Sunday, February 27, 2011


i know there are others out there.
other moms out there.
other moms who have strong-willed children.
i'm not just talking about having a tantrum on the occasion or exerting their independence every now and then.
i'm talking about children who are characterized by people who barely know them as well as those who know them well as strong-willed (is that just the nice phrase we use for stubborn? defiant? i don't even know anymore).

i'm talking about my noah.

and part of me knows that it's a lot about the age he's at. the phase he's in. the developmental stage he's going through.
he's three. three is rough letmetellYOU. and it's such a ridiculous pendulum swing - for everyone because we just have no idea when the switch is going to flick and he's going to be sweet, adorable, agreeable noah instead of defiant, insolent, disobedient, out of control raging noah.
i mean, three is
"i wanna cuddle with you, mama", punching and kicking me, "i love you so much, mama", screaming and melting down anytime, anywhere he feels like it (today it was church and not wanting to go into his classroom that he's been going to for at least 6 months now and having a 10 minute tantrum that was not limited to pounding his 3 year old fists on the door), saying NO to me about something so simple it should not even be an issue, exasperating his brother, inciting his brother, being excited about reading Bible stories, making up hilarious songs, spitting at everyone, holding up his fists to people and giving them a grinchy face, putting away his toys, NOT putting away his toys, refusing to put on his own boots, INSISTING on putting on his own boots.

three is confusing. and if it's confusing for me, it's gotta be confusing for noah.
so there's grace.
but there's also a need for teaching and correction and it's my job to both teach and correct him. because if i don't, who is supposed to? is it not unrealistic for me to just expect him to learn it on his own?

someone once told me about the idea of a family's "rallying cry" which is something or someone the entire family (or at the very least the husband/wife team) can rally around and focus on for a determined amount of time or until a specific goal is met.
i think jamie and i need to rally around and behind noah. to focus in on teaching him and correcting him as he navigates the waters of being three years old. to pray for him. and pray for wisdom for us to know how to teach and correct this precious gem and blessing we've been given.

in part i've been meeting him head-on like two battling rams. i know exactly where noah gets his strong will and i can match him every step of the way. and in some situations i know and thank god that he's given me this iron will to be consistent and teach my child that i mean what i say. but i know that this isn't always the best way to address every situation. and to be honest, it's tiring. and children can sense weakness like bees can sense fear. it's wicked crazy and it is not to be messed with. for reals.

one specific step i will be taking (and blogging more about in the coming weeks) is that i've made a list of things i want to pray about/towards as part of my lent experience this year. one of these is noah. 40 days of specific, concerted prayer for my first born and how i am supposed to parent him through this season of all our lives.

so to all you mom's of strong-willed children, i know your child is different from mine and i am different from you, but have you any encouragement? advice? suggestions? anecdotes?

*you may now go back to watching the Oscars (we have no cable and streaming was so chopping it really wasn't worth it).


  1. I am with you, in every way! My Kyler is 3.5 and the power struggles can be intense. My only advise is consistency. We find that with every disapline, if we explain why we are doing it (after he calms down), he understands more. Our motto is good behavior brings good things. If we have bad behavior, we don't get good things. It's really helped and shown him it's not him that is bad, but the behavior. Anyhoo, I think you are doing all the right things, and your love shows through all of it. Keep strong and one day you will laugh at all of this!

  2. I think you're right on track with commiting to pray about/for Noah. Perhaps take a look at the book by Dobson "a Strong-willed Child". May have some good tips or scriptural references. You may not agree with everything Dobson has to say but may give you a new perspective even on the science behind the strong-will child.
    ALso, do you have Jamie pray a blessing over your boys every night? We started doing this a few years ago.

  3. Unfortunatly, as we had the fortune to have such cooperative kids I dont have much in the way of experience to offer, other than both you and Jamie (and all other parental authority figures)maintaining a consistant front. You know you have our support, no matter what direction you decide upon.


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