I'm no expert when it comes to parenting or strong-willed kids, but I am/was a strong-willed girl and I have a strong-willed daughter. It's a topic I am at least familiar with. And I know there is an ugliness that comes with being strong-willed. There are lines that the strong-willed cross out of passion and commitment to a cause and then deeply regret it when the consequences are painfully clear. There is a fight that arises that seems misplaced, but so real just the same. There can be bossiness, rudeness, selfishness and pride. It all comes from a fierceness that just isn't taught, but was burning at birth. And it is just as hard being a strong-willed girl as it can be parenting one, no matter how well-equipped you might be. I say all of that to say this. If you have a relationship with a strong-willed girl, know how amazing they are. They will be the leaders taking the path less traveled by. They will be standing up for the invisible and the fatherless. They will make a way when it seems hard or impossible. They will do great things. Unless you don't teach them how to love and respect others. Then, it's anybody's game.
One of the big challenges with Miss Z (3 years old and the strong-will is fully activated) right now is how she talks to everyone, especially Mr. Butler and I. She is fine assuming we are there for her pleasure. "I need a drink of water!" she will demand. "Mommy, you need to find my blanket." she declares. It's a simple, maybe silly thing to you, but I know where it leads. Where on earth do you think mean girls come from? They start with a ring leader who thinks she knows better (has the best ideas) and can tell everyone how things should go. So, we're working on the polite way to speak to others and how we ask for things, not demand things. It's not a huge ordeal but it's an example of how easily these strong-willed diamonds can crush everyone around them really fast if their heart isn't constantly tuned towards God's love for others and how that should look in our daily lives.
I can't speak from a position of success since she is only 3, but I know so many strong-willed girls and awesome mothers of strong-willed girls that have their own struggles. It really is one of the hardest most significant things you can do simply because of the force you're shaping in them. Let's not give up, but just remember the privilege and duty these awesome souls bring to us.
|Twirling in her new dress|
|Even though she didn't really want to|
|It was her brother's idea|
|And I sorta had to make her|
|Doing some Yoga in the morning|
|Making faces in the mirror|