As you guys might remember, our family experienced a D- cross-country flight to Seattle last month. Mal and I still joke about how “scarring” it was.
Toward the end of the flight, an older woman came up to us and said that she had watched our family since we boarded the plane and that Quinn reminded her so much of her oldest son. She didn’t comment on Quinn’s behavior, but instead she leaned in and said: “He’s going to do great things.” She continued with a few words about her own son and then reminisced about some of their travel “adventures” over the years. She also shared a sweet story that actually inspired this blog post. She said when her son was grown (I assume adult age), he made her a birthday card. On the outside, he put a photograph of her and, on the inside, it said: “It takes a great one to raise a great one.” Maybe I was exhausted/frustrated from dealing with a crank-monster toddler all morning, but my eyes immediately welled up to the point that I felt kind of silly as I thanked her for her story and kind words. They were just what I needed to hear.
Qman is truly a sweet boy and so kind to others, but his behavior on the plane that day was not out of the ordinary. He’s VERY strong-willed and only does what he wants to do– to the point where he’ll tantrum for up to an hour (if we let him) and nearly make himself vomit because he’s so worked up. That whole “ignore the tantrum” thing does not work for our family.
I actually used to get upset that we had such a “difficult” child and wished that he was easygoing like other kids. But, in recent months, I’ve really started to appreciate our strong-willed little dude and realized that strong-willed children are a blessing, not a curse. I (definitely) don’t have all the answers with regard to parenting a strong-willed kid (although, wine seems to help), but I know there are parents in the same boat as us, and I just wanted to give you some reassurance that 1) this stage shall pass and 2) our children have such strong wills because they NEED to accomplish great things later in life. Knowing this and remembering the woman from the plane keeps me going when things get tough. Especially when I’m about to lose my patience, I remind myself: “It takes a great one to raise a great one.” I constantly gain strength from these words, and I hope you will too.
Additional pieces about strong-willed children that I like and have found helpful: