The Calm Cure For Strong Willed And Withdrawn Children | Teaching Self-Government

The Calm Cure For Strong Willed And Withdrawn Children

Every time I visit a home, the parents in the household will point out the one child that is particularly difficult.  Sometimes the child is passive, depressed or withdrawn, but most of the time the child is strong willed and prone to disobedience and power struggling.   

Recently, I visited a family who had both types of children.  The more quiet withdraw child didn't want to connect with family or me.  She looked away and disregarded instructions.  The strong willed child argued about everything and voiced her opinions very disrespectfully and liberally trying to dominate her environment.   

After interviewing each family member, I taught the family the principles and skills of self-government.  The withdrawn child didn't want to listen or participate.  (Many would think the message wasn't sinking in.)  The strong willed child asked lots of questions and voiced concerns.  (Many would think that she was not convinced.)   

About half way into the conversation the strong willed child said, "This will totally give me more control and freedom huh?  I get it!"  She became the self-government poster child by the end of the day.    The more withdrawn daughter tested the process.  She decided to go out of control and continue not to comply.  By the next day she was happy and willing to try self-government because she saw that it helped her get understood by her parents.  By that evening she was excited about the new way of communicating with her family.  She saw that she would now be more understood.   

I'm sure the children weren't perfect instantly after I left, but their hearts had changed.  They had seen that there was a calm, effective way to connect to family and solve problems as a group.  They were excited, motivated and united.   

Self-government is "being able to determine the cause and effect of any given situation and possessing a knowledge of your own behaviors so that you can control them."  ~Nicholeen Peck