Be Blessed by Your Strong-Willed Child

Being the parent of a strong-willed child isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s frustrating. It’s stressful. There are days you wonder what you did to deserve a child who fights you at every turn.

Why can’t Sally be more like her sister, Rebecca, who does everything she’s told without a fuss?

It says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb   I knew  you, before you were born I set you apart…” (NIV) So, as Christians, we know God had a purpose for giving Sally a spirited nature. That’s all well and good to say, but it’s not very comforting when she has pulled another of her stunts and you’re considering tying her to the ceiling by her toenails.

One thing I’ve found very helpful in dealing with my strong-willed child is to see her strong will as a blessing. I know it sounds crazy, but stick with me for a minute.

My daughter is never wrong. Just ask her. I’m wrong. Her father’s wrong. Her sister is really wrong. Annoying? Yes. But that child has some of the best self-esteem on the face of the planet. She writes notes on the refrigerator, “I am awesome!” She posts little sticky notes in my office, “I am cool.” Because in her mind, her opinion is always correct, she thinks she’s great. Honestly, not a bad place to be.

Speaking of opinions: Don’t try to battle with her on the existence of God. One classmate made the mistake of telling her God was dead and she was sure to set him straight. They were five at the time.

That leads me to another blessing created by her strong will–she has no fear of what others think of her. Her self-worth isn’t tied into how others view her. Peer-pressure? Most likely won’t be much of an issue. She has her own mind about things and that’s what she follows.

As a strong-willed child, my daughter is curious. She isn’t willing to accept something just because it has always been done that way, because she’s told to do it, or because that’s what is acceptable to everyone else. Now, this can be very dangerous if not shaped correctly, but think of some of the great people who were curious and determined enough not to accept things the way they were: Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Martin Luther King Jr. Developed with God’s guidance, strong-willed children can achieve amazing things.

In those darkest moments, when I am frustrated beyond all belief with my strong-willed child, I turn my eyes to God, and thank him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon me. I’m still praying to figure out what God’s plan is for my daughter, but I know she is one of my many blessings–strong will and all.


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Be Blessed by Your Strong-Willed Child — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post! I did one myself on strong-willed children here:

    This is because I was (still am) a strong-willed child, and God blessed me with one of my own! I am thankful, b/c it gives me insight into where this child o’mine is coming from.

    And thank you for pointing out those BLESSINGS of the strong-willed. We may fumble around w/our self-esteem every now and then, but I think that deep-down, we tend to believe we’re right. As you said–blessing and a problem. The key is getting to the point where we bend our will to God’s and realize that HE is always right, and we’re NOT. Well, not ALWAYS…hee.

  2. Cheryl, I appreciate your post and your perspective. I have a strong-willed child too, and she definitely does things her own way. I remember sitting on the side of her bed one night after a particularly difficult day. She was about 8 or so. I said she’s got what some people call a strong will and that can be a very good thing or a very bad thing, depending on how she chooses to use it. If she uses it to disobey her parents or God, it’s bad. But if she uses it to do what she knows is right, even if other kids make fun of her it’s very good. It’s all about making good choices. That girl is 16 now and just returning from her first short-term mission trip tonight. She’s made excellent choices and is an absolute joy.

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