Tuesday, December 12, 2006


No, Uncle Joe, that title of today's post does not mean 'Single White Cow' or 'Solid While Cold' or even 'Seen With Catwoman'. But thanks for asking.

Actually SWC means Strong-Willed-Child. I have one of these said children. Have you ever met a strong willed child? I have. I know one quite well. If there were a picture in the dictionary next to Strong Will Child here is what it would be.
Strong willed children are very intersting. A prime example would go something like this.

Once upon a time there was a strong willed child. She loved playing with her baby dolls, her friends, and her dog. One day the strong willed child was playing with a baby doll when her beautiful mother told her it was time to do her homework. The little girl did not want to do her homework because she wanted to play with her doll instead. After the third time of telling the strong willed child to do her homework the beautiful mother took the doll and stroller away. The strong willed child was quite upset and began throwing a fit. She screamed. She yelled and she stomped through the house. The beautiful mother tried to talk calmly to the strong willed child to get her to calm down but the strong willed little girl could think of nothing except playing with her doll and not doing her homework. Time went on and the screams got louder, the yelling got longer, and stomping became hitting and kicking. The beautiful mother held the little girl until the patient father could stand no more and put the strong willed child into the shower. The water was cool and not what the strong willed child wanted. After a few moments the patient father turned the water off and the beautiful mother and patient father walked into the other room. The strong willed child was still focused on getting her doll and not doing her homework. The parents of the strong willed child finshed up fixing supper and ate their meal. The strong willed child was offered her supper but she refused. The lights went out and the strong willed child went to bed. The homework was not done, but she did not get the doll back either. But have no fear, the beautiful mother and the patient father still have her homework and it will be done tonight because even though the mother is quite beautiful, she also has quite the strong will herself. The End.
So, do you have strong willed children in your life? Are you a strong willed person yourself? How do you deal?


Anonymous said...

you've of course read the dr. dobson books, and so you know parents of SWC have to be on their toes, think on their feet, and never go to battle unless your prepared to die on the hill. so you did the right thing, and i'm betting you will continue to do the right thing. the problem comes when the parents of the SWC are passive, pushovers. and sounds like your not. so keep plugging away, because trust me, if you don't get control of it now, it will get worse.

never say no, and then take it back. think carefully before you answer a request, because if they find a chink in your armor, your done for. parents who say no, and then change their minds and give in are basically telling their kid that no does not mean no. but by gosh, in our house? if i say no? i mean no, and i'm not bending. i don't care how petty the request is. in that case, i have never had a child who threw a fit in the store ever. never. here in recent times, he has begun to challenge me more, but he knows when i'm down, and he knows when i'm in a weakened emotional state, so when they start to get more intuitive, they take advantage of that. i need to get my act together and get back on track.

you will win, i know it

kas said...

As the mother of a 19 yr. old SWC, I agree with everything susiebadoozie wrote. Do Not Give In, Do Not Give Up. My son is studying Criminal Justice in college, he wants to become a law enforcement officer, and his strong will, attitude and confidence will serve him well. You will get through this, and all of you will win.

Leslee said...

Thanks for your support. Some days are just better then others.

Madcap said...

Mmm, yes, I think I've met a SWC. Just maybe. ;-)

We're working from the food allergy angle, and finding it makes quite a difference. Udo's Oil, not just working for mine, but my friend whose child hasn't tantrumed in the six weeks she's been taking it. Not expensive, and it's healthy whether it "works" for the behaviour issue or not.

Good luck. Lots of fun, huh?

EmmaSometimes said...

I see Badoozer up there being all smart and PhD like.

As if Badoozer knows anything about being strong-willed...oh wait...

EmmaSometimes said...


what Badoozer said.

Girl said...

ok...I am now scared sh*tless of having children.

I think I was most definately a SWC.

suzy said...

Oh. my. goodness. Are you telling the story of OUR house?

Lynn said...

When Derik was about 9 months old, we were at the dr's office. After about 5 minutes, Doc started telling me about this book that I really should read. It's the same one badoozie mentioned.

uncle joe said...

Wait a minute there.
Stop the presses.

First you rag on me, then you tell a fairytale about perfect mothers which ends in child abuse?

I'm calling the cops lady...

Hep! Po-leeeeece!!!!!!!

Leslee said...

Child abuse? What part of that was child abuse?

jo(e) said...

To be honest, I don't much like the Dobson books.

I have strong-willed children -- and I am a strong-willed person myself. I think a strong will is a really good thing to have.

My advice (and I learned this years ago while teaching seventh grade) is this: Don't get into control battles with a strong-willed child. You will end up losing. As soon as a situation becomes a battle of wills, you've lost. You need to plan ahead and avoid those kind of battles. (Yes, I know that that is easier said than done.)

With my four kids, for instance, I've never told them when to do their homework. I always made homework THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, not mine. Boy in Black, for instance, did not do homework all through first grade because he said it was busy work. He was right -- it was busy work. So I shrugged and let that be his decision.

If one of my kids let their homework go and didn't do it, I let them just get a bad grade. I figured they could accept the consequences.

My two oldest kids both graduated from high school valedictorian despite having a mother who never once told them to do homework -- but most importantly, they learned that doing schoolwork is their own responsibility.

I disagree with the advice about being really rigid with saying "no."

Sometimes I would tell one of my kids "no" for something and they would come up with a logical reason why I should yes. So of course I would listen to what they said and change my mind. I think sometimes parents get so worried about being perceived as pushovers that they don't listen respectfully to their kids. Listening to your kids is fall more important than sticking stubbornly to a decision.

Other parents used to be horrified at my low-key method of parenting (telling me I should be the "parent" and the person in control) but my oldest two kids are now 20 and 18 and have turned into wonderful adults, so people no longer criticize me ....

Funky-Redhead said...

There are no passive people in my home...and we did have a SWC. Our belief is; consistenancy tempered with love. And from your post, you obviously have that!