Parenting strong-willed children is not for the weak of heart. If you’re lucky, you’ll have aged ten years by the time your shoe0chucking banshee turns three.
Don’t get us wrong. Strong-willed kids aren’t “bad”; they’re usually pretty freaking amazing. They want to do good in the world, and they love everyone around them, but ONLY if they get their way. And only if they get to be the boss.
If you don’t have a little boss calling the shots at home, here’s what the lives of those parents really look like:
Parenting strong-willed children mean:
1. Hearing relatives say you need to discipline your kid
And you’ll want to sarcastically thank them for the bloody pearl of wisdom you’ve never heard before. In fact, each day is full of discipline. Sometimes, these parents want to climb into holes where parenting and judgmental comments don’t exist.
2. Trying to cope by telling yourself that they’ll do great things in life one day
And you honestly want to believe yourself with these pep talks. Because seriously, strong-willed people are often the most successful ones. And then you just pray you make it through so that you can witness them flourish as adults.
3. Searching for reasons to praise them because you NEED positivity in your day
Parenting strong-willed children mean throwing an effing parade for the smallest achievements, like finishing breakfasts. Or when they actually put their shoes on the first time, you ask. This kid deserves a bloody medal for doing what he or she is asked to do, even if it’s just once a day.
4. Letting them win on things they really shouldn’t be winning on
Like for example, letting hem have the candy at 8:30 in the morning. Even though their siblings wouldn’t even dare to ask for anything sugary before lunch. Besides, this kid, he’s been asking from 7:00 AM, so he should be dealing with consequences instead of rewards. But you’re just too exhausted to keep up the good fight. Plus you need them to leave you alone for five minutes because there are 12 more to go before bedtime.
5. Taking frequent deep breaths
It also means saying “it’s going to be okay” and “we’ll get through it” multiple times a day. Especially after opening their school book and reading the teacher’s weekly report.
6. Preparing for the worst
Like when he tells you, he’s going to the potty alone and can handle it on his own. You’re prepping for the worst because you’re bracing yourself for what’s actually happening in there. What is he wiping? What’s doing the wiping work?
7. Accepting that meal times suck
You know that if you can find the energy and motivation to prepare a meal, there will surely be a fight over something anyway. Even if you make them mac and cheese with edible glitter sprinkles and serve it with a chocolate milkshake as a chaser. There will always be drama.