I’ll be honest, it can be a challenge to parent a child who is fiercely independent, amazingly smart, and wildly curious. They have a very clear idea of what they want and often don’t bother waiting for permission to get it. They act first, question everything, and have an unflinching trust in their own ability to do whatever they set their mind on doing.
Our son Camden is all these things and so much more. He is so funny and has such a huge heart. He has such an enormous personality it can sometimes be difficult to discipline him without laughing first.
Sometimes, Deanna and I will look at each other and wonder where this kid came from. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say we sometimes wish he would simply listen and make our parenting jobs much less stressful!
We have friends whose children are very well behaved. They sit quietly, listen, follow direction, and are easy to manage. We’ve even had parents comment that they are “glad” their children are not like Camden. Sure, these comments can hurt and make us get defensive… and even cause us to question if we are good parents. Every parent worries about the job they are doing raising their kids.
When this happens, I remind myself of two very important things.
First, all the qualities listed above – the qualities that make Camden who he is – these are all the same qualities that caused me to fall in love with my wife. I wouldn’t want them to change in her so why would I want them to change in him? My wife is an amazing person who does not take shit from anyone! She can do anything and do it very well. I count on her in so many ways and am grateful every day that I get to share my life with her. Camden may look like me but his smarts, his sass, and his independence… that’s all mom!
And second, all those kids who are well-behaved and follow the rules… they may grow up to live good lives, have good jobs, and be good people, (I certainly hope they do) but the kids who push the boundaries, question everything, and refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer… they are the ones who grow up and change the world!
So, to all the parents out there that struggle with an independent child, remember what makes them challenging to raise as kids also make them born to lead as adults. Hang in there! 😉
Leave a comment below.