Strong willed kids are a lot. It’s as though they were born to not only rock the boat, but crash it into an iceberg.

Yes, they’re a lot—of everything.

Their voice ricochets off of walls and it’s surprising glass doesn’t shatter.

If you take out their batteries, they still run wildly—literally never running out of energy.

Their emotions are more colorful than any rainbow.

They are more persistent than an old, grumpy bull.

They were born with an opinion—about everything.

Parenting one of these tiny torpedoes is grueling . . . because they’re a lot.

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But after parenting (or trying to at least) one of these feisty little darlings, I’ve also learned that they need a lot.

Of our time,

Undivided attention,

Space to jump, run, and tumble,

Silence to make their own decisions,

Hugs and kisses,

Nurturing,

Unconditional love,

And direction.

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Sometimes giving all of this and more to our strong-willed child is not only exhausting, but it also feels overwhelming.

We question.

We doubt.

We feel guilty.

The stress-filled knots in our shoulders grow tighter each day.

And worse, we think we’re failing.

Yes, the strong-willed child is a lot. And they need a lot.

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But if we just continue to give them our best (even though that may look different on some days), just think about what they will grow up and give to the world.

It’s something I am willing to bet will be worth the struggle.

Because our strong-willed kids, they weren’t just born to rock the boat, they were born to build a new one.

 

Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Angela is known for her dreadful technology skills and her mean Grecian chicken. She has been published in Good Morning AmericaABC News, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, and more. Angela has personal and literary essays in Literary MamaThe HerStories Project, the anthology, “Red State Blues” by Belt Publishing, among others. She is currently at-work on the cross-generational memoir, Mothers Lie Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram