The challenge & joy of strong willed kids

We used to say of our strong willed daughter when she was very young, “We must use that strength for good and not evil.” We really did have that goal in mind. Today she is a strong Catholic woman of faith with 3 children of her own and she is a beautiful example of a Christian heart. Friends have come into the Church, in part, through her example! The most important thing to remember with a strong willed child is, the parents can’t let things slide because they’re exhausted. Keep your expectations & standards high. And don’t bend the rules just due to their pressure upon you! All children crave order, limits, and familiarity or routine. It helps them feel protected but mostly like someone truly cares about them. But they have to know that! You as a parent can explain the “why” for your rules. If you can’t articulate that clearly, it will cause problems, and not just with strong willed children. All of us want to know why something is the way it is. And it’s a mark of respect when someone takes the time and energy to explain to us! I have thought and prayed a lot on this topic through the years. Especially when my kids were young! God bless all the parents out there doing their best to get their children to adulthood as good citizens who respect authority and who know & love their faith! It ain’t easy! Pray for wisdom and strength and that you can always be the face of compassion and mercy, the face and hands & feet & voice of Jesus for them, too! 

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