“She gets away with way more stuff than we were ever allowed to when we were little!”
My oldest uttered those words to me in frustration after our 4 year old was quietly running back and forth between Sean and I during a family prayer, as she couldn’t decide which parent she wanted to stand by.
He remembered how strict we were about such things, and how I ever so carefully trained him to fold his hands, to not ever utter a peep during prayer time, and how displeased I would be with him if he disobeyed.
Which he often did.
If there is one thing that Sean and I regret more than anything in our parenting journey so far, it’s how strict we were with our oldest son when he was a toddler.
Somehow in our zeal to be amazing parentings, we forgot that toddlers have feelings too.
We have had countless talks about what we would have done differently, which books we wish we would have thrown out the window, and how important it is to find balance when parenting a toddler.
Our oldest was the classic strong willed child. Our current 4 year is just like he was, but even more intense.
God was incredibly merciful to wait until our 6th child before he sent us another strong willed child. We are far from perfect, but we love this girl to pieces and we see a vision that far outreaches her current 4 year old state.
Did you ever stop to think that toddlers have feelings?
I mean really stop and think.
They feel things deeply, but they don’t know how to express it. They don’t understand that they are tired and need more sleep, or that they need some quiet time away from people. All they know how to do is cry, or throw a fit.
Sometimes that fit is done out of pure will. They want their own way and won’t abide being crossed!
Don’t we feel that way sometimes? As wives, do we ever get so frustrated when our husband crosses us; we wish he would feel differently about a subject and throw a little fit ourselves?
It’s not right. We have to go back and say we are sorry, correct our attitude, but we don’t have someone yelling at us to stop behaving that way and to just obey mommy this instant.
I’m not saying to not correct your child. I’m suggesting we correct our children in the way we would want to be corrected. In a loving, patient way.
Parents would be less frustrated and have a better relationship with their children if they would remember how God is a Father to us.
He is incredibly patient with us. He also has rules set in place, and there are consequences set in action if we break them. For parents, a good example of how to actually do this with our children is by using the Character Badges program Character Badges program to create a system of habits and routines with your children.
Middle of the road parenting.
Admitting that motherhood is messy (and I’m not talking about the physical mess!).
Deciding what is important to your family and what is not.
Seeing the bigger picture of life, and letting go of petty battles.
Open your heart to the concept of this next thought…
Are you trying to train your child to be that model child that everyone praises as being so obedient, just so you look like that perfect christian parent who has it all together?
I’m asking that because looking back, that is exactly what Sean and I were doing with our oldest.
Except we couldn’t even see it at the time. We thought we were following the plan laid out for us in all the books we read. You probably know that plan.
Instead of constantly telling Sophia that she is so stubborn and needs to listen to Mama and Papa better, we try to say things like this to her:
“You are such a sweet girl!”
“Do you know how much God loves you?!”
“God wants you to be a kind girl!”
We build her up, and it has paid off. She has the most intense, and yet sweet, personality that we have ever seen. It can easily flip a switch and the frustrated screams come out, but her sweetness is always just beneath the surface. On a side note, we love to use calming oils on her to help her through a rough day! It’s amazing how well they can help!
She threw a fit the other night before bed and cried and screamed. The next morning she woke up all happy and came to Sean and I both all on her own and told us how sorry she was for screaming.
I would take that any day over a child who obeys outwardly, but inwardly you can sense they are grumbling and complaining, chafing at the bit to have some freedom and not have to listen to mom and dad anymore.
When a child can come all on their own to ask for forgiveness without any prompting, you know there is a teachable spirit there to work with!
If you have a toddler who is a determined, strong willed child, take heart! There are unique ways to parent those strong willed child without constantly resorting to spanking all day long. For my strong willed children, that’s the last thing that worked!
Sean and I feel so passionately about parenting that we recently released a parenting course called The Well Ordered Parent. We poured our heart into this course, spending hours upon hours recording videos and designing amazing worksheets to help your family.
We are doing a one day, crazy offer that we came up with earlier this week (along with the help of our 16 year old son who got super into creating a plan for the sale, which is amazingly sweet!).
Today only, you can buy one of the parenting courses on sale for $100 off, AND get a parenting course FREE!
You could bless a friend on Valentine’s Day with a parenting course, or grab a friend today and you both go in on the price of one course, and you each get a course! This is such an awesome deal!
Join our parenting community and be encouraged and renewed through this course!
To take advantage of the sale price:
Go HERE to purchase the course on sale.
Then go HERE to fill out the Google Form with the information on who gets the free course!