Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strong Willed kids

My little Lauren Grace is so cute but has a mind of her own. This morning I was catching up on Face book and a friend posted this from Lysa Terkeurst blog:

I don’t want to raise a good child
My daughter, Hope, is a senior this year. And she decided her senior year should be adventurous and a little out of the “normal” box. A lot out of the box actually.
She withdrew from traditional school. Applied with the state to homeschool. Enrolled in on-line college courses that would allow her to get both high school and college credit simultaneously. And planned to spend the month of January serving in Nicaragua doing missions.
This didn’t surprise me really. Because Hope has always liked charting her own course.
When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world’s worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained. And I honestly thought all her extra tenacity was a sign of my poor mothering.
One day I took her to the mall to meet several of my friends with toddlers to grab lunch. All of their kids sat quietly eating cheerios in their strollers. They shined their halos and quoted Bible verses and used tissues to wipe their snot.
Not Hope.
She was infuriated by my insistence she stay in her stroller. So, when I turned away for a split second to place our lunch order, she wiggled free. She stripped off all her clothes. She ran across the food court. And jumped in the fountain in the center of the mall.
Really nothing makes the mother of a toddler feel more incapable than seeing her naked child splashing in the mall fountain. Except maybe that toddler refusing to get out and her mother having to also get into the fountain.
I cried all the way home.
Not because of what she’d done that day. But rather because of how she was everyday. So determined. So independent. So insistent.
I would beg God to show me how to raise a good child. One that stayed in her stroller. One that other people would comment about how wonderfully behaved she was. One that made me look good.
But God seemed so slow to answer those prayers. So, over the years, I changed my prayer. ”God help me to raise Hope to be who you want her to be.” Emphasis on, “God HELP ME!”
I think I changed my prayers for her because God started to change my heart. I started sensing He had a different plan in mind for my mothering of Hope.
Maybe God’s goal wasn’t for me to raise a good rule following child. God’s goal was for me to raise a God-following adult. An adult just determined and independent and insistent enough to fulfill a purpose He had in mind all along.
I don’t know what mama needs to hear this today. But let me encourage you from the bottom of my heart with 3 simple mothering perspectives you must hang on to:
1. Don’t take too much credit for their good.
2. Don’t take too much credit for their bad.
3. Don’t try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.
And all the mamas of fountain dancing children said, “Amen!”

I was laughing and almost crying after I read this! This is so my life with my Lauren. She has a mind of her own and I have had many moments just like this. Just the other day she had both arms in the fountain at the mall with her tongue out drinking the water. There is never a dull moment with her but plenty of precious ones as well. I have gained a lot as a mother from my children. Mothering is defiantly a humbling experience and I have called out to God in tears asking Him to help me with raising them. I have marvelous kids but not always easy kids. I never had the kind of kids that just sat in their strollers or just were super laid back. Mine were the adventurous active type that seemed to be two steps ahead of me in all situations. Each year brings new changes some good and some that make you think "I thought we were over that stage." On those good days I think I have this parenting thing down and then 10 min later they all start passing the baton on who is going to be a stinker again. Like this article states my goal is not trying to raise good children that make me look good but kids that love God and will carry that into adulthood. I have learned through experince because 2 1/2 out of my 3 kids are strong willed. (LOL, Drew can be very laid back at times but not at other times so he is my half)There are many great things about kids that are strong willed that if you can learn to work with their personalities will make amazing attributes in this world. Usually kids with strong willed tendencies march to a tune of a different beat and they like being leaders. I could not be more proud of my kids!! When I see them not turning into worldly self absorbed kids but ones that care about people and seem happy being who God made them their is joy. Of course they have normal attitudes and need adjustments everyday but their spirit is something to be gained. They have the will to be the game changers that this sad world needs at times. So hang in there moms of fountain dancing children our kids are made on purpose for a purpose. God will do great things!!


  1. Katie, thank you for sharing this! I used to pray for a child that made me look good, but I surrendered to the fact that God made my children and I have to learn to love the things about them that challenge me. So GOD changed my way of thinking and parenting and my burden seemed lifted after I accepted that. I have fountain dancing children and the older they get the more I see what a good thing it can be if steered in the right direction. You are a great mom and you are going to raise great kids!

  2. Oh how I love Lauren!!!! We miss y'all!!! Katie--if it makes you feel any better a two year old shouldn't be lazing around in a stroller anyway!!!! ;). We always ditched the strollers (not by choice). Motherhood has it's challenges!!!! Will my children ever get dressed without giving me a headache? I fear not!

  3. I read this same blog and felt the same way!! Evan was a tough little kid and Beau is pushing me to limits I didn't even know I had:) This was a good reminder that I don't want just "good kids". Miss you!

  4. I know God has big things in store for her : ) Big, big things!


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