STRONG-WILLED CHILDREN BECOME ADULTS WHO CHANGE
THE WORLD AS LONG AS WE CAN HANG ON FOR THE RIDE AND
RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO “TAME” THE SPIRIT OUT OF THEM.
I have been a teacher, coach, and administer of children’s programs since 1974. (Please don’t do the math!) There isn’t too much in the field of education that I haven’t seen or experienced. I have listened to so many parents as they try to navigate the rough terrain we all call “parenting”, and offered advice or shared my own experiences when I thought it could make a difference. No matter your education or previous experience no two children are alike and there is no guarantee that a strategy used with one child will have the same effect in the same situation with another child.
Even with all this experience I was reminded this weekend while I was visiting my daughter and her three children that no matter how much experience I have my daughter will look at me as though I don’t know what I’m talking about. So after I made a suggestion that she was giving her 4 year old’s crying too much attention, I received the above quote on my return home. Since I have a great sense of humor and I really believe that my daughter is a terrific Mom, I will use the opportunity to pass it on to you.
I really agree with what the quote is saying, as I too, believe that we should honor a child’s creativity, thinking and actions if at all possible. It can be all too easy to push our ideas and power on a child just because we are bigger, have to adhere to a schedule, or just don’t want to take the time to let the child try to do something their way. But if in the course of our parenting we honor the child by listening and giving them space to let us know what types of activities make them happy and let their creativity blossom, we are doing a good job.
The above quote is written by a lady named Sarah Stogryn, who had an education degree and had been a doula for 7 years before having her first child. She thought that things were going to be easy because of her past knowledge and experience. She soon found that she was blessed with what would be known as the “spirited child” in the field of education. Parenting this child was tough for both Sarah and her husband, but they didn’t give up. They read books, took advice from professionals and tried to remain strong in the face of honoring this very tough child. Her story should be an inspiration to all of us even though most of our children are not as tough as her young child. I encourage you to go to www.sarahstogryn.com/blog/raising-our-wild-child and read this story in its entirety. It’s a wonderful example of hanging on for the ride, knowing that the world is indeed changed by these strong-willed children.