Tuesday, December 06, 2011

On Having a Strong-Willed Child

      So, last week I wrote about one of our battles in this post.  Last Friday, before we left for marathon fun, I called my brother-in-law's mother.  Apparently, my brother-in-law was a strong-willed kiddo, or, as we have re-dubbed them in my Bible Study Group to sound more positive - a "motivated" kid.  Sufficed to say, I have one highly motivated daughter in Lily.  Bette (aforementioned BIL's mom) and I have spoken in the past, because she now teaches classes on strong willed children and has a real heart to minister to moms who are trying to navigate through this.  Which is such a blessing.
      Talking with her was so encouraging.  She reminded me of several things.  1) Lily is just doing her job in life trying to figure out her boundaries and if she can believe what we say.  2) My job description while raising her during this time is to Be Consistent.  3) Motivated kids often make great leaders and really motivated adults, and there are many positive traits that come along with the negative ones.  I was also reminded that there is no way to go around, we can only go through.  I think I catch myself thinking that I must be missing the magic bullet that will make things easier, which is absurd, wishful thinking.  The only way through is to do the hard, sometimes maddening, sometimes mind-numbing work of just plowing through it, and, ultimately, to turn my children over to the Lord daily, seeing as they are his anyway.
      So, we are learning at this house, always learning.  And, I am asking the Lord to help me to be diligent in the tasks before me, large and small.  I am realizing that my personality can be a bit extreme in areas, and God knew that giving me a child that I could not handle without his help would be a perfect shaping agent in my life.  If my child obeyed without hours of fighting, what would be the fun in that?  More importantly, I would be likely to credit myself for great parenting and not depend on the Lord for his wisdom and guidance, which ultimately would not serve our family well.
      Here is my truly sweet girl - she actually put the glasses on and asked me to take her picture.  She has taken to wearing these Mr. Potato Head glasses around the house, especially while pushing her stroller.  Awesomeness.


And, here is my other darling.  Bette reminded me that my job description will likely be very different with Bella.  I am curious to see what it will look like and how she will continue to develop into her own little person.  She is starting to say words - my favorites this week are "Kitty," when she shrieks and points as one of our cats walks by and "Peek-a-boo," while she covers her eyes with those precious pudgy hands of hers.  Though she is not yet walking (and carrying around all 27 pounds of her is hard work), she is climbing onto everything.  Exhibit A.  Watch out for knives, Bella.


And, if you could hand me that dish, that would be great.  Also, thanks for your kind comments about that earlier post.  From what I am hearing, having a motivated child is pretty common, and though I am not happy that other moms are facing some of the things I face, I am glad to have community to share it with.  Thanks!


Linds said...

Brayden is SUPER motivated, and Connor is still motivated with a bit of an Italian temper. I went 2-0 in the motivated children department. YAY for me!

Lorna said...

I think mine is just strong-willed, period...she is NOT motivated to come out!! :)

Tales from Goshen said...

See, Dorien will just LEAN his bodyweight onto our dishwasher door and the contraption creaks, groans and nails move. There would be no climbing on it...the thing would crash out from under our cabinetry...not that he wouldn't be up there licking dirty dishes for me first chance he got...

Becca said...

Oh Carol, I just love your blog and I'm just getting started!! I'm looking forward to following your adventures...Reading this "If my child obeyed without hours of fighting, what would be the fun in that?" made me laugh and be filled with compassion and deep admiration for you...though we are in such different seasons of life right now, I am reminded how much I can learn from you and the wisdom that hopefully someday I can apply to my sure-to-be-motivated children, if I have kids. Much love from DC, Becca