As a parent, your dream child likely displays a good bit of obedience and cooperation. No one wants to deal with a son or daughter who is constantly saying “no” or questioning all your decisions.
If this isn’t the reality of your child, however, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily be disappointed. Having a strong-willed child can be a positive thing, given, of course, that your child is still well-behaved and respectful when necessary.
Although you might not see it yet, having a headstrong kid can lead to great things down the line. If you’re not convinced, here are five reasons why having a strong-willed child is a good thing.
1. They Think For Themselves
You want your child to listen to what they’re told—but only when it’s something they should be doing, and not something negative. Blind obedience is definitely not a good thing, so if you are able to teach them the reasoning behind what you’re directing, they’ll be able to understand the difference between right and wrong.
If you start to think about parenting as “raising an adult,” you’ll realize that encouraging your little one to make wise decisions at a young age is great training for the skill required to navigate adult life.
2. They’re Passionate
You might think having an opinionated child is bad, but having an apathetic one is worse. Strong-willed children are generally focused, interested in what they are doing, and considered creative and intelligent. Down the line, these qualities will definitely come in handy.
It’s harder to ignite passion than it is to redirect energy, so finding productive outlets for your child’s energy will likely be helpful!
3. They Take On Leadership Roles
According to Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University, strong-willed children are spirited and rambunctious, and they eventually turn into leaders as adults. They resist peer pressure, and they take the time to build trust and form relationships.
Research has shown that adults who grow up to become successful entrepreneurs are usually not the children who played by the rules in their younger years, but instead were the rule-breakers and boundary-pushers.
4. They Have Opinions
Yes, it might be annoying to always hear what your offspring has to say about something, but this will pay off in the long run. A study from the journal Developmental Psychology found that picky children are more likely to end up as entrepreneurs and earn more money as adults.
As with the aforementioned boundary pushing, opinionated kids can be extra challenging to parent, but this trait can serve them well later in life.
5. They Don’t Care What Others Think
We always emphasize to kids that they should be themselves and not worry what others think of them, and strong-willed kids exhibit this. They wear what they want, do the activities they like, and don’t give in to bullies. This can help keep them from falling into the status quo and even allow them to be self-expressive.
Although parenting a strong-willed child can get exhausting, keeping open communication with your kids can help facilitate the right growth, and it can even teach you a few life lessons along the way!
RELATED: It’s Official: Kids Are A Million Times Worse When Their Moms Are Around
At the end of the day, a headstrong, creative and passionate child turns into a headstrong, creative, passionate adult, and there’s nothing to argue with there.
Photo by Matthew Kenwrick
Here are seven things your kids should know how to do by the time they’re teenagers: