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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.

RELATED: The Mama of a Wild Child is Trying Harder Than You Know

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.

RELATED: In Defense of the Wild Child

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.

RELATED: To the Mom of a Difficult Child, What if You’re Raising a Peter?

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.

 

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Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things. Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram  

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