Letting Your Child Be Who She Is (Part 2)

I don’t like to blog about similar topics during the same week, but Linda’s post from yesterday hit home and I wanted to explore it further.

As I’ve mentioned before, we are the parents of a strong-willed child. Can’t you see all the attitude in that photo to the left? The Lil’ Diva, as I call her around the blogosphere, is a handful. After having an easy-going son who gave us little cause for concern, we were unprepared for the cyclone that blew in.

Unless you have a strong-willed child, you can’t fully understand the feelings of helplessness and total failure that come from raising a spirited youngster. There are times you wonder what you did to deserve such a child. In my more peaceful moments, however, I remember she is the child God created her to be.

When things are truly stressful between us, I try to focus on the traits I admire most about her. She’s confident. She knows what she wants. She makes friends easily. In almost any group, she’s the leader. Her opinion isn’t easily swayed. She is eager to try new things. Her faith is strong. Ask her to come up with ideas for our church’s youth program and she’ll give you a list of at least a dozen in under ten minutes. She’s artistic and creative.

I decided tonight that I would write one of these traits on a notepad once a week and leave the notes on her desk. Perhaps starting her days off with a compliment will help ease the tension a bit. It will also keep reminding me that there are truly wonderful things about her personality I enjoy.

If I believe God has a plan for each of our lives, then I know there is a reason He sent the Lil’ Diva to us. That also means He must have given her such a strong will for a reason. We might not know what that reason is, yet, but with diligent prayer and by focusing on the positives, we’ll be more open to hearing what God has to say.

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Letting Your Child Be Who She Is (Part 2) — 5 Comments

  1. Good thoughts, Cheryl. I, too, have a strong-willed child. I remember talking to her at bedtime after a particularly stressful day. I told her she has a strong will and that it can be used for good or bad. When it’s used right, it will help her say no to things she shouldn’t do or friends who try to talk her into doing them. But when she disobeys or doesn’t do something she should she’s not using her strong will for good. I told her it was a special gift from God and she needed to use it properly. That seemed to help her understand her strong feelings and opinions. Thanks for an excellent post.

  2. It’s a great follow-up post to Linda’s, Cheryl. I like how you will be writing notes of her positive traits & leave them around for her to see.

    I work with young children, & with those who are more strong-willed or difficult I make an effort to try and praise them about something, so that it isn’t only negative things they hear from me, and so they also know that I value them as a person.

  3. Thanks for the comments. Linda, have you ever considered writing a book about parenting a strong-willed child? I bet you would have some wonderful tips. Wendy, your comment reminds me of the old adage, “you get more bees with honey, than vinegar.”

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