An Open Letter to the Parent of a Strong-Willed Child
by Sam Crabtree
Dear weary parent,
Few things are as burdensome to a parent than a pattern of a small child’s growing reluctance to cooperate with you. Such ache can reflect loving concern for the child. My heart goes out to you in this difficulty.
I’ve heard parents say things like, “I feel like I’ve exhausted all my options. No approach seems to work. I’ve tried praying with him. I’ve tried appealing to his conscience. I’ve tried time-outs, and various consequences. . . and it just seems like things don’t get better, but worse. I’m very weary and discouraged. And weary. Did I mention weary?”
Consider these six things:
First, God himself faces strong-willed children all the time in his own family. All we, like strong-willed sheep, have gone astray.
Let us be careful about singling out the strong-willed child as though his will is more corrupt than ours. The will is strong in everyone, not only in “strong-willed” youngsters. We all want our way. Our children are cut from the same fabric as we. We are all born sinners, including your young child.
And let us be careful to discern. On one hand, dogged determination can be good and very useful in overcoming obstacles later in life. Strong-willed children may have leadership potential. On the other hand, stubborn defiance is bad. Distinguish! There is a difference between precocious and obnoxious. Is the child amazingly focused, or is he overbearing, defiant, rude, pushy, and belligerently demanding?
For the full article go to the original blog post.
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