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Are you battling a strong-willed child in your home? Are you at the end of your rope, wondering how in the world you can turn the crazy-train around? Have you tried everything you can think of and then some?
I’ve been in your shoes.
With two strong-willers (henceforth referred to as “swillers”), I can tell you some stories, girlfriend.
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Allow me to share 6 tips for how I successfully turned the crazy train around and channeled those strong wills in the right direction!
1. Don’t get on the roller coaster
The only way to deal with the Swiller when she gets on her tangent is not to get in that car with her.
The drama escalates so quickly that before you know it, both of you end screaming, crying, and slamming doors.
She so badly wants to do _____ and you’ve said no, so she launches into her tirade and you want to fling it right back at her.
Either let her go to her room or you walk out. Wait until both of you are calm to discuss the matter.
I’ve heard it said that parents should let their child scream and carry on in their room and even throw stuff if they want in order to get those emotions out.
You won’t hear this parent say that.
She can scream in a pillow if she wants, and she can cry.
But there will be no breaking of anything and no fists through walls. Remember, you are raising a future adult.
Adults must have self-control, and that is a learned process.
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2. Stick to your guns
So you’ve told her no. Do NOT renege!
Maintain your cool self and go about your business. Fix dinner. Clean the kitchen. Help your other kids with their homework. Play a game.
She’ll come out.
She’ll have an attitude.
You will ignore it (unless she’s outright disrespectful – then no.)
Ask her if she wants some dinner, or to participate in whatever everyone else is doing.
Keep your cool and bide your time.
Eventually, she will cool off and when that happens, keep on being your bad self. (As in – cool as a cucumber. You are not changing your mind.)
If you give in now, you will have lost all the ground you gained. Click To Tweet
3. Cultivate a sense of humor
If you don’t have one of these, get one.
The tagline of this blog is “capturing the joy in the transitions of parenthood” and a sense of humor is paramount to gleaning that joy.
How? By being absolutely nuts. Let yourself go.
-Blast the stereo and have a dance-off.
-Wear a tissue box on your head.
-Walk around blind-folded.
-Put an apron on backward.
-Sing at the top of your lungs in a crazy voice while baking cookies.
You can find your crazy if you look hard enough. Actually, it’s just a simple case of letting yourself relax and be silly.A sense of humor diffuses tension and builds camaraderie. Click To Tweet
This is really what defines my family. We are all nuts, and that’s ok. It’s brought us through many a hard time.
It’ll do the same for you.
4. Say yes frequently
I once heard a quote by Dr. James Dobson that I’ve never forgotten:
“Say ‘yes’ as often as you can.”
If it’s an inconvenience to you, but it’s within your power,
If it’s merely your preference that your kid does not play in the rain, but you know it won’t hurt her,
Just because you don’t want to drive your kid to that birthday party next weekend doesn’t mean you shouldn’t
There will be plenty of times in her lifetime that you will have to say no.
Your job is to protect her, instill good morals, teach her to love God, and to make sound decisions. In light of that, you know you will have to say no to some things.
Just don’t let it be because you don’t want play dough all over the floor or you don’t want extra laundry later.
If your child hears no more than he hears yes, he will become discouraged and most definitely have a propensity towards rebellion.
Which leads us to our next point:
5. Pick your battles
The older they get, the harder this is.
This is where you stay up late at night designing a plan to stay one step ahead of the little genius.
Grab your mate – that’ll take two.
Honestly, if I didn’t have my husband during those tumultuous years, I’m pretty sure I’d have jumped off a cliff.
Get on the same page with your strategy and stick to it.
But don’t forget that not everything is wrong – some things are simply a preference. And don’t let “what are the other parents going to think” cloud your decisions.
Some things are just not worth fighting over.
But some things are non-negotiable.
Your kid needs to know which is which, and that mom and dad are on a united front to uphold the law.
6. Stay on your knees
How in the world can we expect to raise our children without God at the helm?
It can be done, even on those most harried of days. Even if you’re not literally on your knees.
Pray in the car while taxiing kids to soccer practice.
Pray on the bench while watching them warm up.
Pray while you’re sitting outside of their piano lessons (and not just for someone to stop the music).
Even if it means (gulp) staying off that iPhone and (heaven forbid) Facebook.
Memorize Scripture. Claim God’s promises. Keep them in church. Follow hard after God. Be the mom who loves God with all her heart, soul, and mind.
There is hope
Hang in there, mom. We had our rough times from ages 0-20 between our two Swillers (the pinnacle being the junior high years).
But we made it.
And so can you. Remember – don’t get caught up in the drama, keep your word, find your sense of humor, say yes a lot, pick your battles, and pray, pray, PRAY!
And someday, that swiller will stand her ground against things in this world that matter.
Can’t get control of your temper?
In Count to Nine, moms discover a Scripturally sound, methodical approach for taming the temper. Ruthie Gray, mother of four and grandparent of two, gently guides frazzled mothers of all ages toward God’s Word, His view on anger, and the nine steps to overcoming wrath.
In this book, you will learn
*The surprising reasons behind your anger
*The mind-blowing truth of God’s view on anger
*One eye-opening tactic for changing your reactions
*How the staggering power of unbelief can keep you from change
*How to triumph through one key attitude adjustment
*How to gain victory over a life-long stronghold
*And much, much more!
The author, Ruthie Gray, transparently shares her own motherhood struggles, instantly connecting with moms through her “been there” approach. Moms will find victory, new hope, and support through this encouraging method of actionable Scripture verses and Scripture prayers.
Dear mom, isn’t it time for you to Count to Nine?
I love, love, love your comment about raising future adults. So many parents today forget that, and we are all reaping the consequences. Society loves it when children have become well rounded, functioning adults, but they overlook the teeth grinding, hair pulling years that it took the parents to get them there.
Ruthie Gray says
Oh my YES. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Thank you for reading and leaving your thoughts. God bless you!