An encouragement to the mom of the strong-willed child . . . I didn’t realize that was a thing in the early years of motherhood. I just chalked it up to personality. 

Parenting is never easy, and neither are relationships, but the struggle is real when you have a kid who seems to challenge you constantly. My husband says my son and I butt heads because we are alike. The problem feels louder, like a complex clash of differences and understanding. Determination can be hard to discipline. 

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

Maybe it’s because he’s our firstborn, and we learn as we go. Isn’t that what parenting is? We doubt, pray, research, worry, and wonder if we are doing anything right. 

A friend recently sent me this picture of her daughter with our oldest. He serves in the toddler room at church, and she wanted to sit with him the whole service. He’s great with kids, ask anyone. 

Others don’t often see the side I struggle with, the stuff that feels more abrasive than teenage turmoil. Maybe we aren’t doing it all wrong. Possibly their independence, stubbornness, and outspokenness will be used for good, but we wonder if it will ever get easier. 

RELATED: There’s Beauty in Raising a Wild Child, Too

It’s hard to see from within our walls, but on this particular day, I could see it within the dividers of the kids’ program at church. There is hope when others see what you are fighting so hard to see yourself. 

When their boldness feels bitter, let’s pray that the force that drives our strong-willed kiddos propels them to go out into this world and live boldly.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

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Sarah Nichols

Sarah Nichols is a writer, preemie mom, adoptive mom, and spent several years as a military wife. She loves encouraging women by sharing hope-filled stories that point others to Jesus. 

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