia’s book You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded). It’s available from Focus for a gift of any amount. If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

If you can help Focus on the Family with a gift, know that your donation will be doubled for twice the impact in helping others through this ministry. Our thanks to generous donors who’ve made that possible.



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Jim Daly with Paul Batura

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