My husband and I were blessed with two sons early in our marriage. Both were healthy and active. Born only eleven and a half months apart, they shared many commonalities. However, their behaviors differentiated them in clear ways.
For example, all I had to do with the younger son was tell him how he disappointed me for a misbehavior and he was remorseful. Not so with the elder son. Time-out, spankings, loss of privileges, or possessions didn’t work with him. His strong will frustrated us as parents, and the disrespect he held for authority at times made me crazy.
As a Christian parent, I struggled with self-esteem – mine, not his. I felt like I failed many times when the calls from school about his bad behavior and bad choices came. We cringed every time we went school conferences. We heard wonderful things about our young son – though he was far from perfect, and mostly negative information about the eldest son. Both of them excelled in academics and athletics. Behavior concerns plagued us, though, throughout our eldest son’s school years. I used to say “By the grace of God, that boy is alive past sixth grade!” Who am I kidding? I still say it!!
Our sons finally matured into adulthood. Today, they are both responsible, well-adjusted young men. They are good husbands, fathers, and successful in their careers. God is faithful, and taught me a lot about how to deal with strong personalities. By the way, the eldest has a son who is just like he was! The Lord has a great sense of humor!
After the boys went to college, I earned my teaching degree. I taught middle school students most of my career. Many a conference I found myself consoling parents with a child like my oldest son. I told them, hang in there. My son turned out to be just fine. Students have to want to do the right thing internally. No one can do it for them. But once they get that, they’ll be fine.
What about you? Do you have a strong-willed child in your family? If so, how has this child impacted your life? What hopeful suggestions can you offer other readers? Thanks for your comments and time. Leave your comments below, please. Take care, and rely on the grace of God for circumstances in your life.