To My Strong-Willed Daughter: We May Butt Heads Sometimes, But I Can’t Help But Applaud Your Grit

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“To my strong-willed daughter:

We may battle it out from time to time, but I can’t help but applaud you for your grit. I don’t see you as a little girl that loves to defy. I see you as a little girl that has the courage to voice her own point of view. I see you as a girl who is so sure of herself, that it radiates in all facets of her life.

You know what you want and you’re not afraid to fight for it. You’re quick with your responses, almost as if your witty comebacks never required much thought. You’re not easily swayed in your beliefs, nor do you like to be told how to do something. You stand your ground, not giving in to bribery easily, if at all. Sometimes I stand back and just smile at the dedication beaming from your tiny body. You won’t back down. You can’t back down. How does someone so small have such a big opinion?

Your persistence to argue and debate has earned you more loopholes and exceptions than any of your siblings. You enjoy figuring things out on your own and I enjoy watching the determination you display as you do. We all watch in amazement as you march to the beat of your own drum, wishing we could be surer about ourselves like you are.

You’re an old soul, my fearless little lion. You have big, passionate feelings and you live your life at full speed. Your self-motivation and inner strength are what will set you apart.

You were born for this role as a leader and your siblings look to you for strength in unnerving waters. You’ve never been afraid to step into that role as it’s come so naturally to you. You’ve shown them how bravery and courage can open new, fun doors if you just give opportunity a chance.

I will never shut you down or hold you back. My frustrations come from trying to make you more obedient. But your inability to stay on the straight and narrow is what makes this winding journey much more worthwhile. This scenic route gives me more inspiration to be a better Mama.

Thank you.

Thank you for challenging me.

Thank you for being the one to teach me a new way of parenting.

Thank you for teaching me to stand up for what I believe in.

Thank you for showing me how determination can move mountains if you only just try.

Thank you for assuring me that it’s okay to be the first to try something new.

Thank you for proving to me that challenges are exciting, worthwhile, and worth the lesson it teaches.

Thank you for showing me that sometimes when your heart really wants something, it doesn’t matter that your brain can’t understand.

Thank you for teaching me to dive right into life, with little or no care to how people view my approach.

But most of all, thank you for choosing me to be your Mama.

We will work on your reaction to things not going your way. You won’t always throw yourself to the floor and show me how loud you can scream. You won’t always try to control everyone around you or boss everyone with a fiery tone. But we have years to perfect that before we send you off into the world. Part of me knows you will keep some of that spunk forever.

Some people won’t be able to handle your tenacity as you grow and that’s okay. You can’t please everyone, but you will leave each person with a little sprinkle of your spirit as you move past them.

The world needs more of you.

I’m honored to be your Mama.


Strong-willed daughter smiles and laughs while riding her scooter and wearing a helmet
Molly Schultz/Tried & True Mama

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Molly Schultz. You can follow her journey on InstagramSubscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.

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