If I had a dollar for every time I've heard parents, teachers, or grandparents use the expression "strong-willed child," I'd be wealthy!
I recently became acquainted with Dr. Liane Leedom, psychiatrist and author of Just Like His Father. She also offers a website where she writes, "The so-called strong-willed child actually has poor will power, NOT good will power! Will power helps children behave in a good way and resist temptation. Will power developed over the course of childhood protects against ADHD, addiction and antisocial personality disorder."
Dr. Leedom says that kids perceived as "strong-willed" actually have an imbalance between their drive for social dominance and impulse control. "The drive for social dominance makes them resistant to correction because they always want to be ‘in charge’ and their weak impulse control is what makes them appear to have strong wills. Hmmm, something to consider.
Get more on The Parent's Plate internet radio show Tuesdays 10 am (EST) with me, your host. Great guests, parenting insights and tips, and casual chat make this a powerful and valuable hour! Past shows are available on podcast or iTunes.