Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Joys of Raising a Strong-Willed Child

I know what you're thinking..."Joy, how can a strong-willed child bring you joy?" or "My strong-willed kid brings me more gray hairs than joy."

Let me explain.  We have a pretty okay, at times very, strong-willed teen who is a tremendous blessing.  If you would have told us this when she was say 6 months, 1 1/2 years, and so on we would have thought you a little too optimistic.  Our daughter really threw us for a loop.  She wanted to do everything  She had a mind of her own and was not afraid to let everyone know.  She got kicked out of nursery more than once.  There were more days then I'd like to admit that I felt like the worst mom on the planet.  I read all sorts of books on strong-willed children and she really didn't fit in the pages.  She really put us to the test.

People would judge us, give us advice and make comments like "my child will not act that way."  Today, the comments we hear are nothing but good.  Today, when I see strong-willed kids and I say a little prayer for the parents and then I look at how great that child can become.

While this post is not about my hubby and I or our parenting skills, rather, it's about Gods true grace.  Being a child who did whatever my parents said with just a look, I didn't know how to handle such a strong child.  She came out having a mind of her own.  I have to say that it was prayer, lots and lots of prayer, consistency and the grace of God that got us where we are today.  I remember praying that God would guide her strong-will towards Him.  If she would use it for Him, nothing would stop her.  And that has held up to this day.

Just yesterday our daughter and I were talking about a situation where her peers where following the crowd, doing some things they knew weren't right.  She commented "I don't know why people follow the crowd.  I usually do the opposite of what everyone else is doing."  Which is true.  She also has a big heart.  She has always been the one to go and play with the lone kid at the playground.  She is still strong-willed and sometimes we know we aren't going to change her mind, we know what battles to fight.  Thankfully they aren't many.  Some battles we have been worn out winning, but looking back they were SO worth it. 

So the blessings and joys:
When their will is on the right path nothing is going to stop them.
When their will is good, they will influence others.
They will make a stand for what is right even if it costs them deeply.
They know what is right and the benefit of doing right.
As a mom, I got closer to God those many times crying out for help.
We get to see God's grace on our lives, filling in and covering our many mistakes, making a beautiful young lady despite us.
When she wants to do something you can count on her to finish it and give it her all.

We don't have to worry about:
how she dresses
how is treats others (for the most part)
going along with the crowd
and much more

If you have a strong-willed kid or two, oh how I pray for you.  Learn to pick your battles and stick to your guns to win them.  Be consistent and pray for God's grace, His hand, His guidance.  He made your child that way for a reason and He gave them to you for a reason.  And laugh, have a sense of humor.  You really will look back on those long hard days and laugh.


shelly said...

This post gave me such hope that yes, it can be difficult to raise strong willed kids, but so rewarding when the fruits of your labor start to show---Good Job Momma! And Thank God that he covers us all in HIS GRACE!

Holly said...

oh isnt this the truth! I have an 11 year old who is a challenge to raise but at the same time such a blessing!

Shari said...

Wonderful post. My strong willed child brings me such joy even today at 26 years old. He has always looked at life a little differently than the rest of us but his strong will kept him away from testing the waters with drugs and alcohol. I am so thankful for that. He isn't active in church right now but I know in my heart that he will return and when he does his strong will will bring him back in full force.
Your post gives me hope for this some day. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Love this post! Isn't it crazy how different each kid is? I have one that worries me to no end. Just gotta pray.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I have a strong willed toddler that is testing me at just about every turn it seems and really tries my patience. I need reminders like this from time to time. Thanks!