“Constant arguing, not listening, and always debating with you, these are some of the wonderful qualities of a strong-willed child. You might have seen the meme ‘Dear God please help my strong-willed child to become an amazing leader when they grow up ….but you know ….leader of a company, not a gang.’ But I have no advice to offer you to tame your strong-willed child because I learned there is really no taming them without blowing out their fire.
I just want to let you know that I acknowledge you and I think you are doing a wonderful job as a parent.
I know some people might think the actions of your child define them as being defiant or a trouble maker or even perhaps they think you are not disciplining your child enough. Or maybe you feel people might think you are being too hard and you worry about being judged in that way.
I’m here to tell you that I see you… I know you’ve read every book out there, and I know you have researched endlessly about how to parent your child. You are a wonderful mama and parenting a child that’s strong willed can test anyone’s patience.
Being a parent of a strong-willed child isn’t so simple. It isn’t saying no and your child listening. It is you saying no, and them not listening to you because they believe what they are doing is the ONLY right thing. So they argue and argue with you that they should do whatever they were told NOT to do. Even when you point out the valid facts and try to reason with them…they are not going to give up without a fight.
I see that you are tired of trying to reason with your child. I see that you just want to have a moment where you can parent without a huge debate about why you should or should not do this or that. I see you crying in the bathroom wishing there was an ‘easy button’ to press to make things a lot easier. Unfortunately, there’s not, and that’s a harsh reality.
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
At least for myself, I have learned and I am still learning how to handle my child in a manner that doesn’t discourage them or make them resent me. I would rather let my child use their brave voice versus not using it so when there is a situation that needs a brave voice, she will speak up.
We are living in a time where our parenting expectations aren’t going to be the same as our parents’ generation. I was taught that girls should be quiet, unspoken, and unheard. I’m so proud that my daughter is living in a generation that allows her to use her voice and not to be afraid to use it. This generation embraces strong girls and boys. They encourage them that it is okay to stand up for what they believe in (even if that means trying to convince their parents why they need something or must do something, haha!) So we need to be prepared to hang on for the crazy ride.
So mama’s, let’s try not to smother our strong-willed child’s fire away. Instead, let us embrace it for the good. If you are reading this and are going through the same thing, know you are not alone and you aren’t being judged. In the meantime grab yourself a glass of wine and take a deep breath, because it’s not going to be an easy ride! But in the end, it will be worth it!”
This was written by Chelsea Lindsay of Maryland, and the story originally appeared on Charleston Moms. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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