Strong Willed kids are no joke to parent.
They can bring us to our knees with their defiance, and make us doubt whether our gentle parenting approach is working!
Which means instead of enjoying parenting like you thought you would, you can end up:
feeling exhausted at the thought of interacting with your child,
resorting to punishments, threats or yelling (which don't work anyway!),
and feeling defeated and judged about the way they behave.
Hi, we are Eleanor and Emma and together we founded The Reconnected.
The Reconnected has become a global parenting movement, with over 70K followers on instagram, and tens of thousands of parents joining our community over the past three years.
We combine a unique blend of science (Eleanor is a counsellor and play therapist, with a background in psychology, and has worked with families theraputically for over 15 years) and spirituality (Emma is a yoga teacher who founded the community New Earth Mama), to help parents to find simple and quick solutions to parenting in a way that makes their heart sing.
You might have found your way here because you are desperate for solutions...
If you have a Strong Willed child, no doubt you have tried lots of different strategies to create more harmony and less conflict in your home.
The thing is, traditional discipline with Strong Willed Kids rarely works. But what is really confusing is even empathy and gentle parenting don't work either!
We want to reassure you...there is a reason why it can seem like 'nothing works' with your child.
‘Strong Willed Kids’ is a topic dear to our hearts.
We’ve parented them (so we actually know what it's like to have kids who defy all the usual parenting tips), we’ve been them (so we know what a positive impact someone who knows their mind can make in the world), and we’ve now helped thousands of parents to find ways that DO work with their Strong Willed Child (so we know that there are solutions!).
Over the years, we have found that the following things are ESSENTIAL for parents of Strong Willed Kids.
To parent the Strong Willed Child you need:
To understand their unique underlying needs
About 20 percent of children have unique needs that make them more Strong Willed than other children.
The answer to 'how do I parent this child when nothing works!' lies in understanding and meeting these underlying needs.
We have found that there are Four Unique Needs of a Strong Willed Child (TM), Autonomy Needs, Sensory Needs, Leadership Needs and Relationship Needs.
This is why you can have two or more Strong Willed Children who are dramatically different because they have different dominant needs!
When you can identify what is going on for our kids, understand them and help them to meet these needs, you help them to reduce the intensity of their need to push and control.
This is the gamechanger that helps your child to respond to requests and directions with more flexibility and co-operation.
Tools to cultivate the energy reserves to meet them consistently
Parenting Strong Willed kids is hard. Their constant push back can be very exhausting. If you've ever woken up dreading interacting with your Strong Willed Child you will know what we mean!
The challenges of the strong willed child are made worse because we feel drained and tired all the time.
We need to build our energy reserves to have increased patience and ability to respond and be with our Strong Willed Children.
Willingness to take the path less trodden
It can be hard to trust ourselves as parents. The noise of parenting advice and strategies, plus the very real judgements from others can lead us astray from our innate connection and wisdom about what our child needs.
And having a Strong Willed Child makes this even harder!
But the irony is no-one 'gets' your Strong Willed Child better than you!
This program reconnects you to what you know about your child, and helps you to trust yourselves more fully as the perfect parent for your Strong Willed Child.
Say no more right? how often have you felt like you are the only person whose kid doesn't listen to them. Or felt on the outside cos you do things differently to your extended family or friends.
Maybe the other parents in your mothers' group have kids who are 'easy', or perhaps you haven't met parents who you resonate with yet.
Our need for community and connection is real. We need people who 'get it' and who are here to hold space for us to find our own wisdom.
The thing is, if traditional parenting approaches were going to work with your child... they would have already.
Our unique blend of play therapy and breathwork is a practical and embodied application of the latest research in attachment and nervous system regulation.
The families who apply our approach are thriving...
Thank you for helping me to forgive myself for not being able to be the perfect parent and forgiving my daughter for being so “demanding”. This perspective shift has changed a LOT for us.
I really get now that my child triggers feelings in me I never felt able to express or was told not to express. Just recognising that he invites me to heal and to be authentic helps me to see what a gift he is!
"Hey, it's Eleanor here! I wanted to share a personal story with you about how this work can make a long-term impact, even throughout the teen years..."
I was having a conversation with one of my Strong Willed teenagers and like usual we started butting heads about whether he could go somewhere.
And something told me, that even though I was tired, and had already had enough of the conflict that day, something told me I needed to stay engaged with this conversation.
At the beginning the conversation was pretty mundane...BUT, as the connection and safety grew, our convo went to the heart of what really matters.
He shared with me, what it's really like being highly sensitive being in a closed off world, and why he needs to dig his heels in so deep to feel safe.
How confusing it is for him to be aware of people's true feelings, and how hard it is to have to ignore that and just listen to what they say which sometimes doesn't match up.
He explained why I am the one that he acts out with the most. And then he said...
"I feel so lucky to have someone who has stays with me, even when I am finding things hard, who see's me, and who connects with me."
In that moment I realised, I was about to have a conversation with my dear teenage boy, that all through those challenging years of his early childhood, I had had hoped would one day happen.
and I said...
"Hey, you know the tough times, the times I have gotten angry and upset. You know, those moments have been really horrible for both of us...but you know they have also been my greatest source of growth. In fact, in a lot of ways you have been my greatest teacher.
And you know how you can sense how I am feeling, and you used to react to that?
That has meant I have had to get VERY real with myself about how I feel when I interact with you. It's put me on a path of actually being in touch with my true self!"
And we looked at each other, and everything for the first time between us, felt like ALL the struggles had been worth it for this moment of profound connection and of understanding.
And, I tell you what.
The harmony, co-operation, flexibility and ease that has graced our relationship since then is EVERYTHING.
I want you to know that the time that you invest in understanding and supporting your Strong Willed Child is something you will never regret.
Meet your guides
Emma and Eleanor, who have 9 children between them and over 16 combined years of therapeutic practice
I am a Counsellor, Breathworker and Play Therapist and I am delighted to be sharing my love of Breathwork with the world, and especially with people who are new to the practice. I have had a lifelong love of learning, and hold a BA in Social Science (counselling), a BA in Psychology (Hons), a Dip Breathwork, and a Grad Dip Play Therapy.
All that paper and qualifications aside, my four teenage children have by far been my greatest teachers. It is through the challenges of parenting my two SUPER strong willed children that my passion for doing the personal work required to truly hold space for these incredible beings was sparked.
As they grow into adults I am affirmed over and over again that they are indeed a reflection of life's longing to awaken and heal and that they have many gifts. I look forward to journeying with you and to creating more harmony in the day to day interactions with your family.
I am really excited about covering the topic of Strong Willed Kids, not only do I have one of them! but I too was also a strong willed child. I am a successful self-published author and have been known as NewEarth.Mama for many years. I hold a Mastery in Rebirthing Breathwork, am a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Certified Advanced Theta Healing & Mind Body Intuitive, seeing thousands of clients with powerful testimonials.
I have been professional ballerina, and top model working for vogue, harpers bazaar and walking in London, Milan, Paris and Sydney Fashion week shows. Now, I live a dramatically different life with my family on the East coast of Australia. I love the soothing balm of connecting with other parents and knowing I am not the only one who struggles.
I love exploring hard topics and finding that moment when the energy shifts and an insight lands, or something heavy get's released. This course has strategies, heaps of info on the underlying needs of our kids, and lift of the tiredness, and the lethargy, the apathy, and tap back into the wisdom of why our kids came to us!
And don't just take our word for it.
As a parent it is such a relief to join a community of parents who experience the same struggles as you. Emma & Eleanor really change the way we see these amazing children. They make you realise what NEEDS drive your child’s behaviour, so that you are able to meet those needs more consistently. That’s exactly why they are your golden ticket to inner growth!
Joining the Reconnected and their Strong Willed course was one of the best things I have done in my parenting journey! Eleanor and Emma are so celebratory of every aspect of our children’s experience and advocating for them AND for every aspect of our parent experience and advocating for us too…for me, the mix of connected play and Breathwork was revolutionary… both me AND my child!
Sarah, United Kingdom
The SWC Course has been so liberating for me to understand and reflect on MY OWN NEEDS from my childhood as a strong-willed child. There has been so much shame, guilt, and blame that I have carried, and the SWC Course has given me many paradigm-shifting perspectives! I highly recommend this course for ALL parents and parents-to-be! There are so many incredible opportunities for healing in this course.
I want to thank you because your work is absolutely life changing! You are helping parents to raise children for a better world and that is huge!!!! Before the course I was struggling to connect to my child and feeling like I didn't know how to parent. After the course I can see him in a completely different way, he becomes easy going, more than ever before and I am so proud of the little regulated man he is becoming.