Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The Strong Willed Child.  Do you have one?  I do!  God, in His infinite humor, waited until our last to give bless us with him.

Let me start by saying, in case you do not know us, we adore this child!  We love this child dearly!  He was longed for for years, he was prayed for for years, and we fought hard to bring him home.  He makes us laugh, he is smarter than us (really, I think he is), and he is a love bug that loves to snuggle.

But he also makes us tired.  He is a Strong Willed Child (SWC).  BIG TIME!  Ask me how easy that was to adjust to.  NOT!  We taught parenting classes for several years.  We told people how easy it was to raise children.  We delighted in our 3 easy children.  And now...we apologize and take back most of what we ever said about child rearing.  ;)

The Strong Willed Child....they are just wired differently.  They push the rules- constantly.  They change their minds- regularly.  And they dig their feet in the sand- stubbornly. 

For example...For months all I have heard is "Is it summer yet, is it summer yet? I want to wear shorts"  So...this morning, here is the conversation:
 Me- You can wear shorts today!
 Child- Oh.  I don't like shorts.  They are disgusting. (His new favorite word)  I am never wearing   shorts!

And a few nights ago:
 Me-Let's pick out a book to read before bed. (We do this every night!)
 Child- I don't like books.  No books, ever!
 Me- OK, bedtime them.  We can read tomorrow.
 Child- But I want you to read me books!

See?  And then I question..are these possibly adoption issues?  Are these SWC issues?  Some days I struggle to figure it out.  And some days, I just want  a do over!  In my questioning and talking to other parents, I was given a wonderful book called Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Kurcinka.  Did you catch that...SPIRITED child, not STRONG WILLED child.  Spirited...that's what caught my attention.  I love that!  SWC implies negativity, spirited implies, and challenging.  It's all a matter of how you look at it and how you approach the child.  It's about giving that child a little more time and a little more freedom to choose their path within the guidelines you provide.  It's about wording things just slightly different.  It's about a lot of patience and a lot of love.  It's a challenge, but it is making a difference.  A little at a time.  I'll take it!

We tend to be cyclic here- one bad week for every two good ones.  So we are rejoicing in the good and pushing through the bad one with better attitudes and,  if not him!  :)  And we know that God has a wonderful plan for this spirited child...just as He has a plan for us!

Jeremiah 29:11" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Ephesians 6 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."


  1. I don't think it is an "adopted" issue Michele. We have one of each and our VERY SPIRITED child is our bio one. Glad to hear others struggle as well....makes it seem a little more "normal". I have always been told that the spirited children go far in life and are great leaders....that is what I am hoping for!

  2. Michelle, I love the picture of you two. He has such piercing eyes! As he begins his "formal" education, I know that you will blessed to home-school him. He might be labeled as a troublemaker in public school because he is spirited but at your school he will always be loved and given the opportunity to excel! Thanks for sharing you life with us.

  3. I have one especially "spirited" child (I really like that btw much better than strong willed.) I used to take the time when he was little to put him in my lap and hug and kiss him to remind myself how much I loved him at the end of a day (he won't let me do that anymore.) He is so stubborn he argued with me forever yesterday that 9-4=6 even when I showed him it didn't over and over again! But, for all his "spiritedness" he is SUCH a sweet and loving boy, very smart, very good working with his hands and is great with his younger siblings.

  4. He is so cute! You are such a good mama, Michele! And we love that book since #1 & #3 in our house are both SWCs. That book made me realize that I too am "spirited!" ;)

  5. I love his eye bandana! I think 2 out of 4 of mine are def SWChildren!!


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