Thoughts from the Mother of a Strong-willed Child
You had us fooled with your easy going baby ways, but when you started walking at 15 months we knew – we’d been had.
We called you “Monster Baby”. Destroyer of everything in your path.
Next came The Great Two Bean Standoff, which is exactly what it sounds like and ended with you falling asleep in your highchair. Two green beans uneaten on the tray.
And don’t even get me started on potty training.
You have always had opinions.
Sitting still, being quiet – these things are challenging for you.
Other challenges you rise to meet, unafraid. New kid at the playground? Instant friends! Tower of Terror at Disney? No terror here! A blood draw for allergy testing? Barley flinched!
You are so strong, and sometimes I am in awe of you.
And yet, I feel so frustrated when it seems like you don’t care that you’ve gotten in trouble. But then I think: in how many ways has my own life been limited because I care too much what other people think of me? That is not your struggle. I wonder, how will this quality play out in your future?
Who will you stand up to when others are too timid? Who will you protect?
You are a passionate person, and sometimes all those strong feelings bubble up and you don’t control them. The explosion is frightening. I want you to learn to manage your feelings because I’m afraid they are going to get you in trouble.
But then I think – your passionate heart is one of things I love the most about you. Like when we were driving to preschool and you said, “Mommy, why isn’t my teacher allowed to talk about God at school? Because he really is the most important thing!” Or when I played you a video about children in need in a foreign country and you looked at me with big eyes and said, “That makes me feel really sad”. Without a doubt, God has given you big feelings. You would not be you without them.
And so when the word STUBBORN rings in my ear I will choose to see the flip side of the coin. You are determined, persistent, resolute, tenacious, and steadfast. You are decisive and purposeful and intent. You are STRONG.
My dear son. Sometimes you are hard to parent, but you are never hard to love and cherish.
I do not know what path the Lord has prepared for you to walk, but I am guessing it requires bravery and strength. My prayer is that I will parent you well, and love you better, and that you will walk with your head held high into the future to which God has called you.