A Mom Explains Why You Should Preserve Your Strong-Willed Girls
“I did not want to break her spirit because I knew that being strong-willed would be so beneficial to her as a woman. We do not need any more broken girls.”
Having a strong-willed child is no easy road. The battles are constant. The tantrums are plentiful. The meltdowns are draining. The emotional, mental, and physical toll that they take on an already-exhausted parents will leave even the most strong, experienced person in shambles.
And while those early years can be tough, one mom on TikTok wants other parents of strong-willed kids, especially daughters, to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel — and all those years of tantrums, meltdowns, and screaming fits are worth it for the final outcome.
TikTok mom and embroidery instructor, Hannah (@sherwoodforestcreations), posted on her TikTok, sharing a story about her own strong-willed daughter who used to leave her exhausted and hopeless at the end of most days.
“This isn't going to be a post of me bashing my daughter, but she was extremely difficult,” Hannah begins.
“Between the ages of like one and a half to four, where anytime we went anywhere, it was meltdowns, temper tantrums at home, kicking, screaming, ‘I hate you, you're stupid.’ Just horrific behavior that I felt like was a reflection on me.”
Hannah confesses that her daughter’s behavior made her feel like a failure. Oftentimes, she would cry herself to sleep. “I tried reading all of the different psychology books, all of the books on like difficult children and everything,” she continued.
And while Hannah wanted to do right by her kid and try to mitigate some of the meltdowns and tantrums, she knew that, deep down, her daughter’s spirit was manifesting as temporary bad behavior. She didn’t want to break that.
“I did not want to break her spirit because I knew that being strong-willed would be so beneficial to her as a woman. We do not need any more broken girls,” she said.
Hannah’s daughter is now six years old and thriving, and Hannah wants other parents to know that there is hope in the darkness of those days when it feels like you cannot do anything right for your child.
“My daughter is six now and she just had her kindergarten parent-teacher conferences. And do you know what the first thing that came out of her teacher's mouth was? ‘Your daughter is a joy. She is kind. She is clever. She is smart. She is witty, and she is a leader,” she said with tears in her eyes. “And I could not be more proud.”
Hannah then explains the possible future of a strong-willed toddler, remarking that the spirit and unbreakable nature of an, at times, obstinate, stubborn toddler will truly make them into some of the best leaders when they get older.
“Strong-willed toddlers make strong-willed girls make strong-willed women make strong-willed female leaders,” she concluded.
Hannah’s TikTok video struck a chord with many parents who also have strong-willed children, who thanked her for the pep talk.
“Strong-willed boy mom here,” one user wrote. “He was basically a terror from babyhood through toddlerhood. He’s 8 now, and his teachers say he’s an absolute pleasure to have in class.”
“Yes! You put into words my thoughts! People are judging me, but I don’t want to break her. School reports she is a joy!” another commented.
“My daughter is sooooooo strong-willed! Makes my heart happy knowing she’s gonna make it in this harsh world!” one user wrote.
A 2015 study followed 700 kids and noted their level of patience, self-esteem, relationship with the authority, level of rules obedience, etc. Researchers found a correlation between how much those kids where resistant to obedience and their later success in life.
Turns out, individuals who scored low on “Agreeableness” were shown to earn more money later in life. Students who show higher levels of rule breaking and defiance are more likely to engage in negotiations about earning and payment.
Though the gratification might be delayed, in today’s world — with teens, especially teen girls, needing mental health support more than ever — having a strong-will seems like more of a positive than a negative trait, at least if you can get through those tough toddler years.