There are some days I find myself hiding in the bathroom to cry by myself… and others I end the day with a glass of wine and a bag full of Reese’s Pieces. This my friends is what it is like to parent a strong willed child. I can’t really tell you I knew what to expect before I was thrown into it. I don’t think anyone understands until you join this exclusive parenting club. My daughter has one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen… but when she has her mind set on something…. game over! I would say this all began around the time she turned three. This was just around the same time we welcomed our second daughter into the world and Sophia let us know big sisters no longer nap… and she meant it. From that moment on it was like a switch went off and Sophia became the strong willed child she is today. She will fight for what she believes is right, she is intelligent beyond her years, and she really thinks all of her plans through. In the beginning I wanted to discipline and show her right from wrong, black and white, but I had to learn that this is not the type of parenting she needed. I had to learn the type of parent she needed me to be. When she gets so worked up in a tantrum and I am ready to put her in time out over something that escalated quickly I needed to learn to take a step back and hug her first. Some parents would probably say no way… punish them what are you teaching her here. But a strong willed child actually gets so worked up that they cannot even understand a punishment at that moment and will not calm down until you show them compassion and love. This is what they so desperately are reaching for at the moment. I have learned to hold her and get to the bottom of her anger and outburst first. Is she tired, hungry, sad? After we reach a calm solution we talk about her actions and a consequence together. I have also learned that she needs to explore her creativity. Now I am soooooo OCD. There are days that the very last thing I want her to do is try to create her own slime or make her own meal… but I let her. I find that she needs an outlet. I give it to her. Now don’t get me wrong. I let her know there are boundaries. We have rules in our house and we follow them. Some days it is great and other days a trash can gets thrown in my kitchen. Yes… it’s a learning process we go through as parents of a strong willed child. I keep reading that her little temper and anger outbursts are what will make her an entrepreneur or even President one day! I just keep taking it one day at a time… and thanking God for my two healthy girls. I laugh because I am starting to see these similarities in Priscilla… at least by the time she is Sophia’s age I will be a pro!!!!