Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Has anyone read Parenting The Strong-Willed or Spirited Child books?
Are they worth reading?

Those questions in themselves should give you an idea about this week.

In some ways I am a little envious of parents who bring home older children, because delineating the difference between "adoption issues" and "parenting issues" is a teeny bit easier, from a parent's perspective.  Or at least it seems to me that it would be.

We're going through a very defiant stage.  Fortunately and unfortunately, we've been told by many people including medical professionals and educators that Million's vocabulary is that of a 4 year old child.  (Adoptive parents, don't perk your ears and ask if we know about his "actual birth date" or suggest that we change...That's not the issue here.)  But with all of these big words he knows (from hours and hours of investing in a literacy-rich environment at home and from refusing to baby talk to him), comes power---even when he doesn't fully understand the breadth and depth of what he is saying.

And he understands that his words hold some amount of power.
And he's trying to use that power to the best of his ability.
And the sinful nature of man is fully evident.

And I sometimes cry after he's asleep and wonder how I'm going to handle two little boys in about a month.
And I occasionally bake carrot cakes "for daddy" when I really just want a lick of the cream cheese frosting.

I know this is a "phase" that many 2 year olds and 3 year olds go through.  I've read enough child psychology and development books and taken enough classes.
But what college classes and intellectual books don't tell you is how absolutely frustrating it is when you find yourself having angry thoughts towards your child's willful behavior.
And how endless it seems when you're going through it.
And how much of a failure you feel like, despite reassurances that "you're doing a good job."

But that carrot cake was frosted beautifully thanks to a "how to frost a layer cake the RIGHT way" pin on Pinterest.


  1. Um. No advice here, just a LOT of empathy. There really is no way to imagine just HOW ANGRY your beloved, longed-for child is going to make you... until they do.

    Hope next week is better.

  2. Right there with you, Heather! If it makes you feel any better, the older child (although we are not too much older) adoption looks exactly the same: is this an adoption challenge or a parenting challenge?? That is the question I am asking almost every day... : )The books do not help me much...only make me feel more frustrated. But then I have struggles with comparing myself with what I "should" be doing. The best advice came from my hubby when he told me, "Olivia, just put the books away and ask for His guidance." : ) You are doing great!!

  3. You just described Sophia, and how I feel. Praying for you, dear friend!

  4. I haven't read this one yet, but heard her speak on a Christian radio station a couple times. What I took away (which is usually one or two things... you may take something different) was 1- realizing that I truly was the strongest willed baby in my house. 2- strong will and determination doesn't mean 'bad kid' 'defiant' or 'cause parents to drink (more). It can mean strong leadership and great perception. and 3- you can give a warning with a lecture but if being summoned a ticket there's no need for a lecture. and 4- we give out too many warnings and not enough tickets sometimes. I should also add- that I'm not a natural at communicating ideally and the book "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" has been a great one when implementing new tools.