What’s wrong with you?
Why are you so naughty?
Why can’t you be more like your sister? The neighbor? A “normal” kid?
If you’re raising a strong-willed child, you’ve most likely asked questions like these, or have watched as your child was being asked these questions by other family members or teachers.
As a parent myself and a play therapist who works with families struggling with their children’s behaviors, I’ve come to learn over the years that parenting in general is a hard job, even when you have an easy-going child. The role of parenting might lead you to say or do some things that you instantly regret, that plague you with guilt day after day.
But dealing with a strong-willed child? That’s an experience that only a small portion of parents get the luxury of experiencing, and if you’re reading this, it means that you’ve very likely won that lottery.
And that you know parenting this child brings a level of emotional and intellectual exhaustion that the typical parent cannot even comprehend (and never truly will). [Read more…]