Having a strong will and fierce determination is akin to being an extrovert, having blue eyes, or a propensity for math—either you have it or you don’t. When your child has this trait, you know. Oh sweet lord, do you know. Some days you are ready to crawl into the fetal position the raising of a child you’ve had your first cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, there is no grace period shielding us from the inevitable barrage of questions and arguments before the sun has yet to rise in the sky. Your child isn’t who you thought they’d be. Because you are such a conscious and well-intentioned parent, of course you would have a compliant, easygoing child allowing you to lead their way through life. It can often feel like a curse to have a stubborn and willful child, but it forces us to remember that the greatest gifts in life many times come through struggle and adversity, and we count our child as one of these gifts. You child has forced you into emotional growth. Your intense struggles with your determined child have drained the life out of you on more than one occasion. Your child’s ability to draw out all of your unpleasant emotions and behaviors has forced you to take a closer look at yourself.
At times, the fact that your child has compelled you to confront your own controlling nature can be considered a blessing. You have felt like a bad parent many days. These plain as day behavioral differences, inevitably lead us to ponder what we must be doing wrong. You and your spouse jokingly debate about which one of you passed on the genes. Parenting a strong-willed kid is not for the weary, and it takes teamwork. After a while, it becomes evident that what you are dealing with is a force of nature, in both the literal and figurative sense.