Direct from Dr. Laura to You, the answers to your parenting prayers. In these MP3s, Dr. Laura addresses a specific parenting issue and answers questions from parents like you. Warm, supportive, informative and practical -- just what the doctor ordered!

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Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child


Have a strong-willed child?  You're lucky! Strong willed children can be a challenge to parent when they’re young, but if sensitively parented, they become terrific teens and young adults.  Self-motivated and inner-directed, they go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to "break their will," strong-willed kids often become leaders.  

What exactly is a strong-willed child?  Some parents call them “stubborn,” but we could also see them as people of integrity who aren’t easily swayed from their own viewpoints.  Often, these kids are prone to power-struggles with their parents.  However, if parents can resist the urge to participate in every argument to which they're invited, they can become adept at eliminating power struggles.  Research shows that  parents who pay attention can avoid power struggles, even with strong-willed kids, by setting limits empathically, giving choices, and clearly offering respect.

Strong-willed kids feel their integrity is compromised if they're forced to submit to a parent's will.  And, really, you don't WANT to raise an obedient child.  Of course you want your child to do what you say.  But not because he is obedient, meaning he always does what someone bigger tells him.  No, you want him to do what you say because he trusts YOU, because you are the parent and have his best interests at heart.  You want to raise a child who has self-discipline, takes responsibility, and is considerate -- and most important, has the discernment to figure out when to trust and be influenced by someone else.  Breaking a child's will leaves him open to the influence of others that often will not serve him.  What's more, it's a betrayal of the spiritual contract we make as parents to nurture our child's unique gifts.

That said, strong-willed kids can be a handful -- high energy, challenging, persistent.  How do we protect those fabulous qualities and encourage their cooperation?

This MP3 covers:

* WHY are strong-willed kids the way they are?

* What kind of parenting brings out the best in strong-willed kids.

*What does emotional intelligence have to do with my strong-willed kid?

* Everyday strategies to help your strong-willed wonder WANT to cooperate.

* How to Stop Fighting and Start Connecting

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Thank YOU so much for your encouraging emails and Facebook posts!!! Since I began this process, I have noticed a difference in the compassion I show to myself, and how much more that helps me connect with my kids. We are all feeling a lot more overall peace.