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Now that I have experienced parenting from the birth of my children through grandparenting, I can say that for me, the physical exhaustion of raising four little ones was SO MUCH EASIER than the mental and emotional draining of parenting teen. Add the strong will of a child and the physical, mental and emotionally draining is intensified. My husband and I were blessed to have 4 out of 4 strong willed children (intensities varied, thank the Lord!)
Would you classify your child as a strong willed child? It is very likely that if you have one or more children you, have a strong willed child.
I would like to share Hal and Melanie Young's email on Homeschooling a Strong Willed Child.
Guest post by Hal and Melanie Young
Many years ago, we found Dr. James Dobson’s book, The Strong-Willed Child. “Why are you reading that? Do you have any?” a friend asked. “HA!” we said. “Ours don’t seem to come any other way!”
Every child is a challenge of his own. Some are the classic “strong-willed” children who are always testing the boundaries; others are quieter about it, but still stubborn. Many, though, are simply . . . well, children. The great adventure of parenthood is learning how to relate to each individual God sends to our family.
Each of these kids is a gift from God (Psalm 127:3)—yes, even that kid—that was given specifically to you, to be raised in your family, even in your situation and circumstance. It’s hard when you feel like a failure as a parent and teacher, but God has purpose in this. Don’t quit.
PRAY. A LOT. God gave you the challenging child, and He will give grace for you to be that parent.
Love them like Jesus loves us all. God knows us inside and out, and He loves His children in spite of themselves. Your kids aren’t perfect, and that will try your patience and confidence, but they are still your children. Remember first and foremost, they’re a gift from God to you. So, work with that.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Look for advisors—a more experienced parent, a homeschool mom who’s dealt with a particular issue, a pastor or teacher who can encourage you with Scriptural wisdom. There are so many support networks available, you should be able to find someone who understands and can point you to resources that will help.
Relationship is critical. Your children are not clones of you or your mate, or of anybody else. Always work on strengthening the relationship, even if it seems like an inconvenience at the time. It’s tough when a child is being difficult. Praise anything you can; listen a lot; show your love. We’ve got a podcast that talks about how to improve your relationship with your kids. You can listen to it here.
When you have a good relationship with your child, it helps you get to the root of why they are being so difficult right now. It’ll help you figure out if they’re rebelling against you or just struggling with the changes of puberty. You’ll be able to discern if you just need to be stricter or if, instead, you need to change up your curriculum to make school more enjoyable. Work on relationship. It takes a lot of time. It’s not easy. It’s the best way to parent a difficult child, though.
Hal & Melanie
Do you have any encouragement to add? How have you been blessed by raising a strong willed child?
Enjoying the journey,
Michelle Osborn the founder and owner Yellow House Book Rental, a service to homeschool families. She is a 20-year homeschool veteran of four, two married, one in college, and one teenager at home.
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