Watch Out, World!

Have you ever had one of those realizations that you are in big trouble?  Like, big trouble?

I was once asked to describe my son in one word.  I gave the description of “strong-willed.”  When most people say “strong-willed,” they mean it negatively, but I am not most people.

I, am so proud of my children’s strong-willed tendencies.  They don’t take “no” for a simple answer, and instead, challenge the policies and rules set in place.  And, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that approach to life – I’d like to think I wouldn’t be the wife and mother I am without a healthy dose of questioning growing up.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of adults who will disagree with me – their teachers will, for starters.

I thought my son was strong-willed, and I am being blown away by the budding strong-will of my daughter.  I think, as in many areas of life, she is surpassing her brother’s skills at an earlier age.

Someone had the audacity to wave “no, no, no” and say the word to me while she was being scolded.  All I could do was take pictures before physically removing her – to the other side of the main floor.

I have always advocated treating children as mini-adults.  That does not mean that they don’t have consequence and boundaries!  Instead, it means if I am willing to put a boundary in place, I should be prepared to explain my reasoning and rational behind my motives.  And, that goes back to the non-negotiable rules I have for my children, which I referenced last month.  Explaining my thinking, however, is a little difficult, when the culprit “in trouble” is less than a year old!

When I think about their future, I get excited – for them!

I, however, dread the parent-teacher conferences.  Both my husband and I were those strong-willed students who weren’t afraid of calling a teacher out!  My husband learned to respectfully correct a teacher when the teacher’s answer didn’t pan out; I never quite learned to respectfully call out a teacher, preferring other passive-aggressive techniques to show my teachers’ incompetence.

So, I know what is in store for us.

And, I am excited in an odd way, to see how they view their world, and how they shape their own world!

Because someday, this little girl is going to to grow up…

“I’m sorry, Mom – did you say something?”

She is going to learn just how much of her world she can control…

So very grateful I had the foresight to keep most of the lower cupboards empty, or filled only with non-breakable cooking ware…

And, she is going to take her world by storm.

Asserting her independence with her ladybug antennae with her costume – it took us a half-dozen tries to get her to be willing to leave the antennae on for a couple pictures!

I’m excited to see how it all unfolds.

I dread how much work the formative years will take, because strong-willed children are a lot of work in the early years, but to see them becoming their own people is such a rewarding prospect!

Watch out, world – my children are coming!

And, I realized last night, just how much trouble I am in for, as I watch the unfolding of little citizens of the world beginning!

Good thing I have a second copy of the book she was insistent on “reading” last night – and, that she only got a hold of the Table of Contents before I got to her!

My short-term trouble is worth the long-term reward!

12 thoughts on “Watch Out, World!

  1. i find it amusing that parents, who were once teens and kids who did whatever the heck they wanted regardless of what their parents said, state that *their* children will or will not do something.

    i’ve taught my girls that their choices are not mine … i cannot make their choices for them. i will not be there with them when they have choices to make. they can either do it, or not. i’ve taught them that *they* get to choose. i’ve also taught them what it looks like to make choices.

    for example, i’ve not told them they cannot do drugs or drink. i’ve told them they will get to choose whether or not to try drugs, to drink, to get drunk, and/or to have sex … which is true b/c i will not be there. but … this is what it will look like if they do decide to try any of the above … in addiction to the natural physical consequences, they will find their rooms cleaned out, they will be given 3 sets of clothes and one pillow and a blanket to sleep on the floor, they will loose my trust, and they will loose their freedom. if they call me from jail, they can spend the night. if i find they’ve been doing drugs, i’ll call the police for them. etc. it’s their choice to make. regardless, i will still love them. and how do they know i’ll keep my word? because i have since they were the ages of your kids. i saw 1 as 11, 2 as 12, 3 as 13, 4 as 14, 5 as 15, 6 as 16, etc … if i didn’t enforce healthy, appropriate boundaries – AND let them fail and have consequences – at those ages, when the consequences were not life-changing, then when they got to those tween/teen ages, and the consequences could definitely be life-changing, they wouldn’t believe me. but i did … and they have. i’m not saying i’m the perfect parent, because i’m far from it. but my girls are strong-willed on steroids, and then some. and they’ll be the first to tell you … i’m the one they want when things are tough, and i’m the one they don’t want to cross 😉

    1. I *love, love, love* this!! I agree I want them to be able to choose their actions, and feel the consequences (both positive and negative)! And, I loved the quote, “I’m the one they want when things are tough, and I’m the one they don’t want to cross.” I think that may become my new mantra! 😁

      1. 🙂

        i’m the one they want when things are great, too. my girls and i are very close.

        my oldest was born believing it’s better to quietly motivate (read: manipulate) others to do the dirty work for her and act like she knew nothing about it.

        my youngest was born believing it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.


      2. i learned the art of not acknowledging everything … if i acted like i didn’t know, i didn’t have to respond. honestly and truly, there was no way i could respond to every.single.thing those two did and came up with. on top of that, their dad moved out and divorced when they were 5 and 7 after a year separation then a year back together … then he abandoned them and told them he didn’t want them to their face. parenting for me has been more about picking my battles than anything else. and then learning to laugh … a lot. sometimes they’ve been so freakin clever that i just had to give them credit for it rather than punish them!

        they each have their ‘stuff’ … but overall, they’re amazing young women (now 19 and almost 17). i’m very proud of them. i have to keep the hindsight-mamma-guilt in check, though … a lot of “If I had only done ___ then perhaps ___” … but that’s quicksand.

      3. I am sure you did an *amazing* job!! And, I love that you are so close with your girls. I strive to have a similar relationship with my children someday – when we move to the “friendship stage” of our relationship. Always a mother, but when they move out, I can also be a friend, too.

  2. We always tell my middle son that from the day he was born his motto was “I do it myself.” I believe that is still his motto. He was quietly strong-willed. He was never a kid who was “in your face” but he would firmly and quietly say “No ” if he did not want to do something. He is also the one who probably gave me the most gray hairs.
    And yes we also told our boys that if they were caught drunk driving they would not be bailed out of jail, that trust was earned and could be lost, and that no matter what they did we would love them but they would face the consequences of their choices.

    1. I love what you told them – it mirrors what my parents told us. And, I think my husband eventually learned to be quietly strong-willed; I am always the foot-in-mouth person (or, just passive aggressive)!

      And, I almost wrote a line about earning gray hairs quicker now that I’ve doubled my strong-will count! 😂

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