Every child seems to be born with a certain personality. Of course, how you parent will have a definite impact on the child’s behavior. But sometimes, try as you might, it is difficult to reel in the really strong willed child. So how you react, how you personally handle and deal with that is really important. Not only for your child’s well-being, but for your own well-being also.
As my son was approaching three years old, I began to discover that his behavior was a little different from most children in our circle of friends. He was extremely emotional and had difficulty being still. He was very defiant and had absolutely no regard for boundaries no matter how we altered our parenting style. As he grew, so did his defiance. We thought pre-school would make a significant difference but he acted the exact same there as well. We have sought outside opinion and support to arrive where we are today. We are the parents of a very strong-willed, energetic little pain in the ass who has taught us more about life than any Internet search ever could. Here’s why these children make us question everything and bring us to the conclusion that we are better people for knowing them…
1. They improve our Self-Care. I can’t tell you how many times I have been out in public with my son (chasing him no doubt) that I have had someone say, “Wow, if only I could just bottle up that energy”, or, “Gosh, I’m tired just from watching him”. I answer back with my teeth grit together and a little laugh, maybe a, “Ha, yeah really.” But they are right. And because my son is on the run, I started running too. I wake up feeling better in the morning and he no longer runs away from me looking back with his tongue hanging out and that rabid look in his eyes. Because now I’m too far ahead, taunting him relentlessly as he tries to catch up.
2. They clear the path to self-discovery. We recently started seeing a play therapist with our son. He had begun hitting himself among other things when he became frustrated or upset and we were concerned. The one thing that stands out the most from the experience is when I was asked not so much about my son’s behavior during a public tantrum but about my anxiety when it was happening. The astounding realization that I may have made the situation worse because of what I was feeling inside. They say you are a mirror for your children, but it works both ways. They are a mirror for us as well. And it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself when you take an honest look.
3. You always have an excuse for an exit. Taking a strong -willed super hyper dude to a birthday party is quite the experience. Many public outings can go south quickly and in fact they have. I can try to prepare him the best I can. Set limits and rules. But sometimes I don’t always notice that the chocolate brownies were within his arm’s reach and he consumed the entire plate sitting out on the table. Then the fun starts. Total meltdown. Then comes the impossible round up of the child as the partygoers look on. On the bright side, when there is an event you need a quick exit for, this always does the trick. They probably don’t want you there anyway with your crazy kid and you’re over it, so it all has a way of working out.
For 8 more positive points to having a strong willed child, please continue here on scarymommy.com.