I’m not trying to worry you.
Well, maybe a little.
It’s only because I want to make sure you know what’s at stake when you’re raising a wild child.
Your child always has a lot MORE going on.
More energy, more noise, more enthusiasm, more curiosity (you know the list goes on from there), and because of this there are many MORE opportunities to either build your child up or to break them down in comparison to the average child.
Here’s the thing though. These tiny day-to-day opportunities and interactions with your spirited strong-willed child have the potential to add up to a lifetime of confidence and self-compassion or a lifetime of anxiety and low self-esteem.
I’m guessing the many of your evenings that have ended in exhaustion and frustration are slowly showing you that it’s not possible to fully control another human being.
There is, however, something you can control when it comes to your determined wild child.
The environment you raise them in. I hope this empowers you to become aware of the large yet beautiful responsibility you have when raising a wild one.
Parent, please be careful with your wild one
Please be careful with your wild one, although their exterior appears tough and bold underneath it is almost always a soft sensitive soul.
Please be careful with your wild one, their curiosity and determination find them in compromising situations more than the average child, opening the door to more opportunities for either teaching OR punishing.
Please be careful with your wild one, because sometimes when they challenge or defy you it feels like a personal affront as opposed to your child’s innate qualities of fierce conviction and determination.
Please be careful with your wild one, for they have the strength to do what’s right and to change what’s wrong in the world IF you strive to keep their bright spirit intact.
Please be careful with your wild one, the world needs exactly who your child was sent here to be and often times kids who go against the cultural grain get the opposite message.
Please be careful with your wild one, their temperament and personality have everything to do with their DNA and much less to do with what you do as a parent and you’re doing great.
Please be careful with your wild one, she is a much-needed leader of tomorrow if only she’s not expected to always blindly follow today.
Please be careful with your wild one, unrealistic expectations of how a child should behave can leave both of you feeling angry and resentful for years.
Please be careful with your wild one, the human brain naturally notices the negative more than the positive, and your child’s constant behavioral fires run the risk of smoking out vital opportunities for positive feedback and encouragement.
Please be careful with your wild one, a future relationship with your wild child depends on the trust and acceptance you foster with him today.
Please be careful with your wild one, if you’re choosing to battle them head-on, they’re a fierce adversary living under the same roof, but if you take the stance of working with them they are engaged, enthusiastic collaborators.
Please be careful with your wild one, on the hardest days, raising them can feel like a burden or a curse instead of what it truly is, a call to grow into a better parent and person.
Please be careful with your beautiful wild one
Regardless of temperament, personality, or behavior, deep down all humans want to be known and accepted for exactly who we are.
It IS possible to accept your strong-willed, spirited wild child without accepting behaviors that are unsafe or disrespectful, and to discipline (aka teach) them with tones that are firm but non-shaming and consequences that promote learning, not suffering.
It is possible to raise a wild child without breaking their spirit, and you should because your wild child is hilarious, unique, and awesome.
This happens through a combination of unconditional love and respectful discipline (learn more about positive discipline here) and quite honestly, taking care of yourself, parent, because your child is always ready to take on the world, so you’d better be ready for that too.
P.S. Want a roadmap to raising your strong-willed child with confidence while creating a strong relationship that will last a lifetime?