Stubborn. Defiant. Difficult. Challenging. These are the descriptive words I am faced with when parents tell me about their child they are having difficulty parenting. When I hear these words I often can’t help smiling a little. These words for me are a sign that I am possibly being introduced to a strong willed child. I smile because while these children are generally misunderstood, I see their nature as an incredible gift and blessing.
Internal guiding system
The same qualities that drive parents ‘insane’ are the very same qualities that are going to propel these wonderfully spirited children forward through life. You see these children behave in what seems as uncontrolled ways because they have a wonderful ability to respond to the emotional cues in the environment, and an intuitive internal guiding system. The difficulty they face, however, is that due to their age and level of development they lack the skill to manage these powerful natural abilities. Our job, as parents and caregivers to these remarkable children, is to help them develop skills to harness this power in less destructive ways.
All behaviour is communication. When we begin to understand these children we might then begin to use the following descriptive words to describe their behaviour: Decisive. Determined. Confident. Resourceful. Persistent. Committed. These children have passion. These children are natural leaders. These children have an amazing ability to teach you so much in return for your patience.
Is it going to be challenging? Of course it is! Is it going to be rewarding to see them soar beyond every expectation? You can bet on it! My invitation to you is to take a few moments each day to appreciate your child’s powerful gifts and then smile as you remember you have the ability to help them nurture these gifts.