Of the four children I have the privilege of raising, I bump heads with one the most. For some reason, it seems like we have the most arguments or disagreements.
I was recently re-reading Have a New Kid by Friday, and came across this:
Who do you butt heads with the most in your family? Is that child the most like you or the least like you? The answer, in all probability, is the child who is the most like you. Kids who sport attitudes have parents who sport attitudes. Attitudes are caught, not taught.
I had convinced myself that she is the most stubborn — that’s why we argue so much. I suppose I was right. On the other hand, the main reason we argue so much is that we are so much alike! I am just as stubborn (probably more) as she is.
Now, I’m trying to be smarter. If I tell her to, for example, throw out the garbage, and she says, “No,” real calmly because she knows that pushes my buttons (but I digress), what’s the right response?
My natural inclination is to raise my voice and say, “GET UP AND DO IT NOW!”
Does that really affect the strong-willed child? Not so much.
I’ve had much more success by asking one time, expecting it to be done, and if it isn’t done, I either do something creative (take the trash bag and sit it on her bed and let it marinate all day), or asking one of her siblings to do it and paying them out of her allowance.
What’s the point? Your natural reaction to your kids will likely be their natural reaction to you.
Want them to yell or get sarcastic every time something doesn’t go their way? Show them how by doing that very same thing to them. Want them to show grace and calm instead? Be the example.