Best Gifts for Strong-Willed Kids




No matter the occasion, when buying a gift for the kid in your life you want to WOW them without breaking the bank or seeing your investments lying in the "toy graveyard" 2 months from now, taking up space or making a mess, never to be played with again.  I GOT YOU!

I've compiled a list of mostly unconventional items your strong-willed child will lose their mind for, and continue playing with for months or years to come!  They're not super expensive, they're not super messy, they're not annoying, and they still retain the "fun to watch them open" factor!

Overall THEME: feeling BIG/grown up, getting to be the boss, feel important or in control through play


  • My "5 Rules to Live By" when buying toys
  • Gifts you've thought of (and many you haven't!)
  • Ideas that give strong-willed kids a huge sense of power + control, like over 100+!


  •  Verena + Antonin's BEFORE and AFTER!

IG: @parent_wholeheartedly

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*FREE* MASTERCLASS: Learn how to CONFIDENTLY parent your strong-willed child WITHOUT threats, bribes or giving in altogether so you can BREAK FREE of power struggles + guilt

Here's my gift-buying rules:

  • #1- Toys/gifts have NO gender.  
  • #2 - Follow your child. You know them best.
  • #3 - The more a toy does, the less a child LEARNS.  The more open- ended the toy's use is, the better.
  • #4 - You get what you pay for.
  • #5 - Offer balance: ensure each domain is covered overall. 
    • Fine Motor (art, puzzles, blocks, legos, dough, beads)
    • Large Motor (ball play, jumping, riding, running)
    • Pretend Play - Whole body (dress up clothes, play kitchen, tent)
    • Pretend Play - Figures (cars, animals, people, doll house, farm, airport)


Find the compiled list of over 120 items on Amazon for shopping ease - (no commissions) // CLICK HERE  //

*Listings were saved for inspiration only, please verify colors, sizing, read reviews, etc. prior to purchase

Open-Ended CLASSICS, esp. for Fine Motor: A Dollhouse, Little People sets, Sets of Animals, Magnatiles, Shopkins, Jenga blocks.


You know your child would love... a Play Kitchen with food.

What about adding... Restaurant Receipt Pads, Play Money, Personalized Checks, Kitchen/Visual Timer, a Cash Register?


You may have thought of... Hot Wheels or a Train Set.

Your child would also like... Painter's Tape, a Stopwatch, Caution Tape, Tickets + a Clicker Counter, Road Tape + Street Signs.


You know your child loves... Art Supplies.

Your child would go crazy for... A full Pack of Printer Paper, Envelopes, Washi Tape, Legal Pads, a Real Clipboard, Gel pens, Post-Its, a legit Pencil Sharpener, a Whiteboard and Dry Erase Markers.


You know your child loves... Money.

Your child would go crazy for... a new Wallet or Bag, a Piggy Bank, a Calculator, Gift Cards to a Donut shop, Ice cream shop, Target or a Cookie shop.


You know your child would love... A Doctor Play Set.

Have you thought of... a real Stethoscope + Reusable ACE Bandages, BandAids just for play, medical Gloves, a Watch?


Your child loves their... Baby Doll (or desperately needs someone or something to boss around).

What about adding... A Carrying Car Seat, Wrap, Play Stroller, High Chair, or Potty Chair for the doll?


Your child LOVES... making "Potions" or "Soup".

Then you need to stock up on... Tea bags, Inexpensive Herbs, Cheap oils, Little Bottles, Measuring Spoons, Funnels, a Basket, a Tea Party Set, a Flower Press.

SEE ALSO: Tumbled "Gems", a Shovel, a Magnifying Glass, a Flashlight, a "Treasure Box", Gem or Fossil sets, a Magic Wand and Cape.


Your child LOVES... "helping" you in the kitchen.

They need... a Kitchen Tower Stand, Safe Cooking Knifes, a Whisk, Spatulas, Cupcake Liners, a small Waffle Iron, Sprinkles, America's Test Kitchen Cookbook(s) for Young Chefs.


Your child has... ALL OF THE ENERGY.

Then they would love... a Tumbling Mat, a Bar, the Nugget, a Trampoline, the Skynook swing, a Tunnel + Tent.

SEE ALSO: A digital drum set with headphones, a Big Wheel, a Razor Scooter, Orange Construction cones, their own snow shovel.


If your child would... live outside if they could.

Then they'd love... An Umbrella and Rain Coat, Rain boots, a Watering Can, a Bubble Maker, Sunglasses, Binoculars, A Bird House, Walkie Talkies, Nerf Guns or Water Blasters, a Toolbox of their own

SEE ALSO: Sleeping bags, Camping chairs, Hammocks, Kid-size Hot Chocolate Mugs (ceramic or To-go).


If your child loves... a good night in at home.

Then what they need is... a favorite animal hooded jumpsuit, a Mermaid tail blanket, a new fun Water Bottle or Straws, the single serve juice with the characters on top, Popcorn containers or ice cream bowls, kid-safe Nail Polish, Scrunchis or clips, Hair Chalk or Temporary hair dye, Temporary Tattoo pens, motorized Toothbrushes, Bath Crayons or bath bombs, a hooded Bath Towel.


Your child is NOT... sleeping in their own room most nights.

You need to invest in... New fun bedsheets, a Weighted Blanket, Rope lights, Glow in the Dark Stars, a Starry night light, a Yoto Box or a speaker for audio bedtime stories, Bed Tent.

SEE ALSO: A robe, slippers, eye mask, Squishmallows, a Stuffed Animal Hammock


If your child... wishes it was their birthday everyday.

Just consider how much they'd love... a Giant Roll of Bubble Wrap, a pack of colored Streamers, a roll of Kraft paper, Balloons (supervised of course), and pictures of them in a photo book.


When your child... needs to know they've *made it*.

Get them... their own carry on luggage with a custom luggage tag, a Polaroid camera, a Label maker, or their own House Plant to take care of.


WHEN IN DOUBT: Print out pictures from the year and drop them in a cheap photo album.


*PATIENCE, SANITY + COOPERATION* - Apply to work together! 


Find a compiled list of the following on Amazon for shopping ease - (no commissions)  // CLICK HERE //

*Listings were saved as inspiration. Please vet reviews, look at sizing, color choices, etc prior to purchasing anything



Danielle Bettmann 0:04
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean? Have too much anxiety. And 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. But 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.

Danielle Bettmann 1:14
Hey, it's Danielle. If you're new here, I help defeated parents find validation, support, and proven techniques to parent their strong-willed kids with composure, connection, confidence, and cooperation through a three month group coaching program based on the Wholehearted Framework I've developed over years of working with families one on one. I have an early childhood and elementary teaching degree. I'm certified in Positive Discipline. And I have two daughters. If you've just found the podcast, go to to view a playlist of our most listened to episodes, as well as where to start if you have a strong-willed child. Before we dive into all sorts of unconventional, non-messy, non-annoying gifts that your kids are going to play with for months and years to come., I want to share a quick word from a recent graduate of my program, Verena and her husband, Antonin.

Verena 2:08
The other approaches I had tried, were just steps towards this goal of having a more calm household. And I did Laura Markham, it was all about peaceful parenting that works for certain types of children. So I felt fine with that. Until I had Peter. And then it wasn't at all working. And then I did therapy on myself to just like, find where my triggers are. And part of my journey has been just learning how to calm myself down and know why I'm so triggered by different behaviors and where that comes from and how I was raised. So that was my therapy. And then the next step is Wholeheartedly, which was it also laid the foundation for myself care, but also specifically how to help my my son, Peter, and the different systems that you introduce and how much they need a bit more control and how to be kind and firm that I just don't feel when I did the Laura Markham's the peaceful parenting course, that I got it at that point.

Verena 3:24
Yeah, so this was just a great course, that also got my husband and myself on the same path of parenting. Because Antonin was never comfortable with a peaceful parenting, you really needed something with more structure, more firmness, more boundaries. It's done two things. It's really helped Peter and it's also joined, we've joined forces with my husband. So the benefits have been amazing. Overall, Peter has really improved. It's our house is very different. He still has a lot of explosions. And now that big brothers are back from holiday. All the kind of the frustration is back.

Verena 4:07
But I can see him now. I'm not just overwhelmed. I'm not so in my head about how I'm feeling as a mother. It's more like this course gave me opportunity to just know my child, know, his heart know his struggles, that see how much he's struggling and not so much how I'm struggling or his brothers are struggling. It's more just what's going on in his little head. It's allowed me to connect with him in a very profound way. And it's and it's also helped me communicate with him. So we're having much deeper conversations about what he struggles with, you know, with with the whole circling back. Yeah, it's been great. I really, I'm so happy. I'm so thankful. I'm so sad that it's finishing!

Antonin 5:01
The course has just been invaluable. And I didn't believe it either. But he does. He goes to bed, he goes good night, and then he Off he goes, he goes to sleep by himself. Like, it's just insane. This is like not something that is real, right? I just kind of just waiting for this to blow apart a little bit. Right? But -and it may- that's okay. Right. But just to see how this all works, right. And also the resiliency, I find nothing's like, getting way out of control. Peters having his little moments here on there. But it's nothing that you're just like, oh, I can't handle this, I'm gonna finally throw the towel in and just walk away and just wow, right? It's not that anymore. It's like, oh, this is happening. Take a deep breath. You know, the BMW, right? And then it just comes straight. It's such an incredibly empowering feeling to be able to, together as a couple create that, that foundation that that unwavering confidence and commitment that you have to your kids. Thank you. Thanks, everyone. For all of this. I know that I wasn't here the whole time. But it's been a it's been a really amazing process to be part of.

Danielle Bettmann 6:16
Okay, you're back. So if I sound a little bit different, I upgraded some of my equipment. I got new headphones, I got a new microphone. Sometimes it's working with my computer. Sometimes it's not. I have been trying to problem solve it all weekend. But I think it's working right now at least I hope so I hope we don't record this whole episode and have to do it again. I will let you know if I do.

Danielle Bettmann 6:39
But the holidays are quickly approaching if you haven't already noticed. And if you have at least one strong-willed child on your list, you want to wow them without breaking the bank and seeing your investments lying in the toy graveyard two months from now taking up space, or making a mess, never to be played with again. Am I right? So I got you today. The best toys, the ones that they will actually love or not the ones that they probably circle on the count- catalog where they beg you to have because they saw him at a friend's house. That Paw Patrol laser pointer or what have you. They have their time in place. Absolutely have the grandparents get them.

Danielle Bettmann 7:26
But over the years, I have prided myself on balancing out those trendy kind of play with it a few times gifts with practical, unconventional ideas. And the way that I would communicate that was I would set up an Amazon wishlist. And then send a link to grandparents and say, These are the ideas that I have for the girls this year. And they would always be a little bit unique, but they would be still really fun to open. And I think that's the hard thing with if you wanting to be more minimalistic or you wanting to declutter a whole lot, and you realize that your kids have a ton of toys. So you're trying to downsize, you know that they would play better with less, but at the same time giving them an experience gift. It's just not as fun we get it, especially if you're trying to give that idea to grandparents. They want to see them open a present and be thrilled. And I know how hard that can be when you're like, Hey, we got a zoo membership. And they're like, cool. They'll love it when we go but it's not as fun to open.

Danielle Bettmann 8:30
So the things that I'm going to share are right on that line of balancing that out. So I've compiled in this episode, and in a blog post and in an Amazon wishlist. A list of mostly unconventional items that your strong-willed child is going to lose their mind for they will continue playing with these things for months. They're not super expensive, they're not super messy, they're not annoying, and they're still fun to watch them open.

Danielle Bettmann 9:01
So I'm going to preface this episode before I dive into all the ideas with my five rules for buying gifts. Number one, gifts have no gender, toys, have no gender. You know your child, you know what they are interested in, what their personality is, and their age best. So, birth order, sibling order, so many, whatever TV channel they watch so many other things will dictate what lights them up more than just pink or blue. So as I list through all of these items, there is not a boy section or a girl section. You just take what you like from the list and save the rest for later.

Danielle Bettmann 9:49
Remember to follow your child just because a toy is deemed great. Doesn't mean that they'll play with it. You need to Bring in some classic things that you want to expose them to. But then customize it around what you know that they love.

Danielle Bettmann 10:08
Number three, the more a toy does, the less a child learns. What I mean by that is, the more a toy just sits there, the more the child has to engage their imagination and creativity to play with it. So we're electronic toys are super fun. Their value is generally more for entertainment, than education, which again, there's a time and place, they are a parenting tool, perfect for car trips, that's great. But the more open ended the toys use is the better. So that means if a toy can only be used in a particular way, like it is a bath toy, where you can only use it when you put water down this shoot and then this thing changes color. But that's it, then it doesn't leave a whole lot of room for open interpretation. So they're gonna get bored with it pretty quickly, because they'll have played out that scenario and then moved on. So you want open ended things that just sit there. That way it engages a lot more of their brain and can be used in a million different ways. And that multipurpose aspect will keep them coming back to it.

Danielle Bettmann 11:22
Number four, frankly, you get what you pay for. And I'm sure you know that at this point. And that is something that you use in your decision making, but you don't always need quality. So you decide what and when you're going to buy for durability, and quality. Because it does pay to invest in those pieces like a play kitchen that you're gonna have three kids go through, or a bike that you'll want to pass on to a sibling or resell. You know, the toys that are wooden are going to be the ones that last much longer. But if you're in a bind, or it's just something that you know, is just going to get you through, go ahead and just get what's on your list that they will love, right, you get what you pay for.

Danielle Bettmann 12:12
And number five, make sure you are offering them opportunities to reach every domain. And what I mean by that is they need practice with their fine motor skills, building strengthen their fingers. So that's puzzles, Legos, playdough, beads, blocks, holding a pencil, that kind of stuff. Large motor, building balance, strength and flexibility in the whole body. Right. So jumping, writing, running, foul play. And then when you're playing pretend, I kind of classify it as whole body and figure. So whole body pretend play is the play kitchen, the tent, the dress up clothes, figure reenactment is cars, animals, little people, adult house, a farm and airport, that kind of stuff. So especially if they aren't in a school setting yet, just making sure that you have a well rounded option of toys that they can pick from that offers those learning opportunities throughout those four domains. And then you're good.

Danielle Bettmann 13:25
So that's my five rules. So let's dive in. Shout out to at @craygardens on tik tok, I came across one of her tik toks that said, Here's the list of inexpensive items that your child's going to love for Christmas. And that's what kind of got me inspired to start this list. There were a few things that people were sharing in the comments of that video that were brilliant. And so we are running with that theme. And I'm taking it into the lens of your buying for a strong-willed child. And what I know about a strong-willed child is going to create an overall theme here.

Danielle Bettmann 14:03
So while we're always going to recommend the classics, the things that I'm recommending today are going to give them a feeling of being big, or being a grown up, giving them the opportunity to be the boss in some way, or feel important or in control while they're playing. Because remember, if we don't proactively give them outlets to get this very real need met, we leave it up to them and they'll find a way but it won't be mutually beneficial.

Danielle Bettmann 14:38
So find in the shownotes the link to the blog post where I link the listing things out where I list these things out and connects the zoo to Amazon. Again, I'm not famous enough to have any type of commission for this. Just sharing it so it's more accessible for you as you go shopping in the weeks to come So like I just said, there are classics, especially for fine motor that I will recommend. For every single child I ever worked with her meet things like magnatiles, they're one of my number ones, sets of hard or soft animals to set around in play. Little People sets a dollhouse little play figurines for the Blue House, or PJ Masks, or whatever their thing is, having all the figures, jingle, blacks even are super multipurpose for setting up a parking lot, or a zoo, or Shopkins. If they're old enough, and you don't have a sibling that will choke on them. My girls could not play with Shopkins more because they were so versatile for all of the things that they used them for. So those are the classics that are just a given.

Danielle Bettmann 15:51
Okay. But now as I go through, I'm going to kind of add on to a theme of maybe something that you already knew about your child and that got you started. And I'm going to add on to that with some other things you maybe haven't thought of, or things that would really maximize that that are more practical and more inexpensive, that are really going to make them awesome, and your child's mind and last and be so cool. So I'll start there. And again, this theme does not have to put anybody in a box, it doesn't have to apply to you, I just wanted to categorize it some fun way. But as you go through listen to what's going to light up your child and just go ahead and hit add to cart when you can. So if you know your child would love something like a play kitchen with food, or they already do, what about adding those little receipt pads, the restaurant receipt pads that waitress at a diner with us, oh my gosh, they would love that they could turn it into a restaurant, right? Then you could get them a cash register, you could get them play money, you could get them a kitchen timer, they set you know, for the chef, you should have a visual timer anyway, for behavior but adding that in and then there's a really cool website that allows you to create personalized checks. If your kid does probably doesn't even know what checks are, but you can customize the theme and the coloring and their name on it and they can write them out. So if you have a child that is writing at all, super fun to just print out a couple pages worth cut them up and put them in a little wallet or something so much fun. And that's going to cost just what it costs in printer ink. Right?

Danielle Bettmann 17:45
So that's what I'm talking about when I'm saying alright, well where can we run with this idea and make it so cool, especially for a strong willed child who wants to feel like the boss like they are in control? Like they are so big.

Danielle Bettmann 17:59
So next idea. You may have thought of Hot Wheels or a train set. Right? What if you also added a stopwatch like one of those that like a football coach in high school movie would use for Sprint's one of those clickers stopwatches old school style. What if you added a clicker counter with a roll of tickets, you know, like the raffle type tickets, you can get all this stuff on Amazon. So cool. We didn't just don't even think about it. So a little clicker counter and tickets where they could create a race. You could get them painters tape, or road tape with little street signs to set up the race, and maybe even caution tape for the construction that's happening. Or if there's, you know, an area that you're not supposed to go in. That's the kind of stuff that elevates it to the next level where they get so creative when you bring in these truly inexpensive practical elements, right.

Danielle Bettmann 19:07
So for your child that loves art supplies, and might thrive in corporate America one day, get them just legit a full pack of printer paper. Like straight from Office Depot. They will feel so amazing. Go to the Dollar Tree get a pack of different sizes of envelopes, small envelopes, large envelopes, get some legal pads, get a real clipboard, not a kid's one but like a big size brown one that feels very formal and important. Get them some post it's can't go around there. Maybe some gel pens or some washi tape and some cool colors and with some of their favorite colors, a whiteboard with dry erase markers you can never go wrong with that. and legit pencil sharpener, and maybe some colored pencils, like a pencil sharpener. That's maybe even like the old school style. They would feel so cool. Can you imagine if your head right, like that would be so exciting.

Danielle Bettmann 20:15
So I'm pulling this from I went and scrolled all of my photos from a while back and just searched toys and play and looked at what I could find on our Google account. And I was that mom that let my kids have art supplies at their level, very young. And I paid for it with a mess. But you know what? My house is super clean now. It only lasts so long. And they loved it. I loved seeing what they created with and they went so deep for so long in that play. And that's the goal when you can handle it, sanity wise.

Danielle Bettmann 20:53
So if you know your child loves money, maybe they are all about this concept or wanting to earn it or wanting to spend it or just know that it's like the cool thing. Then they would also go crazy for a new wallet, or a bag. A piggy bank if they don't have one already. A calculator. Like a legit high schooler type one. And gift cards, gift cards they can spend on treats like the yogurt shop, donut shop, ice cream, shop, cookie shop, and target. Can't go wrong with a Target gift card for your teacher. Target gift card for your child. Never a bad idea. Never a bad gift.

Danielle Bettmann 21:39
What about for your child that you know, they already love or would love a doctor play set? You know, like with all the little gadgets and gizmos, they sell legit real stethoscopes on Amazon that you can get. And my daughter found these reusable ace bandages and all different colors where you can just wrap them and unwrap them and wrap them again. No wrappers, use them as many times as you need. They just kind of stick to themselves. Perfect for playing doctor or rehabilitating stuffed animals. That's what they're using my house. Get him a box of band aids just for play. Just for the emergencies of the imaginary kind. Get them like a pack of medical gloves that we all had and go back in. And maybe even watch like a you know digital watch or old school watch something that just makes them feel so important. They're on a clipboard here too. All doctors need a good clipboard.

Danielle Bettmann 22:46
What about for your child that loves their baby doll or is in a phase of desperately needing someone or something to be in charge of. Maybe they have a new sibling around the house. So you're trying to focus this energy add in the accessories, it carrying carseat a little rap so they can wear the baby, a highchair so they can feed the baby a play stroller like and walk the baby. And this last one you may not have thought of a potty chair for the doll. Because if they are at all around the age of before or after potty training, feels really good to tell the doll what to do that she needs to go. So that was a big thing that was right next to ours. And they were always making the doll go. So that's going to be a hit no matter what.

Danielle Bettmann 23:39
What about for your child that loves making potions or soup. If you know you know, my second daughter was my strong-willed daughter was one of those. She just wanted to make things. So lean in, get the stuff for it so that they don't use yours. Get some really really inexpensive herbs just a couple of them that you know look cool when they're shaking into things. Get a cheap oil or to get some tea bags that they can use or open. Get some little bottles from like $1 store, some measuring spoons, funnels, a basket to collect flowers or things into maybe even a tea party set. So you can have the tea serve the crumpets and magic wand and Cape you know just because other things this child might love would be a gem set, like tumbled gems you know that are the really inexpensive tape crystals that you get from a little gem store but they come in little pouch bag and they're really pretty shiny. They would love maybe even a magnifying glass to inspect them or look for them in the backyard with a little shop Ball. Definitely a flashlight like a legit flashlight. And maybe a treasure box I'm sure that would be at the dollar store to or one of those National Geographic gem or fossil sets where they have to like chisel them out those were a big hit. At my house, we had a big fossil season where they went and you know, found things rocks in the backyard and rehabilitated them.

Danielle Bettmann 25:26
So if that's your child, and they also love helping you in the kitchen, which is so nice sometimes when you have the patience, then you can think about getting a kitchen tower stand, which is so key. That was our snack spot breakfast spot, just so nice to feel like they're a little bit contained and safe in that space. If you don't know what that is, I will have pictures and things linked. Safe cooking knives, they can have knives really, really young. They just need to be you know, plastic serrated ones. There's great options out there, I will link the ones that we have a small whisk, or a spatula, cupcake liners, there's really small, kind of like seasonal waffle irons that are really easy, you know to teach your child to use safely. Sprinkles. I know they're expensive, more on the on the expensive end, but you can't go wrong. And we have really really loved the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks for young chefs. And we link both ones that we have.

Danielle Bettmann 26:41
If your child has all of the energy, then they would love a tumbling mat or a gymnastics bar to hang on the nugget of course or various offshoots and off brand options of that a small trampoline or you know giant one for that yard if you really want to splurge. Sky next swing one of those things that you see in all the Instagram ads are a tunnel or a tent. There's those little forts that can be blown up with like a Bucs fan to those are really fun, perfect size, easy to stash away. See also this child might also love a digital drum set with headphones. That's the key point we have this at my house. You have to plug in headphones so that nobody else hears the chaos. A big wheel. Don't forget those are still a thing. And they're really fun for strong-willed kids, eraser school scooter, orange traffic cones, you can find those that are very cool. And if the weather applies their own snow shovel, because let's use some of that energy for good.

Danielle Bettmann 28:00
If your child would also live outside if they could, then let's get them the really practical good weather or bad weather stuff. So stuff like really good rain boots, their own sized and custom favorite color, umbrella and raincoat. a watering can. Sunglasses, binoculars, a legit bubblemaker a birdhouse that you can decorate or put together. walkie talkies, Nerf guns or water blasters.

Danielle Bettmann 28:40
And if you're also a traveling family then you might want really legit sleeping bags or camping chairs that are their size, hammocks or kid size hot chocolate mugs. Maybe the ceramic open kind or a to-go cup for when you're driving around looking at lights.

Danielle Bettmann 29:04
If your child loves a good night in at home, more of the introverted variety, then they like my daughter would love their favorite animal as a hooded jumpsuit, think Halloween costume but for every day, more cozy and comfortable. You can find them on Amazon and every variety. My daughter's in an animal every year for Halloween. So we have a lot of these and she loves being a ferocious lion or whatever the variety is of the day. There is cute mermaid tail blankets. You can get fun new water bottles or straws. You can get, I mean you can really splurge and at the grocery store get those single serve juices with the characters on top. You know the ones you always say no to get those. You can get some new containers for popcorn or ice cream bowls. If you can get the kids safe nail polish, some new scrunchies or clips, hair chalk or temporary hair dye go crazy with that makeovers one night, get some bath crayons or bath bombs, a new hooded bath towel. Or of course, some motorized toothbrushes, the ones that are you know, so super cool.

Danielle Bettmann 30:29
If your child is not sleeping in their own room most nights, then you need to invest in some things that are really going to make it fun and cozy and feeling safe. So you can start with some new fun bedsheets, a weighted blanket, some rope lights, maybe some glow in the dark stars old school style, or maybe a nightlight that shows the stars right above it and kind of projects them we have one that's really cool. A bed tent, which is kind of just, I mean that's going to be linked. You might not envision it, but it's kind of a cool helps it feel enclosed over their bed, and a Yoto box if you haven't heard of that, Google that, or some type of speaker that allows them to listen to some audio bedtime stories.

Danielle Bettmann 31:26
See also or maybe a robe, slippers, an iMac eyemask squish mellows can't ever go wrong with squish mellows, or a hammock if they already have too many stuffed animals, one of those storage hammocks that you hang in a corner and then they can throw all their stuff ease into one of those we have those and that was a lifesaver.

Danielle Bettmann 31:49
If your child wishes it was their birthday every day. Don't we all especially strong-willed Kids, then consider how much they would love. A giant roll of bubble wrap. That can be a gift. A pack of colored streamers, one of every color, a giant roll of craft paper to just do whatever they want with See also giant empty box maybe you can get one from something else you rang this season. Balloons supervised of course, but play Keepy Uppy or something. And some pictures of them in a photo book that would really make them feel special. And like it's their birthday every day.

Danielle Bettmann 32:36
Then, when your child needs to know that they have made it, they have hit the lottery for parents and their childhood has all the best memories, get them their own carry on luggage with a custom luggage tag. A Polaroid camera. With film, remember these that's a little bit more of an investment but so cool. So worth it a label maker. So cool. With the film that it takes, beware, it'll be a whole thing. But it's so cool in their eyes, and even their own house plant to take care of not maybe something you would think of. But my girls both got to pick out these little less than $5 plants from Trader Joe's, one of them is still alive. One of them is still alive. But hey, they need these outlets to feel big and important and in control and the boss of something. And if you don't want it to be you give them other options like a plant to take care of.

Danielle Bettmann 33:49
And when in doubt, I saw this on social media somewhere else. And it's genuinely genius. If you are not somebody who prints out a whole bunch of pictures, and also not someone who is going to sit and be able to make extensive Shutterfly photo books for the year, which I have not since they were babies. Then just tag a bunch of favorites, drop them in an album, print out one of each in a physical four by six form. And then get a really cheap photo album from like Walgreens CVS and just drop them in. And then you know, put their name on the front of it and call it a day super cheap photo album, favorite pictures of the year. Doesn't matter what quality they are. They will love that because then they'll get to tell you all about the things that they remember from what was happening and they'll just feel so loved and so special.

Danielle Bettmann 34:47
I hope that those have just inspired a little bit of creativity in you. Maybe you're jotting down some ideas as they came across, you're like oh yes. Which I would love that. Again, remember time with you is what they are going to remember, the feeling that you create in your home is what they are going to remember down the road, most likely like you, they are not going to remember the gifts that you get them every year, let alone almost most of their childhood. So don't put all this pressure on yourself that you need to be the best parent and get them all these things to make up for your patients the whole year. Just give them the gift of a parent that is patient. And the best Christmas gift that you can give yourself is knowing that you're getting the support you deserve. And you're actually on the trajectory to where you want to be as a family. So if that's a conversation, you are ready for the new know how to reach me, go ahead and watch my free training, authentic and unapologetic how to parent strong-willed kids without threats and bribes, so that you can break free of power struggles, guilt and self doubt. And if that really hits home, then you can go ahead and apply to work together and we'll have that conversation.

Danielle Bettmann 36:14
Keep up your hard work. Remember how much it is worth. And in December, we will be sharing some episodes from the vault so that you can make sure and just get caught up on anything that you haven't heard yet. And I'll see you in the new year.

Danielle Bettmann 36:34
Thank you so much for tuning into 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 note 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 to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.



Tuesday, Sept 27th at 1:00 PM CENTRAL

Confidently parent your strong-willed child without caving in or dimming their spark so you can finally break free of power struggles, guilt + self-doubt!