Today's Question: How do I deal with my free-spirited child?
This is a question I am struggling with a lot now that we've started school for the year. My girls are all in school now: 5th, 3rd, and 1st grades respectively. We know the school drill pretty well around here! My oldest loves school, loves structure, and loves rules. She will make a great dictator (or mom) some day! My youngest also loves rules, structure, and school. My middle, however, is her father's child through and through! She is the sweetest child with a huge heart - she loves everyone. She, however, does not love rules, structure, or school. She's always looking for ways to be different. If her sisters love pink and purple, she loves blue. She'd rather talk to her friends when the teacher is explaining assignments, and don't get me started on homework! Rest assured, it is torturous getting her to sit down and pay attention long enough to get a simple worksheet done.
So many times parents try to fit their children into molds - usually molds that conveniently fit into the family. My children teach me every day that there isn't a mold made that they won't break! The trick is learning how to value each one for the special, unique gifts they've been given by God. There are days I have to remind myself several times that God has gifted my Abby with a big heart and a chatty mouth to go along with it - this is a blessing, even though it's hard to see when my brain in leaking out my ears from all the mindless chattering! She is a unique creation made by God and put in my family for a good reason. We need her and her perspective to keep us young and fun - she does the silliest things that just make us all laugh sometimes!
So when your own unique little creation is driving you absolutely insane with their "uniqueness," try to find the special gifts God has given them in there. I am not in any way saying that you should accept bad behavior as a gift; there are some things we need to learn not to tolerate in our children so that they will grow into good adults someday. But, there are things about our children that are special - maybe they're just like you, which is its own kind of torture, or they're your opposite and nothing they do makes sense to you. It's these times we need to step back and remember that God has made them this way for a reason. It's our job as Mommy to figure out how God has gifted them and then learn to incorporate those gifts into our families.