Dr. Lydia Currie
August 27, 2008
As I held my newborn daughter in my arms for the first time
in the delivery room, I noticed something unusual about her
cry. She seemed to be
irascible and implacable.
A thought chilled me as I relived the memory of my late
mother whose uncontrollable ire wrought havoc on her social and
family life, and my daughter seemed to have her temperament! As the months passed, my
presumption was correct.
Her needs were always absolutely intense and quickly became
wraths if these needs were not met. I was frequently unable to
cope with her demands and temper tantrums. Determined to change my
daughter’s fate, I immediately sought help online and in books and
was swiftly overwhelmed by the vast amount of parenting information
existed out there. The
only way to decode all of this information was to select advices
from some leading child development experts and carefully examine
As long as strong-willed children’s
misbehaviors baffle and frustrate parents, numerous child
development experts will continue to offer practical solutions for
these parents. Minnell
Tralle, an Extension family relations educator at the
indicates that parents may find it challenging to rear children who
consistently push the limits and are disobedient, intense,
persistent, and energetic.
These parents may find it difficult to handle and resolve
these behavioral problems.
Furthermore, according to Tralle, the children of these
parents may have low self-esteem and encounter impediments in
building relationships with parents, friends, and teachers. Moreover, she asserts that
noncompliant children discover that it is more laborious to follow
orders than other compliant children. She also states that
it takes only one noncompliant child to disturb the delicate balance
of the entire family.
The stresses stemmed from constantly facing challenging
behaviors will affect the relationship of the parents to the child
and the relationship of the child to the other children (Tralle
2007). Drew Edwards
(2005), adjunct professor of psychology at Wake
Forest University, agrees with Tralle
on this problem related to the strong-willed child with other
children. He asserts
that the strong-willed child is often a bully and impulsive. He also elaborates that
“kids who bully tend to be those who are bullied by parents or
others” (qtd. in Walker 2005).
However the most damaging effects caused by
the noncompliant child are on the parents themselves. These parents often
experience disagreements over parenting methods, increased stress
levels, disruption of religious faith or practice, poor
communication, reduction of sexual and nonsexual intimacy,
restricted social activity, increased levels of resentment, and
increased frequencies of repining behaviors (Meyers 2006). As a result, members in such
families need to endlessly adjust and readjust to the problems
created by the noncompliant child (Tralle 2007).