Failing Motherhood

10 Things I've Learned to be True about Parents of Strong-Willed Kids

January 31, 2023 Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach - Wholeheartedly Episode 91
Failing Motherhood
10 Things I've Learned to be True about Parents of Strong-Willed Kids
Show Notes Transcript

Over the last almost 4 years of working with hundreds of families, I've learned a thing or two about parents of strong-willed kids.  (It takes one to know one!)

Consider this episode a Buzzfeed quiz of sorts, and report back with your answer of how many of these qualities you exhibit out of 10! 


  • Often overlooked insight that applies to both parent AND child
  • The permission and reassurance you might be looking for
  • Why it MAKES SENSE if you're feeling the way you're feeling


  • #10! I saved the BEST for last

IG: @parent_wholeheartedly

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Danielle Bettmann:

Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean? have too much anxiety.... not enough patience. Too much yelling... not enough play. There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. This is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week, we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, your failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom, your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough. And you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds, somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend, we're so glad you're here. Hey, it's Danielle. Like I said, I am going to be peppering in single episodes in between the interviews this year in 2023. And I anticipate that this episode is going to be a bit of a quick one. But I came up with this list in December to post it on IG. And I got so many comments, saying yes, this is so true. So many shares saying oh my gosh, this is me. And I just feel like it resonated on a deep level. So it needed a home on the podcast. So here we are. And that is the 10 lessons I learned about parents of strong-willed kids by supporting them. And my business has been here for almost four years now. And it has evolved so much from being able to have very a-la-carte, in-person consultations locally with families just sitting down and saying what's going on? And how can I help? and then being able to create short, little monthly segments where we worked through an individualized plan. And I started creating resources from the conversations that were repeating and the patterns that I was seeing, and the things that were making the biggest difference. And eventually, that created my one-on-one package Sanity and Solutions. And now dialed into such a powerful transformational format in my group program, Wholeheartedly CALM. So if you are new here, you will be able to tune into this episode. And this episode alone, I'm sure and know whether or not you are the parent of a strong-willed child for sure or not. Either way, you are at home here. And I hope that you will find this insightful so that you can have maybe more compassion or understanding for the families around you that are really struggling and feel so alone. So many of the clients that I work with report, this feeling of loneliness that they are misunderstood by their friends or their family. And they get lots of unsolicited, unhelpful feedback of things they've thought of or tried or wouldn't be appropriate. And they just feel like no one gets it. And I hope that this episode will tell you yes, at least one person does. And there's a small community there of people that are my people. And that's Wholeheartedly CALM. And so I hope that you will find yourself inside one day. My company, Wholeheartedly, is where defeated parents find validation, support, and proven techniques to parent their strong-willed kids with composure, connection, confidence and cooperation. So before I dive into this episode, I did want to read one testimonial. I don't do that very often. But I find that it's so helpful for you to be able to hear others experiences to know number one that there is hope. And number two, what they were able to create with the outcomes and the tools of my programs. This is coming from Maria. She said "I took Wholeheartedly CALM one year ago, and I thank God every day that I did it. It's the best investment I did and my family and my kids. Danielle is a very talented coach and she helped me so much to gain that important confidence as a mom, patience and compassion in times of tantrums that I was lacking before my kids behavior, my relationship with them and even my relationship with my husband who was not on board with me at all got SO much better. I'm following a lot of coaches and content creators on IG about gentle and positive parenting. And I can tell that Danielle stands out by the manner that she conveys the topic. All information is very precise and structured very well so that it's easy to comprehend, and most importantly, easy to apply right away. And every time it works like magic, she has no"water" in her course or in the video and printable materials as many coaches unfortunately have. All her examples are so relatable and down to earth, and tool she offers are easy to apply, and they really work. I recommend Danielle to all my friends. She's a sweet and compassionate person, a true cheerleader for us gentle parents, and knows her stuff very well. Whatever situation you have with your child, she has a solution. That makes my heart so big. Thank you so much, Maria for taking the time to share that on Google. And I just I'm so lucky I pinch myself every day that this was my, my real job. So if you are curious if Maria's experience could be your family's experience, you know what you have to do? Schedule a free consult using the link in the show notes or dive into my masterclass first-Authentic and Unapologetic, and then apply to the group at

All right, let's dive in:

10 things I've learned to be true about parents of strong-willed kids. Number one, they are persistent, dedicated, and resilient, which could be labeled as strong-willed themselves. So often, every family work with undeniably, there's always a parent that admits "they so much like me, or my parents are just laughing now because of the karma I'm receiving. And that is such a good thing. But it does create a lot of power struggles. Without that untapped awareness of how they're wired and how much that buttheads with how you are wired. Number two, they often need permission to say no, permission to take a break, and permission to not do it all. And that, of course, is very prevalent, and a common experience of parents everywhere. But very true of parents of strong-willed kids, and it's affecting their ability to parent well, because of the sanity that it drains. Number three, they love their child more than anyone else. But deep down, they feel inadequate, fearing that someone else could or seems to handle their behavior better than them. And that can even be backed up with evidence seemingly, if your child does better at school than at home. Or if they're able to go over to a friend's house or grandparents house and not struggle in the same ways that they do with you. Or even within your parenting partnership. Your spouse can say yeah, they don't do that for me. Oh, how you're not supposed to take that personally, right? So it feels like if they're struggling even more like maybe you think a therapist needs to be involved. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this, maybe I am missing huge things. Or maybe I just don't even know what I'm doing enough that they need someone else. And that can be so damaging for your identity as a parent for your confidence, and your clarity moving forward of even what support is necessary. Number five, they need reassurance that they have not created a monster. And there likely is nothing wrong with their child. Because, man, some days the mind game is real. And it really feels like "where did I go wrong?" And the regrets come in. And then you start to think "well, if I would have just..." and I've heard this so many times if I would have just stayed home with them earlier on, or if I would have maybe breastfed them, as opposed to giving up and go into a battle or if I would have found positive parenting sooner, maybe I could have prevented some of this or I would have taught them better at an earlier age. And man those regrets can be so overpowering. So hear me when I say you have not created a monster. There likely is nothing wrong with your child. They're just wired in a way you are not yet equipped to be able to handle with confidence. There's so much hope, friend. Number six, their sanity and their capacity has often been zapped by circumstances outside of their control, including but not limited to a recent move a new baby during the family, a career transition, lack of community or support, the experience of loneliness, pervasive loneliness, and an unrelenting mental load. Any one of the combination of those factors is going to zap that parent's sanity or capacity to do what they maybe have even consciously learned already from tips and tricks they picked up, which is completely understandable. Of course, we go through the seasons and things are compoundingly hard. Of course, that's going to affect your ability to parent. Number seven, number seven, their child's experience of well-being and capacity to be resilient, has often also been Number eight, they often don't know anyone that has a child like theirs. These parents feel incredibly shamed by others or even themselves. And when they turn to family problems are only exacerbated because they're trying to parent differently zapped by those circumstances outside of their control, than they were parented. How's the grandparent not supposed to take that personally as well. That's actually healthy boundaries. But don't go into that. But of course, that's going to feel isolating, of course, that's going to feel lonely. Of course, you're going to feel ostracized, if you really feel like we are the only family we know that has a kiddo that struggles this much this often. Number nine, they often put every parenting decision under a including but not limited to- a recent move, a new sibling, microscope, because they care from what snack they feed their child, to the time they offer it, to how they praise them to how much screentime they watch. And they feel like they're failing at all of it often are one thing and then the next to the next week. Because of course, right? If you're juggling this many things, and they all feel important, and you don't know which ones are the main things that affects their behavior, or you're just trying to grasp at straws and manage changes in their caregivers or schedule with their caregivers, what is within your control right now. Yeah, it's gonna feel like it all slips through your fingers. So defeating. And number 10, they wake up every single day ready to try again, despite all of these challenges, because the way they show up as a parent matters so much to them, they are desperately wanting to give their child the best version of themselves. And this is the thing that sets them apart. Every parent can say that they have a kiddo that they struggle with when that's particularly hard, or have seasons of things that are difficult, more difficult than others. Right, we parental stress around them, and strain on their relationship, can all resonate around those pain points. But the thing that sets a parent that gets support apart is how much it matters to them, and how big their goals are long term, and what feels like a non-negotiable. And if their goals for the long term of their family, like having the vacations that they're able to enjoy down the road, the career path that they want to pursue, if they feel like they want to have, you know, true freedom and travel or you know, getting RVing and move around the country. If they really feel like they it is on their heart and life feeling all around confusing or out of their to homeschool, or they want to move overseas. They have some big plan like this. But it feels like that dream is currently held hostage by a child whose behavior runs the show at their house. It's just their world and we're all living in it, then that is debilitating. That feels like I can't control my own life. We are all at their mercy. Nobody can live like that. Right? No one is meant to live like that. And that's not how it should control. Right. We're all humans, of course, they are also feel in your house. It's so possible to be able to gain that confidence and that control back and actually have less control over them. Which sounds very good. counterintuitive, but that is truly what my clients experience and why they decide to truly invest in their family by getting a high level of support. So, hear me say, You are not the only one that feels like this, if you resonate with any of these 10 things, they are true, going to struggle in the same circumstances. And but it just and they are identified because so many parents I've worked with feel this way. It's possible to ask for help you alone are the expert of your child and your family. And, and join the forces of your expertise with my expertise in child development. And within a community of parents that get you and are ready to truly commiserate, vent and support each other powerful change occurs. You deserve to be supported if you are trying to break generational cycles. If you really do want to tap into looks completely different. And it maybe is a lot harder to your unapologetic power as a parent, then reach out. Wholeheartedly CALM is always running. We are meeting every Friday. And you can go ahead and jump in as soon as we meet and know that it's the perfect fit for you. I send a workbook in the mail and you get access to the portal, you can dive right into the bonuses in week one and then join us live for our group coaching calls. It is the same level of support as a one-on-one relationship. You're just not alone. And it's even better to understand or sympathize with. But it's still happening. And be able to do it within a really close knit group of families that have the same kids and the same struggles as you. You will not find this level of support anywhere else friend. So go to Share a little bit more info about your family and we'll schedule a time to talk -just us. I'm so glad you're here. I'm so glad you're listening to Failing Motherhood. Always remember, you are the parent your kids need. there are so many things we can do about it to stabilize this Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong-willed child and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait feeling for them. to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.