Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Strong-Willed Child First Edition

whew, it's been awhile between blogs. I have been a bit bogged down with Christmas planning, shopping, baking, fininshing up with my businesses busiest time of year, running my household and being a mom! To which none I am complaining!
Above all things, I have been burdened deeply with come complications with our oldest son Drew. Speech therapy is underway now, and I actually am feeling better that help is on the way. I absolutely love the Speech therapist who comes every Tuesday morning. We are on the same page as far as parenting/discipline, child-rearing issues, which makes a HUGE deal. At this point we will be seeking out the help of a behavior therapist as well. (explanation below )
For some time now, Eric and I have been beating our selves up, trying to puzzle together what we may have done wrong raising our son. From the outside people may look in at our lives and think as parents, we really don't have a hold on things, that our child is "one of those kids" that runs the household. No dscipline, no rules. hmmm, sorry not the case.
In talking with Early Intervention, and some help from a Great James Dobson book, we are piecing together the facts that we are indeed raising a "strong-willed child" :)
I used to laugh at this term. Oh yes, my son Drew is strong-willed. But it wan't until now that digging into some research, I am learning this is so much more than a personality type. Not something I have failed at, not something we have neglected to do. In fact, we have been raising our son in a loving, structured home with rules that involve cause and effect. But what happens when your child does not respond in anyways to that environment or any for that matter.

HENCE. "the strong willed child" By Dr. James Dobson. (my hero)
Diving into the book full throttle, Dr. Dobson has done an amazing job, at revealing that this is also part of God's will. whewww.
Okay so we didn't make our child this way. He was programmed genetically to be stubborn and willful against his mommy and daddy. Huh? Dobson mentions in this book, that our hereditary plays a huge role in our genetic make up in the human temperment, so A parent that has/had a strong-will will most likely pass this gene unto their offspring. (uh-oh). This is music to my ears becuase honestly I have been racking my mind as to where and what we are doing wrong....who knew it could be this hard raising a cute little boy? this sounds trivial I know. But this has troubled my heart so much in recent days. I worry, i cry, for him.
Help is on the way.
Ironically in speaking with the oocupational therapist and speech therapists. Many Children with speech delays have behavior delays and problems. After all, they are throughly frustrated with not being able to understand and communicate. A behavior therapist can come into our home and give tips on how best to deal with a child with a VERY strong will. Strong enough to put up a 70 minute tantrum. To cry for 3-hours on end in the middle of the night, to never give up until mom gives in. hmmmm. glad I am not alone. Anyone out there know what I am talking about?

here are some characteristics of a strong willed child:

quoted from the book "the Stong-Willed Child"
**"birth order has nothing to do with being strong-willed or compliant. the elements of temperement are basically inherited and can occur in the oldests child or the baby in the family.
**male strong-willed children outnumber females by about 5 percent and female compliant children outnumber males by about 6 percent. Thus there is slight tendency for males to have tough temperaments and for females to be more compliant, but it can be, and often is, reversed.
**the compliant child is more likely to be a good student thhan the strong-willed child"
**most parents that have a strong-willed child will know at birth or very early on.
in his exact words:
"They come into the world smoking a cigar yelling about the temperature of the delivery room amd the incompetence of the nursing staff and the way doctors are running things. Long before their children are born, mothers of SWC know there is something different going on inside, because their babies have been trying to carve the initials on the walls. In infancy these children fairly bristle when their bottle is late and demand to be held throughout the day. Three o'clock in the morning is their favorite "playtime"Later, in toddlerhood, they resist all forms of authority and their greatest delights include painting the carpet with mom's make-up........"

Drew fits this to a tee. And we have come to a point where we need help on how to help him, and stay sane at the same time :) After all, the Lord gave drew his strong-will. And we need to teach him to use his strong will in a way the God calls him is a scripture that tells us that this is true:

Before I formed you in the womb, i knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you: I appointed you a prophet to the nations ( Jeremiah 1:5)

In closing, i realize this blog has jumped around a lot. But truthfully I have grown very weary physically, and emotionally. i know God does not want this to consume me. I am asking all you prayer warriors out there to Pray for Drew. We KNOW the power of prayer! Please pray that God will make his strong-will useful for his purpose only. And that Drew may see past his own willful ness and begin doing the things that "normal" two year olds do, like play in new places, sleep (haha), talk, laugh and try new things on an agenda other than his own!!! And, finally for peace, for Eric and i and energy to endure the consitency we need to give our son, during such a critical time.
I love my boys to pieces. It saddens me, that this stains my relationship with Drew. If you don't have a SWC child, you may have no idea what I am refering to. If you do...amen, I am praying for you.


Monica said...

I am fairly convinced the Apostle Paul was a SWC. This has led me to the following hypothesis: when channeled correctly with loving discipline and founded on the word of God, SWC can grow up to be the staunchest witnesses for Christ. May your little miracle be one such witness for the glory of God the Father, amen!! May the Lord continue to give you strength and wisdom to parent your child in God's ways!

kim k. said...

This sounds a lot like my son who has autism. Have the therapists mentioned autism at all?

Ashley said...

I randomly stumbled on your blog and I just wanted to say that I will be praying for your son.

I work for early intervention and I know what you are going through from a professional standpoint. I can't even imagine what it may be like on the parental side of it. I have seen kids that sound a lot like your son and I have seen them make huge strides (and do it quickly). It is a battle but one that is worth fighting. I pray that you are getting the help you need from your early intervention team and I pray that your son will make awesome progress.

Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!


Anonymous said...

My daughter is also n speech therapy and is strong willed. Maybe not quite to the extent as your Drew, but then she is also a girl. I noticed that I became less consistent and more patient and softer on discipline when she started speech therapy. I was so consumed on doing what was right to improve her fluency, that my authority took a back seat. Struggling to find a medium ground. Will check out the book. I pray for you and your son, for God's grace and wisdom, and that you don't beat yourself up. I sure do, hard not to sometimes.