Thursday, November 5, 2009

Battle of the Will's

J is an incredibly strong-willed child. He is sarcastic. Stubborn. He will fight me and his dad tooth and nail over silly little things. He lets his mouth override his brain on a regular basis. And it's wearing me out.

Tonight, for example, we had hamburgers and french fries for dinner. J doesn't care for hamburgers. No problem, we'll make him a hot dog, which he loves. This is pretty common, as he is very picky about what foods he will eat, so he frequently eats something different from the rest of us. He ate his hot dog and his french fries. Then he asked if he could have another. No problem! But, I was still eating, and his dad was working on a pasta salad to take to a work pitch-in tomorrow, and we didn't have any more hot dogs in the house. We had more in the garage. So, I asked J to run out to the garage and grab a new package, and I'd cook one for him.

Please note that J frequently retrieves food from the garage, and cooks much of it himself. I was not asking something new, wild or unusual. I was asking for his participation in meeting his demands. This is part of learning self-sufficiency, which in my opinion, is a key part of parenting. If I do not raise my children to be self-sufficient, I have not really raised them at all!

I did not get a package of hot dogs. I DID get a hissy fit. Stomping, huffing, puffing, hissy fit. "Never Mind! I don't want one after all." Well now, kids, that's just not gonna fly in my house. Nope. Your laziness is not cool. And there is no reason you can't help out. There is no reason that I should have to do it all for you.

I sent him to the garage anyway. I no longer cared if he wanted one, but I am as strong willed as my child, and often put myself in a tough position. One where I am convinced I need to win. As if I was truly in battle with my child. And that is MY weakness. I have little patience for these hissy fits, and have a strong desire to show that I am in charge. This is not really winning, unfortunately, and I know this in the rational, thinking part of my mind. But that part of my mind comes out after I'm done having the fight. Not during. And not just with my children, I am the same way with my husband.

I do not doubt that this oldest child of mine is mine. I know that often the things he does that frustrate me the most are mirrors of me. I do not yet know how to change me, and lead him. This person that I am, who is looking for the fight rather than the solution? She's not my favorite me. She's part of me, and I have accepted that. For now. But I struggle with accepting it in my son. Because I want better for him. He deserves better. And it's my job to give him better.

I just don't know how.


  1. I can totally relate to this one! My oldest daughter & I are just alike and that drives me insane. My husband actually calls me "last word" and now we call our daughter "two-cents".

  2. I have no wise sage advice, but I got some hugs!

  3. Wow! We have parallel lives. I can totally relate. Not sure of answers, but I know exactly how you feel.

  4. Amy, that's hilarious! And thanks, girls, it's nice to know it's not just us. :)