Dealing With a Strong Willed Child - sharing from the book Triggers

  I am still reading the Triggers book by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake.  It is such a help to me as I am in the process of parenting - along with my Mr. Benson - our five children.  It is an area that I am still struggling with.  One thing I will say that I have gotten a lot from this book is to look to the Lord for the words I need to say to my children.
  I know -- easier said than done!  That is true, but I think that as we read the Bible and study and try to plan what we can say in certain situations, it may help us in this journey.  If you are done with your parenting, it may be that you can help out another parent with their journey.  You may be in a time where you don't have any kiddos.  I can say that this information is still helpful because it arms you with how to deal with other people and different situations.
  The chapter I have read this time is called "Strong-Willed Children."  Amber Lia shares about a lady that shared about her daughter having a typical toddler tantrum and how she fought to get her own way. (41)  She says she leans in to hear what the lady has to say about how she handled it.  The lady proceeded to share stories of the daughter and how she is now a very strong, independent Christian.  She says that her daughter reaches out to non-Christians at her college.  Her point is this -- a strong willed child turns into a strong willed adult that has tenacity and can stand up against some of the bad stuff that is out there in this world. (42)
  I love these next words -- an encouragement to a mom of a strong willed kiddo -- God made our children strong willed so that once they put their faith in Him and submit to His will, they will not be detoured. (42)  Strong willed children were designed to cling tenaciously to the strongest will of all -- the will of God.  (43)  This doesn't mean that we just excuse and let them do whatever.  Oh no!  In fact it is through the love and consistent and long-suffering care that these children grow up to be world changers! (43)
  I love the way these two ladies said to address a strong willed child -- "God did a good job when He made you.  Now let's figure out how He would have you to behave in this moment." (44)  Going to Jesus and His ways is always the best!  Also approach them with the idea that they have the chance to control themselves -- as do we!  We have to be the ones that also model self control.  We cannot expect our children to lose it and then think they are going to learn to do the right thing when we just lose it along with them.  Are we just sinning along with them?  
  The ladies also go on to say "Let us not undo them in our attempts to redo them better, but let us partner with the One who made them for His glory - strong willed, tenacious, and fierce!"  They remind us that we need to not feel like failures.  "Because when all is said and done, and the beauty of His plan for their lives bears fruit, I won't be able to take any credit myself." (44 - 45)
  The very fact is that this journey we are on is a very hard one.  No one said that our lives were going to be easy.  But knowing that we aren't alone at any time is such a blessing and an encouragement.  Actually, I have found that when I try to do life without getting help from the Lord, I fail.  Aren't you so glad that we have the Lord Jesus along with us and sometimes carrying us along the way?
  It is in the valley times that we see the most growth.  We can remember that when dealing with that strong willed child.  In those times where we are frustrated, do like these ladies have suggested.  Instead of giving in to the flesh and sinning along with them, go to the Lord and pray.  Try out the methods they have suggested.
  Before I give you my song, I wanted to leave you a few thoughts and questions that come from their study guide.  Wendy Speake says, "I know that it often feels like things will never change, and the constant battle wearies you out something awful most days.  But we must press on!  Press on in doing good;  press on in good parenting; press on, one foot in front of the other!  Press on in cultivating (and exhibiting) the fruit if God's Spirit in your own heart, even when you're exhausted by the lack of fruit in theirs." (20)  She also states that"The more we believe that God has been purposeful in their design and is still at work in their lives, the more we're able to join Him, fighting for our children rather than against them!" (21)
  Now some questions --

  How can you plan to deal with your strong willed child? (21)
  Is there a strong willed personality in your home that rubs you uncomfortably?  When you get really still and talk to the Lord about that child of yours, are you able to catch a glimpse of His plan and purpose for their life?  What did you think God was planning when He created them just as He did?  And how might you partner with Him in these parenting years? (21)
  Why do children sometimes despise their mothers? Is there an area in your parenting that is despicable and worthy of despising?  Confess it to the Lord right now, and ask His Holy Spirit for the power and perseverance to transform into a more gentle, Christ-like version of yourself. (22)

I know these are long thoughts, but they have helped me to know how to better handle parenting a child like this.  And it has also helped me to also examine myself and see what I need to change.

I am leaving you with this song, "Breath of Heaven," because it reminds me that I am not alone, I am loved, and I am chosen by the One who made me to be who I am right now in this life for this time and parent these precious children that He gave us.

I hope you have a wonderful day and feel the love of Jesus!

Love, {{hugs}}, and Blessings!

Lia, Amber and Wendy Speake, Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses.  Roanoke, Virginia:  BRU Press, a division of the MOB Society, LLC, 2015.


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