Saturday, November 8, 2014

I'm back!

I've decided to revive my little piece of cyberspace.  I'm not sure how long it's going to last or what will come of it but here it goes!

I've been thinking a lot about my online presence and what it communicates about me and my family in this season of life.  I want to use it for good. To create change. To support others, other moms, other families similar to mine.

I want to share a little bit about a struggle we are going through with our oldest in case there are others out there with a child like our Sophia.  Here it goes. Hoping this helps someone else and maybe provides us with some help and some support.

Our Sophia is determined, persistent, perceptive, SMART.  She is in what our pediatrician calls "the 10%."  The 10% of kids who don't fall for much. Who won't do things if it's not their idea.  The 10% who are often labeled strong-willed or stubborn.  Very early on we saw this in our little girl.  At 4 months she would cry if other people held her.  She just wanted her mama. She still just wants her mama.  At 12 months she decided she wanted to wear her fancy shoes and only her fancy shoes.  She's been opinionated about clothes since 18 months. She had no use for the potty until she was 3 and even then it took awhile before she made up her mind it was a good thing.  Ask her to smile for a picture, she's far too busy.

We decided early on that we could either try and break this will in her. Force her to obey (ha!). Engage in a battle of wills.  Or we could embrace this.  In an adult we value determination and persistence.  So why do we label them as negatives in children?  I will not, I will embrace my daughter's will power (iron clad).  Some day she will change the world because she will not take no for an answer.  She will fight for what is good and right.

This is not without it's frustrations and challenges.  There are days (lots of them) when I wish she was "easier."  I see other children happily line up for the class picture or bound off to school with no problem while my daughter flat out refuses.  She has no use for pictures.  She wants to stay home with her mom.

Currently, our biggest struggle is school.  Sophia doesn't separate easily.  She wants her mommy there. She will fight, negotiate, persist, until she gets what she wants. Unfortunately, this is one things she can't have. Mommy has to work, Sophia has to go to school. We've tried slow separation on her hardest days.  It just doesn't work for Sophia.  At this point, with the support of her teachers and school, we are going to try tough love.  I'm not without my worries. What will this teach her?  What impact will it have?  Why won't she play while I'm in the room and eventually say goodbye like other children?

We'll see how this goes.  And I will continue to remind myself that determination and persistence are a good thing.   The world needs people willing to fight for what is good and right.  Now if we can just get her to go to preschool without a fight.....

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