A popular post from the archives:
For those who are not strong-willed or have never dealt with a strong-willed child, you may not know what I'm talking about. And if that is the case with you, be thankful. Now those of you familiar with a strong-willed personality, here are a few confessions.
The 'will' that is so strong, at least in myself, is often misdirected because of my emotions. Reason gets blinded by the fierceness of how I feel at the moment of conflict. Instead of being a 'never quit' kind of will, it results in an escalating kind that desperately seeks the soothing of the emotional desire. In other words, I tend to not stop until I get my way, which isn't a noble victory usually.
As any mother will tell you, the hormones flooding your body after giving birth can be overwhelming once the initial excitement dies down. Adding hormones to an already emotional person can be destructive and especially difficult on those close by (like a spouse). Adjusting to Jude has been pretty easy, but my dealings with myself have gotten a little out of hand. The perfectionistic streak took hold pretty quickly, wanting to 'master' the new rhythm of having a baby in the house before I start teaching piano again in a few weeks. Long story short, I was driving Randy crazy!
This last week Randy was sick and a man of even fewer words than normal. Once he finally felt better this weekend, he let me know a few things. Now, these conversations were not enjoyable by either one of us, least of all me. I DESPISE being told what I'm doing wrong. He called me on some emotional games I was playing and childish reactions that I wasn't and shouldn't be proud of. This didn't just happen once either. At least 2 or 3 different conversations over the course of 2 days were had. Why am I even talking about this?
Even though my strong-will is like a tornado sometimes, when I have limits there is an amazing calm that replaces the storm. The presence of rules and boundaries that are enforced and I am held to gives me peace. As a result, I had a fabulous day yesterday and have already accomplished (with joy) so much today! Randy created and consistently enforced standards for my behavior (reactions, etc.) and even though it wasn't a fun experience for either of us, it has had amazing results.
Everybody's different, but from the heart of a very strong-willed child, let me tell you: Consistency, structure, limits, and boundaries brings peace, joy and security.