Yes, you can get your strongwilled kid to use willpower!
Willpower, in turns out, is like a muscle that needs to be exercised and strengthened. Because it gets challenged EVERY time you make a decision.
Another way of looking at it is that it’s like a fuel tank. You start off the day with a certain amount of willpower, and you begin to deplete your resources as the day goes on. You need to refill that fuel tank throughout the day, or by dinnertime (or worse, homework time), you could well be running on fumes!
This is particularly critical for kids who struggle with challenges of executive function, because there are multiple opportunities for them to use up their reserves — every day!
Think about it – our kids are constantly being asked to exercise restraint. Despite that it is in direct conflict with how their brains are wired, they are asked to manage their impulsivity, to redirect their attention, to control their emotions, to manage their frustration, and… you get the point.
So, wouldn’t it be great if they could learn some “productivity brain hacks”? Hacks that are actually based in research, and can provide them with a shortcut to building that willpower muscle. After all, they’ve got the strength of will (right?!), so it’s really more about teaching them how to channel it for their own benefit.
In this interview Alan Brown shares some essential ‘hacks,’ based on the fundamentals of willpower research by psychologist Kelly McGonigal. He teaches us how to turn the ‘challenging’ strong wills of your kids into the productive strong wills you want them to have to be successful — using willpower as a vehicle.
So whether for yourself or your kids, start here by understanding the nature of willpower. Learn about the importance of hunger, anger and fatigue. Because on some level, we all want to help our families get more done, in less time, and with less drama. We want to get our strongwilled kids to use willpower. And Alan Brown is a fabulous master of ceremonies in this arena!