Most of us have been blessed with at least ONE strong willed child along the way. Strong willed children have a way of making us feel like we are going to go crazy. They also have a way of keeping us on our knees in prayer and have us working extra hard to connect with them.
Many times I will hear parents say, “I just can’t get along with this particular child” or “we butt heads” Often the parent feels like everything that comes up in the day ends up being an argument.
They are usually right!
There are some children that will argue about every single thing! If you say A, they say B and it can go on and on. Trust me, I have one.
I truly believe the worst thing you can do for a child you are struggling with is to pull away. Sometimes we think this just may be the answer. Maybe if we put them in school or a special program, send them to camp, or just quit dealing with them on some level they will be better off.
They are usually not.
It is not that those things in themselves are always wrong, but when we do them to fix the relationship it often fails.
The more you push them away the more hurt the relationship becomes!
I want to challenge you this week to pull the child closer to you that gives you the most problems.
You know the one, the one you are always correcting, always punishing, the one that struggles with school, the one you struggle to have conversations with.
Yes, Him or Her
Maybe you go to a movie with your son or have a tea party with your daughter, or maybe you just sit outside on the porch swing and engage in great conversation with them.
Your children need YOU! It may seem like they don’t but they do!
Find something this week that your most difficult child loves and make time to do that with them EVEN if you don’t enjoy it.
Some wonderful ideas
Cooking a meal or preparing a snack together – Maybe it won’t be homemade; maybe you will use can soup or premade cookies. You can still create wonderful memories in the kitchen and it is a wonderful time to have great conversations.
Write down a list of family night ideas – Do the easy ones- board game and movie nights, park days, and video game nights These are simple but create a lot of conversation and bonding time!
Plan simple dates with your children – It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. A free night together at the park or picking up an ice cream cone together can do amazing things. Ice Cream has a way of healing:)
Play a video game with them – Video games may not be your thing and you may stink at them, but play a game or two anyway. You are filling your child’s memory banks and they will love you for it
Take a walk together – Walking is good for stress, great exercise and again makes a great time to just talk. Let them talk about whatever is on their mind.
*Build a Lego set – If you have a child that loves to build do it with them! They will love it
*Read a book that they love out loud! – We have such wonderful memories reading great books together
*Play a sport in the yard (who says you have to be good at it?) Just get out and play, there is nothing quite like it
I don’t know what your children are good at and love but YOU do! Think about what they like to do in school, or what they ask for at Christmas time. Then find a way to make time to do that activity with your strong willed child.
If you want to win your kid’s hearts. have them follow your value system, share your faith in God, and be honest and true with you even as teens. you have to connect with them. Yes, you have to have boundaries and rules, but when there is a problem sometimes the best thing you can do it lay it all down and run toward them. Don’t let that relationship crumble; don’t go another day with it in disrepair. These are your children and you need to welcome them into a relationship with you just as our Savior does for us, even as sinners.
It won’t always be easy, you often have to give EXTRA time for the child that may need you the most but trust me, they are worth it! There is nothing more painful to hear moms and dads who have fallen out of a relationship with their grown children.
No one said parenting is easy, it takes work. Many times we put all kinds of effort into our careers or our hobbies and even our friendships. You children deserve more than that. Your strong-willed children take more patience, more time, and more intentional living but when you do this you come out the other side a better mom/dad and have better relationships with your children.
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