The proverbial ‘they’ tells you many a time that they come out of the womb “as they are”, and for anyone who has experienced a strong-willed first born, a spirited second-born, and/or a loud passionate third-born, then you know the woes of feeling like there is absolutely no way THAT child came out of THIS body. Except then you look at your gray hairs, your slightly stretched who-ha, and tiger stripes on your thighs and remember yep, in fact, they did come out of this body (maybe even just figuratively).
To raise kids is a privilege they say. And for the most part, I believe that it is. But it is also gut-wrenching, monotonous, oftentimes full of nothing other than poke your eyes out type of work. And when you have a strong-willed, spirited child (or children) in your home, this can exacerbate the stress level in your home. But our job as mamas is to see past the tough exterior, the strong-willed shell, and pursue deeper beneath the surface to help them believe, and engage, with who they were created to be, in order to use it for good.
Strong willed kids push. Hard. Oftentimes, LITERALLY. They hit, they punch. They scream, they yell. In a fit of rage or frustration, you better get out their way because they will come in like a wrecking ball. Not with the intention to hurt you, or others, but because the fire they feel, and were born with inside them, just needs to release and they don’t know any other way than to lash out oftentimes.
What I Want My Kid To Know
Spirited child of mine, I pray that you never adapt the “bad kid” mentality at school. I know that you struggle to sit still and play quietly the way your teacher asks of you for 6 straight hours. I get it, you were born with ants in your pants. You are NOT a bad kid though, no matter how many timeouts, notes home, or stars lost from your chart. I see that you are good. I know that beyond the tough shell, is a tender, sweet-hearted kid who just wants to be loved. I see you.
I see you, because I am you.
I see you push and push and push away those that love you the most. And you don’t even know what you’re doing. Your actions don’t match your feelings, and pushing is the only way that you know how right now. It’s okay, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll help teach you better ways to push and use that spirit.
You might struggle a bit in the classroom, but then when you are out in the open field, and running amuck at recess, I see you soar. I see you release, and unleash, your inner fire. This is where you are most free right now. You bound around with freedom and wild abandon because there is no one there to tell you what to do, or put limits on your potential. This is what we’ll work toward for your future. This is what we want to harness and channel as you move forward in the world.
You are SO good, vivacious strong-willed child of mine. Don’t ever forget that. You can’t fool me with your tough guy act. I see the sap that you are. I see your heart and it is so good. There aren’t enough tantrums, eye rolls, “meanie” threats that can convince me otherwise. I’m here for you buddy. I’m on your team. I know that you feel so misunderstood and unseen. I know that the expectations on you are so above your pay grade right now – truly, I really do know that. My prayer is that someday you grow into the responsibility and honor it is to be a first-born. To be born a leader and put in a natural position of influence. The world expects a lot of you, but know that I’m right here for you. I know that you rebel and fight, but really you’re just searching and wanting to be loved the same as the rest of us.
Don’t let the labels define you. They don’t. There will be teachers who don’t get you, and administrators that don’t know what to do with you. That’s fine. We’re not for everyone. I know what to do with you, and I get you. We’re a team, and no matter what, no matter how hard you try to push me away, push your siblings away, we won’t go anywhere. I see the gold in your heart. Sure, your edges can use a little smoothing, but in due time I know you’ll come to realize that.
We’re a team kid. I’ll forever be your biggest fan…even if I’m bailing you out of jail. 😉 You’re forever my son, forever my daughter, forever the one who captures my heart. There is no outburst or behavior that will change my love for you.