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Embracing our "Strong Willed" children

Back to school wow can't accept that Summer is officially over. With a new school year just starting I wanted to touch on something that may come up for some of you.
Ever hear a word and to your ears it feels like a dentist's drill or the eerie chalk board noise that made you cringe? Perhaps if you're like me there are several words. Today I want to chat about the words Strong Willed.

I've been coming across lately more and more posts referring to this trait. How to correct it, how to avoid it, how not to encourage it, how plain ole terrible a child with this trait is or can become. Being a personal blogger who touches on my life's journey as a mom and focuses on Empowering Motivating and Inspiring others I dislike these words together because from their definition just about every one of us, my child and myself included have been or are to some degree...Strong Willed.

For years women especially have had to deal with so many labels. Labels that society and men especially have directed at us in moments when they have felt threatened by dare I say us possibly being their equal. So it pains me to see posts by moms who feel they need help in changing their child.

This is my perspective, your child doesn't need to be changed he or she needs to be disciplined, needs set boundaries, needs to learn how to communicate better and needs to learn respect. As a good parent what we all need to do is find a balance that doesn't diminish our child(rens) independence and curiosity and eagerness for exploration. That is what children do. They test the waters, they question, they want to fend for themselves. We the parents set the limits on the length of that cord.

illustration by mactoons.com

If it were up to my daughter she would have never attended "regular" school. I say regular because now more than ever parents have great options on how to best educate their children. We have home schooling and even un-schooling just to give you some examples. I remember all the chatter about home schooling mostly negative but that is what usually happens when people are not educated about something or even willing to do some research. What works for one doesn't work for all I wish people would get that already.

My daughter has always had strong opinions about classroom education. Even as a child she felt she could learn best by engaging in daily life. It never failed to have her teachers make mention of how she always questioned the "norm" and how she was always the only student in class who didn't just "go along". Well hello thank the heavens above that she has her own thoughts and opinions. Thank the heavens above she is not a follower and thank the heavens above that I am so not ripping into you for disrespecting my daughter...I would be thinking to myself. Instead I just would smile and say "yes we taught her to respect others but never be afraid to speak her peace and for that we are very proud of her". That would shut them down quickly.

My lil mama was and still is a wonderful student, she enjoys learning but she doesn't want to be feed one sided views she wants to explore the whole picture and for that some may say she is Strong Willed I say she is wise and has a healthy approach to life. I wouldn't want to kill the curiosity in her. I wouldn't want to dim her light. Life already does a great job of that on its own. As her mom I continue 21years later to emphasize the importance of respecting others but also to require others to respect her.

illustration by pinterest

If you are a parent of a child who embraces life without a sense of limits be proud and cultivate that spirit. Provide the tools that will help them safely navigate through life. If you have a child who exhibits these same traits but doesn't grasp a sense of balance than perhaps set some ground rules. Teach that certain behaviors have consequences and that we can still be free thinkers without being hurtful or disrespectful to others.

Cheers to being Strong Willed!!!

What are your thoughts? Share your experience and/or tips.

Always stress free xo,

Raising Honest children

Yes! it's finally Bedtime