|Image courtesy of balmtomysoul.com|
"Top Ten Tips for bringing out the best in a strong-willed child"
"The tools you need to successfully manage your child’s behavior"
"Time-proven methods for dealing with misbehavior"
I don't mean to give you a picture of a demon-child with glowing eyes and her head spinning around backwards. She was (and still is) a beautiful girl who was loving, compassionate and just plain adorable. But when she made up her mind to do (or not do) something, her will became an impenetrable wall, and I spent hours, days, weeks pounding my head against that wall.
In spite of our frustration, we understood that her strength and determination were part of how God created her; and since He does not do things randomly, He had a reason beyond what we could see. About age 17, she began to mature into her iron will, and emerged from college as a woman who can focus that resolve. Along the way, I learned to avoid the self-inflicted headaches and marvel at the things she can accomplish.
Amanda now works for a treatment foster care agency. Her clients are the children who have been so severely abused and neglected that they require therapy and more specialized care than standard foster care can provide. There are no words for the level of depravity and torture these little ones have endured. Advocating for these children is a stressful and painful job, and I fear for the physical and mental effects it has on Amanda, but I also stand in awe.
Amanda called a few weeks ago to tell us that she had been offered a promotion. Her boss praised her as "a natural" at this job - for not being afraid to stand up and have a voice. And there it was - the reason God created our strong-willed child. The "impenetrable wall" that wore me out now stands between innocent children and the people who have irrevocably harmed them. It stands against a system that is so overloaded that what is best for the children often gets drown out by what is expedient.
Would I prefer that she had a different career? Yes and no. Of course I would prefer that my beautiful, petite girl have days filled with sunshine and butterflies - that she never even know that this evil exists. But I wouldn't deny the strong, determined woman the chance to use the compassion and fire that God placed in her.
"Though she be but little, she is fierce"
- William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream