Strong willed toddler characteristics –what to look out for

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Here is a list of the most common strong willed toddler characteristics that tells you have an opinionated and strong-willed son or daughter….

Are you worried that your son or daughter might be turning out to be an incredibly stubborn, bossy, and out-of-control character and hence a nightmare for you?

Well, below are the most common strong willed toddler characteristics – it is important to know early because parenting a kid with an extremely determined personality is going to require more patience (I’m sure you might be bracing for the terrible twos).

Strong willed toddler characteristics –what to look out for if you suspect you have a strong-willed son or daughter

Of course, having a strong-willed baby is tough, especially for the first few years- they really test your composure (with constant tantrums and screaming and generally refusing to listen).

So below is a list of usual strong willed toddler characteristics that you should be on the lookout for if you’re concerned that he/she could be metamorphosing into a very spirited and resilient toddler:


They’re extraordinarily independent

While their behaviors generally vary a lot with the developmental stage they’re at, the one characteristic nearly all of them have is unreal independence.

In a nutshell, your son or daughter will not just stop letting you rock him/her to sleep (or hold him/her for naps) but will also want to feed himself/herself (no spoon feeding), etc.

And you are likely to see a lot of this personality from very early (when they are a newborn)


They keep throwing things and tantrums mindlessly over simple things

Most tend to throw tantrums that keep getting worse and more extreme over unimportant stuff.

And their tantrums can be very manipulating-For example, the child cries until you give in (and give them what they want).

In short, if you say no, they will try harder to get you to react by extending on the tantrums- They will scream, cry louder, and even get physical until you’re at your wits end.

They really nag you for things

Accepting a NO (for an answer) is super difficult for him or her.

In fact, they can ask you to do something you don’t allow tens of times- depending on their age, you might even sense that they want to prove you wrong if you tell them you cannot do whatever they want.


They react to any boundary setting (or enforcement of rules) negatively

Besides, most respond negatively to any attempt to set boundaries or enforce rules by being whiny, sulky, or even throwing huge fits.

Other strong willed toddler characteristics

They love self-entertainment– They like being left alone to entertain herself/himself (depending on age, their playtime will seem to be more enjoyable when he/she can hear or see you).

He/she is ever curious– They are almost always looking around at basically everything or touching stuff (or investigating how everything works). And they seem to know what they want (and will often find a method to communicate whatever it is to you, for example, via pointing, grunting, and more).

They’re very expressive (and a little loud from the start)- They are not very calm and they push the limit (A lot!) by constantly trying to speak their mind (even when it’s not necessary). For example, if you have not put the music on, he/she will request it!

They like attention- Some like to hog the attention (they will want everybody to know they’re there and they’re not to be ignored).

They seem to resist just about anything new- They are obstinate and resistant to anything new you try to introduce them to including new fun activities.

They get angry on a regular basis- They will get upset whenever they feel that you’re delaying- for example, if food isn’t served fast enough (because it needs cooling).

He or she doesn’t play very well with others– Because they often refuse to compromise, strong-willed 1 to 3 years old are not liked a lot by their playmates. The point is, these babies think of themselves as being special (for no apparent reason).

Hyperactive and impulsive (and/or in-attentive behavior)- Most toddlers who are strong willed are often trying to talk (and interrupt). They also grab toys (or other objects) from others.

Bedtime is a nightmare– Some struggle to slow their body down and turn off the brain so bedtime is always almost a fight. You will notice they don’t seem tired (no classic signs).

They are overly picky- Another trait that is common is being super picky about foods. Yeah, most preschoolers are picky eaters but the thing is, those strong-willed are very adamant and will fight tooth and nail if they see unfamiliar foods.

Wrap up

There is something you need to know if, from the above traits, it appears your toddler is shaping up to be strong-willed…

You see, strong willed doesn’t always mean you will be bringing up an undisciplined brat – It means you just need to know your boy or girl better (their strengths) and adjust your parenting accordingly.

If you succeed in appropriately directing him or her, your child will most probably grow up to be an awesome teen (who’s not easily swayed by peer pressure)

In truth, most strong willed babies become very decent and honest adults who know exactly what they want (or don’t want) out of life.

PS: Check out these books:

These five books could help you transform your impossible kiddo to a more accommodating child that you can deal with.


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